I only charge by the hour or by the day when the boundaries of how we’re working together is clear.

However in more complex situations, hourly/daily fees can pit client and provider against each other. The client wants to buy fewer hours, the provider wants to sell more.

This can turn into a zero-sum game with only one side or the other winning.

For this reason, I tend to charge by the project - particularly for long-term organisational culture work. We just have adult-to-adult conversations together and sort it out.

With these less immediately-classifiable projects, I work with you on an outcome basis. That means we sit down, agree what success for this project would look like (I get that that might be quite touchy-feely at times), then work out a one-off fee that shows a great Return On Investment for you, and fair compensation for me.

Then we get to work.

This way, neither of us feels like the clock is ticking which means we can solve problems creatively.

For example, if our work together requires that I coach a team member face-to-face, I can. If it emerges that I need to see someone in action, I can. If it would be beneficial to run a focus group, or run a 360° review, or produce some more documentation, or shoot a video people can access online or any number of things, I can. (With your agreement of course.)

And if we believe it's best to do any of those things again, we can. It's all included in the original fee.

We work together to specify the outcomes, and we work together to achieve them.

In the end, none of the rates listed are etched in stone and I don't play negotiation games so if you have less money immediately available in the pot, it's always worth asking me. Seriously, don't feel weird. An old mentor of mine taught me at the beginning of my career that If it's right that we work together, not to let numbers get in the way - and that’s stood me in good stead for twenty years.

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