1773 – Interactive Facilitation and Training Leaders with Faris Aranki

In this episode of the Thoughtful Entrepreneur, your host Josh Elledge speaks with the Founder & CEO of Shiageto Consulting, Faris Aranki.

Aranki wide

Faris' company, Shiageto Consulting, operates under the metaphor of a sharpening stone, working to hone other companies by enhancing their strategies and effectiveness. They have a patented methodology based on three pillars: improving IQ (Intelligence Quotient), EQ (Emotional Quotient), and FQ (Focus Quotient). Their approach involves aligning team goals, enhancing communication, and eliminating distractions.

Faris delved into recognizing when a company needs sharpening and proactively addressing the issues. He says indicators of a dull IQ and EQ include a lack of clarity, limited ideas, and poor communication. He emphasized the need to eliminate distractions and focus on what truly matters.

Shiageto Consulting engages with clients through interactive facilitation, challenging biases, and filling team gaps. They also train leaders in soft skills such as influence, storytelling, and relationship-building.

Faris started the company four years ago after identifying a gap in strategy implementation. Despite a slow start as result of COVID-19 pandemic, they now work with big clients like Amazon and Heineken and startups.

Faris shared that he has worked with big companies like Coca-Cola, Conde Nast, Amazon, and BMW. However, he clarified that they don't only work with enterprise-level companies. The common factor among these companies is his relationships with people within them.

Faris believes that people like working with people they know and trust. Even if his company is small, if they have had a positive impact previously, these companies will come back to work with them.

Key Points from the Episode:

  • Introduction of Faris as the founder and CEO of Shiageto Consulting
  • Explanation of the company's metaphor of sharpening stones and how they help improve strategies and effectiveness
  • Discussion of the three pillars of their methodology: improving IQ, EQ, and FQ
  • Importance of recognizing when a company needs sharpening and being proactive in addressing issues
  • Engagement with clients through interactive facilitation, challenging biases, and filling in gaps within teams
  • Training leaders in soft skills such as influence, storytelling, and relationship-building
  • Examples of clients they have worked with, including big companies like Amazon and startups
  • Emphasis on the importance of trust in working with clients
  • Working with a variety of smaller companies in different industries

About Faris Aranki:

With over two decades of experience catalyzing strategic change in diverse corporate and non-corporate settings, Faris Aranki is a seasoned professional adept at navigating the nuances of strategic success.

His extensive career has touched various companies, ranging from global giants to fledgling startups, and spanned multiple countries and industries.

Recognizing that achieving organizational goals extends beyond the quality of strategy alone, Faris founded Shiageto Consulting to enhance strategic effectiveness.

He emphasizes the critical role of effective engagement and barrier removal in accomplishing objectives. Faris has distilled his expertise in solving complex problems into Shiageto's workshops, courses, and methodologies, offering businesses and individuals a structured approach to overcoming obstacles.

With the belief that any team can benefit from these enhancements with the proper support, Faris Aranki and Shiageto Consulting stand as catalysts for transformative change.

About Shiageto Consulting:

Shiageto Consulting pioneers innovative approaches to enhance business effectiveness and bolster success in a demanding contemporary business landscape.

Faced with the daunting pressures of achieving success, businesses often resort to untested strategies, introducing various risks such as delivering the wrong outcomes, encountering delays, or overspending.

Shiageto Consulting mitigates these risks by focusing on sharpening Intelligence Quotient (IQ), Emotional Quotient (EQ), and Focus Quotient (FQ). IQ involves refining strategies for clarity, measurability, and resilience through fact-based stress testing.

These nuanced improvements serve as hidden levers, significantly enhancing the likelihood of success at a fraction of the cost.

Shiageto Consulting's methodology vividly illustrates this concept by likening a team's vision to scaling a mountain, emphasizing the precision required to achieve strategic objectives.

Tweetable Moments:

04:03 – “Why wait till the end and have to fix all the problems then? Foresee them and nip them in the bud early.”

03:30 – “Complacency can be a major problem.”

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Links Mentioned in this Episode:

Want to learn more? Check out Shiageto Consulting website at

Check out Shiageto Consulting on LinkedIn at

Check out Shiageto Consulting on Facebook at

Check out Shiageto Consulting on Instagram at

Check out Faris Aranki on LinkedIn at

Check out Faris Aranki on Facebook at 

Check out Faris Aranki on Twitter at

Check out Faris Aranki on Instagram at 

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Josh (00:00:04) - Hey there, thoughtful listener. Would you like consistent and predictable sales activity with no spam and no ads? I'll teach you step by step how to do this, particularly if you're an agency owner, consultant, coach, or B2B service provider. What I teach has worked for me for more than 15 years and has helped me create more than $10 million in revenue. Just head to up my and watch my free class on how to create endless high ticket sales appointments. You can even chat with me live and I'll see and reply to your messages. Also, don't forget the thoughtful entrepreneur is always looking for guests. Go to up my influence. Com and click on podcast. We'd love to have you. With us right now. Faris around. Faris, you are the founder and CEO of Shiageto Consulting. You're found on the web at Chicago Dotcom. That's s h I a Faris. Thank you so much for joining us.

