Product management consultants like to discuss the costs of delay, defined as "the impact of time on the outcomes we hope to achieve". What I don't often experience however, is a discussion by my clients of the impact that the cost of delay has on training and consulting projects.
Many times these projects end up on the low end of the "to do" list, both in terms of allocating the time to devote to them as well as the budget. Yet, the costs are often higher if organizations delay the much needed investment.
"When your intuition tells you that something needs to be done
to solve a problem, don't wait."
I had a client, for example, who contacted me periodically about doing some consulting for a troubled team. There was continuing conflict within the group, as well as a concern that the leader didn't possess the necessary skills to effectively lead. The client would call every month or two to discuss the project and we would give them our best suggestions about solutions for the current situation. They usually agreed with our assessment but would not begin the work.
After around six months of this back and forth, two of their best people had left the organization, frustrated with the lack of response to their continuing complaints about the malfunctioning team.
Similarly, another client had a team that complained about their unskillful leader over a number of years. The client couldn't decide what to do about their concerns for some time, but when they finally brought us in, the team was uncooperative. They felt that their complaints had been ignored for too long and even though we provided some suggestions that we knew would help, they were uninterested and resistant to solutions at that point.