There is a nice consulting truism that serves as a reminder from time to time – every market/client has problems and every market/client is special and, most importantly, no one really understands this (especially not those people sitting in headquarters).
I’ve seen this across clients and across country organizations within the same client. Every country organization says exactly the same thing when starting out on a discussion around change.
What they are really saying is – Take time to listen to and understand us. If we don’t feel listened to, we’re not going to listen to you.
They’re right in part. The listening helps us in understanding the nuances that will enable us to ask the right questions. The basic principles will still work (they are basic principles for a reason) – we just have to customize them to suit the needs of our clients.
But, first, you have to listen to be heard.