Faris (00:01:16) - Thank you very much for having me. Josh, it's a real pleasure to be with you and the listeners, viewers today.

Josh (00:01:21) - Yes. Well, give us a quick overview of the work that you do, who you serve. I'd love to learn more.

Faris (00:01:27) - Yeah, well, the clues in the name of the company, Shiageto, which many people have no idea what it means. That's a Japanese word for a sharpening stone, right? So if you've ever had a knife or a pair of scissors that have gone dull, you may have used a sheer ghetto to sharpen it. And you didn't know, right? Uh, why did I call myself after a Japanese sharpening stone? Because my company sharpens other companies. You know, we all go a little bit dull. Particularly our strategies go a bit dull, our effectiveness goes dull. So what we do is we go in and we help companies and teams become sharper and more effective. And the way we do that is through our patented methodology. It's three pillars. We help improve IQ, EQ and FQ. And FQ is not a rude word in case people are thinking it. It's uh, it stands for focus quotient, which many of your listeners and viewers might not have heard of, but it's that ability to focus.

Faris (00:02:16) - And so we work across those three dimensions. So that's really what we do day to day. Uh, it means getting in the heart of teams, facilitating them to get the best out of them, make sure they all align, talk the same language, or teaching leaders and up and coming leaders to do the things that we do to have that impact now.

Josh (00:02:34) - So how might someone know that there's some sharpening to be done within our organization? You know what a great metaphor. Um, over the past couple of years, I've really obsessed on learning to cook, you know, kind of improving my kitchen skills. And you're absolutely right in with this metaphor, a good knife or even a bad knife, which is always dull, but a good knife. It generally requires sharpening nearly every time you use it. And people who aren't paying attention to that may not be aware that they're working with dull knives. Someone who's experienced and is used to staying sharp, you know, having their knife fully sharpened can absolutely tell when things are off.

Josh (00:03:18) - And I think that that's such a great metaphor for experienced leaders who don't get complacent. And I think complacency can be a major problem.

Faris (00:03:30) - A massive problem, my problem. And I'm, you know, fortunately, unfortunately, most of our work comes with people who have a dull knife, right? They're not achieving what they need to achieve. They can't unlock their strategic priorities. Uh, the team is just not working. Right. But you're right. If they were to take the time to finesse that blade more regularly, keep it sharp, and they'd be on top of things, they'd get that sort of ten, 15% more effectiveness and it would just mean better results. So why wait till the end and have to fix all the problems, then foresee them and nip them in the bud early?

Josh (00:04:03) - Yeah. Well, okay. So help us develop our spidey sense, if you will, or our sensitivity to dull systems. And because, again, what I'm hoping is maybe we can inspire a few ideas how we can be a lot more perceptive.

Josh (00:04:17) - But then number two, right, is how to prioritize inspired action. Like, how can we be more proactive when we sense that something is off?

Faris (00:04:29) - Yeah. So, you know, if I go back to those three pillars that I talked about, you know, that's a good way that we go into companies and assess, right. Have you got an IQ problem as in the great indicators that you're not generating enough ideas. Right. First of all, you don't have clarity on what you should be achieving. That's the number one problem if you can. You and your team cannot all enunciate in the same way. This is our vision. This is what we're going for. This is what we need to achieve. Then you've got a problem, right? Because otherwise people are working at cross-purposes. Even a 2% or 1% little change means they are doing different things. When they walk out into the company and they're focused. So do you have clarity on that? Secondly, have you generated enough ideas on how you might achieve that if you haven't, if you're just taking the first idea or the first option coming your way, you're probably your IQ is a little bit dull, right? Get more ideas in the hopper, test them right, and then you're going to be in a good place.

Faris (00:05:18) - So that's the IQ sort of early warning signals. The spidey sense as you say. You know do we have clarity of vision? Do we have enough options to get there? And, uh, have we tested them? Um, then if you move on to the EQ, that's the ability to take others with you on the journey, right? So if you find silos in your business, if you find people having more confrontations than actually working together, if you find people not understanding your message as a leader, right? That's your spidey sense for your EQ needs a bit of sharpening. I need to be able to communicate, take them on the journey with me a lot better. And finally, the F2. That's the focus quotient. That's the one people maybe struggle with. That's probably your team are doing too much. Overburdened the, you know, the burned out. So, you know, the spidey sense on the fck is are we doing too many things right? Can we lessen the mood? Are there distractions that are affecting the team? And I don't just mean like mobile phones pinging here and there.

