How Caliber complements consulting work with its academy

18 January 2022 4 min. read

Built in to Caliber Consulting’s model is an internationally recognised Academy which has certified over 5,000 professionals and runs consultative training to help clients embed organisational change and transform. The firm’s managing partner Rani Salman spoke to ConsultancyME about the role the Academy plays in ensuring the future success of Caliber Consulting.

Transformation focused management consultancy Caliber Consulting has served more than 150 regional and international clients since its launch in 2015. The firm offers services in the focus areas of strategy, organisation design and people and culture.

While the firm’s clients come in all sizes, Caliber Consulting often caters to large, ‘blue chip’ organisations, along with various government entities. For a boutique advisory to meet the rigorous demands of such a wide-ranging client base, key to winning such work has been its offering of training during engagements, as well as standalone in-house training programs.

How Caliber complements consulting work with its academy

“Most of our consulting projects have a capability building/training workstream associated with it,” explained Rani, both during implementations as well as in the post-project phase to nurture lasting change.

Vice versa, the firm also integrates its consultancy work into its Academy. “All our training programmes also have a consulting element integrated into them,” Rani went on. “This is a change in paradigm in traditional training. We deploy a consultative training approach, where we are not just building capabilities and sharing best practices, but putting theory into action by offering consultation on specific client issues.”

“Thus, we work on practical exercises with the client to create deliverables that they will use in their organisation.” Giving an example of how this works in practice, Rani pointed to a recently-completed strategy implementation training with the executive team of a leading public sector entity

A large chunk of that training was dedicated to putting theory into action, encouraging the client to actually use knowledge obtained from the Academy’s training to refresh their vision, strategic direction, KPIs and overall strategic plan. All this was all done in practical hands-on exercises, where the Academy trainers also gave their analysis, advice, and feedback on what was produced to further enhance it.

Across the consulting scene, many players are regularly criticised for overlooking capability handover to clients (ensuring dependence on their staff can be a lucrative approach for consultancies), but by ensuring handover, Caliber Consulting helps prepare all its clients for life after its consultants withdraw.

Rani: “It is part of our DNA… We put an immense focus on handover, and capability building compliments this.  We aim to create a context where that when our project ends, and we leave the client organisation they are fit to fully carry out and implement what we delivered, so that documents don’t collect dust on the shelf somewhere.”

Implementing success

Caliber Consulting’s Academy approach has gone from strength-to-strength since the firm launched the offer a few years ago. Milestones include having clients in over 50 countries, and certifying and training close to 5,000 individuals, while Rani is particularly proud of “the blue chip top tier organisations” the model enables Caliber to attract, time after time.

Meanwhile in terms of feedback, “our client’s love the subjects we specialise in which are very niche, the richness of our content and delivery, as well as the trainers who are typically global management gurus, thought leaders, and renowned authors.

Not everything has come easy, though. Like every other consultancy weathering the ongoing pandemic, Caliber Consulting has had to adapt to new hybrid modes of work. Fortunately, many training companies who were agile in the initial outbreak have been able to rapidly transition to online training formats, and the Caliber Academy is no exception to this.

Rani concluded, “We have adapted very well, and have crafted a unique value proposition. All our online trainings come with an AI-enabled Learning Management System, which is essentially a complimentary learning journey to the live online sessions. We also integrate state of the art simulations to most of our trainings which really enhances the training and further puts theory into action.”