The Best-Possible Contracts

Guaranteed results, budget protection, unlimited access, rapid response. Those benefits and more can be hardwired into your contracts with consultants. We can help you develop a contract that inspires your consultant to deliver results beyond your expectations.


  • Higher returns from your portfolio of important initiatives
  • Faster business results, with fewer missteps and less frustration
  • More confidence in your projects, teams and expectations
  • Lower risk and fewer worries
  • Project disasters are averted before they ever occur

How it Works

If you’ve identified an outside expert to help you on an important initiative, but want to multiply the value you’ll receive, this is the service for you. We are experts in one, specific type of contract: consulting contracts, and we create better consulting contracts than anyone else on the planet. The steps involved in this service typically draw from the following list:

  • Review the true, risk-adjusted value of your project. You can only maximize your return on expertise if you’re working on a valuable project! Sometimes a high-priority project isn’t as meaningful as you expected – and sometimes it is much more so. In this step we help you:
    • Evaluate your project against the 37 most common value creation areas
    • Correct for egocentricity biases at the project level
    • Correct for system-wide effects
    • Correct for likelihood of success
  • Re-evaluate the need for outside help— We’ve found that consultants are sometimes brought in when a perfectly satisfactory solution is available in house. If you don’t need an outside expert at all, we’ll tell you so, and if you do need an outside expert, we’ll help you understand exactly why and where. In this step we help you:
    • Review the thirteen considerations on competency, experience and perspective
    • Examine long- and short-term capacity
    • Assess sufficiency, focus, intellectual property and efficiency
  • Articulate your project context — The six parts of a project’s context are the most important requirement for finding the right consultant and building the best contract. You will experience a big “aha!” moment on this step. In this step we help you:
    • Briefly summarize the situation
    • Craft powerful outcome statements with precision, overall goal and results
    • Develop indicators of success that meet the CRAVE criteria
    • State your primary risks and concerns
    • Identify time, people and financial parameters
  • Reallocate project risk through win-win trades — If you are using an outside expert, we will help you employ the very sophisticated and creative approach we pioneered for improving the value of projects through risk reallocation. This has proven to be an extremely powerful method for increasing your return on important initiatives. In this step we help you:
    • Utilize the 14 contract tuning keys to optimize your project
    • Develop risk allocation options and bundles
    • Design a sophisticated trading space for negotiation with consultants
    • Lead negotiation or renegotiation with your consultant and lock in an optimal contracts
  • Lock in a better deal with the best contract structure — How much should you pay your consultant? On what basis? When should you pay them? Are flat fees best? What about success fees? In this step we help you:
    • Identify the best contract structure for your type of project based on boundedness and leeway
    • Determine the acceptable ceiling on fees and expenses for an outside expert
    • Weigh the pros and cons of a “skin in the game” or success-fee arrangement
    • Establish the appropriate payment timelines
  • Lock in value for the long run — By some estimates, more than 70 percent of corporate training has no long-term effect. Do you want your project’s expensive deliverables to gather dust on a shelf or to permanently transform your company? While many experts in change management can create an excellent change plan, sustaining behavior change for months and years after the project concludes is a rare talent. In this step we help you:
    • Firmly establish what behavior changes are reasonable and expected
    • Implement the CUBES approach to long-term change
    • Install reasonable and appropriate timelines

Don’t settle for a mediocre consultant, constant worrying and high risk. Get the perfect consultant on your team by calling the Ascendant Consortium today: 203-438-7236 or for more information.

P.O. Box 341, Ridgefield, CT 06877