Faris (00:06:11) - You know, I'm talking about broken processes, broken things that disrupt our flow from achieving and focusing on what we really want to focus. You know, uh, classic examples are, you know, we don't have licenses for pieces of software. We have a broken printer. So everybody loses ten minutes of their day to just, you know, kick it in. Right. These are all fake distractors. They rob you of focus. Just eliminate them. Right. And you will get more out of your team. You will be sharper. So there you go. Some spidey sense across each of those dimensions.

Josh (00:06:39) - So Fariss, tell me a bit more about how you engage and work with your clients to achieve these goals.

Faris (00:06:45) - Yeah. So me and my team, we we operate in one of two ways. We engaged either we get in the heart of teams and we are there to challenge them. Very interactive facilitation where we sort of fill in the gaps that the team is missing. Uh, we challenges the biases that we see, and we make sure that everyone is included that way to get the best out of that team.

Faris (00:07:03) - And if we're not doing that, you know, we are teaching leaders to do what we do. We train in a range of soft skills, you know, how can you influence people? How can you use storytelling for maximum impact? How can you build a relationship with a complete stranger in less than five minutes? These are really powerful things for leaders to get the most out of their teams, get people going, and it doesn't matter if it's a strategy session, if it's a war game, if it's a team offsite. These are the sort of environments that we interact in and have a lot of success. And to be frank with you, Josh, we enjoy it. It's lots of fun.

Josh (00:07:32) - Yeah. And so tell me about like, how long have you been in business, how you got into this. You know, what types of clients do you work with normally?

Faris (00:07:40) - Yeah. So I started a company four years ago. I quit, uh, a strategy consulting firm where I was, uh, uh, had a really good role title as a partner in a firm because I saw this gap of developing strategies.

Faris (00:07:52) - You have some big brains. But when it came to the companies adopting them and getting the maximum value out of them, nine times out of ten, they did nothing. They didn't do the full value. And that's because people didn't buy into those strategies. They weren't being landed. So I saw a gap there because I was really, really good at that. So I set up a company to do just that. Forget the coming up with ideas. You know, as much as I love that. Um, so I set up this company six months before Covid. Obviously the first year was terrible. Absolute stinker. Uh, because of Covid, we didn't have any work for almost a year. But then it took off. It took off with a bang. Josh. So now fast forward to year four. We have, uh, 30 big clients in the likes of Amazon, the likes of Heineken. We work with giant corporates, but we also work with startups because there's different challenges in each. And I love that diversity because you're taking ideas from one to the other.

Faris (00:08:38) - And we just continue to grow. We work across North America. We work across the Middle East, we work here in Europe. It's a lovely place to be. And, uh, look forward to the future.

Josh (00:08:46) - Yeah. Your website is Shia as a ghetto. Looks like you've got some great resources. Share just a bit about someone that's maybe just getting to know you, what you would have, what you'd recommend for them to look at or engage.

Faris (00:09:05) - What I would recommend is coming to our website. You'll find lots of tips on how to sharpen each of those little elements that I talked about. And there's an assessment on there to see how strategically effective you are. Um, so, you know, have a go. Put in whatever you want to achieve in life. It could be personal, it could be business. And you'll get an assessment of how good you are and how likely you are to achieve success in that. Uh, that's a great place. You can also have a bit of fun seeing some of our blogs and vlogs, but that's what I would really start for anyone who's just coming to the website.

Faris (00:09:32) - And of course, by all means drop me in the team a line. We love to talk about these things and that's the best place to carry on the conversation.

Josh (00:09:41) - Yeah, excellent. And so also to tell me just a bit more about who you work with or someone, what I'm curious about is someone may be listening right now, and you have worked with some big companies Coca-Cola, Conde Nast, Amazon, BMW. Uh, there is quite a huge, you know, who's who list on your website. Uh, do you only work with enterprise level companies?

Faris (00:10:08) - No, no, not at all. Uh, so we work with enterprise capabilities. I'll tell you. I'll tell you the secret. Josh, the thing that connects all those companies is I have relations with people in them. Right? I dial up my EQ, that's how I build my business, because people like working with people they like, right? So if you've had an impact previously, they come back to you, even if you're a small company.

Faris (00:10:28) - Uh, just the other week, I had a phone call saying, could you be in the US? Uh, can you be in New York? And I'm in London within, you know, five days because we just love working with you. You're right, you know, come and work your magic with the team. And so, yeah, you know, fortunately, I was free was able to change some things around. But that's the power of how you can build a small business. So yes, we work with large corporates. But as I said before, we work with a bunch of stuff. I could reel off a bunch of names, but your listeners and viewers would never have heard of them. We work in coffee tech, we work in medical outsourcing, we work in marketing agencies. We work in a range of small companies because they're fun, and they're going to be the big corporates of tomorrow. So why not diversify?

Josh (00:11:08) - Excellent. And uh, again, Faris around you are the founder of CEO.

Josh (00:11:13) - Congratulations on your success. Congratulations on your impact in the world Faris. It's been great connecting with you and having you as a guest.

Faris (00:11:21) - Josh, the pleasure's been all mine. Thank you very much.

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