8 Guidelines for Consultants:dealing with the dumbing of consultancy

Opening comments:

Before reading this post I suggest you read the short post called The Dumbing of OD which outlines the slow descent of OD in the last decade. And, to get the most out the following post, you can acquaint yourself with Gloria Ramsbottom, the HR manager we all love to work with.

Main points:

  1. The dumbing of OD may either be cyclical or a terminal illness brought on by the economic model and context which treats the human resource as spare parts.
  2. To deal with the effectively, it is important to set one’s expectations properly-what can, and cannot, be achieved in the present economic paradigm. Many OD folks go berserk and have plans to “change the world”. I suggest minimalistic and achievable goals, “the size of a lizard’s tail”, a term used by the Israeli poet “Rachel”.
  3. No models-only projects. No fads-only solutions.
  4. Whoring gives a bad reputation; avoid doing activities which brand you as such, even if financially pressed. Positioning yourself has a price.
  5. When dealing with procurement, ensure your direct client is with you and that he/she represents you. Do not speak to procurement alone.
  6. Price yourself high. I know this sounds theoretical but it is not; when you charge a lot you have the time and bandwidth to deliver real value. When you lower your prices, you are too busy and all we end up doing is dishing out pre packaged crap.
  7. Be firm up front; you and the client define together what the problem is-no “order taking” from Gloria.
  8. Find people you respect on line or off line to talk about these issues. We all share the same reality.
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