This post is about miracle consultants in the realm of organizational behaviour. First, I shall start with a few words about miracle consulting. Pretty much in the same way that man invented God, insatiable needs have invented miracle consulting.
I myself used a series of miracle consultants when my late wife was very ill. We went from one miracle consultant to another, until she died. One consultant analysed finger nails, another touched her feet and another waved his hands over her stomach. I felt like a character in one of Camus’ novels; I was doing something I did not believe in, but I did it “nevertheless”.
There is a huge market to address needs which cannot be satisfied! This is the context of the miracle organizational consultant.
There are many types of consultants to be found all over organizations, who often at cross-purposes or in a non-coordinated fashion, due to turf wars and politics. Training hires “skill trainers”; HR hires (compliant)vendors to implement people processes and non-strategic changes, while senior management hires strategic consultants and/or people who they have trusted for many years. These consultants often feel threatened by miracle consultants, but there is nothing to fear. There are no miracles.
These miracle consultants are either hired by the CEO, or the Board may have “inserted” these consultants in the “spirit of cronyism” . The miracle consultant comes like a bird, flies over, dumps, and flies off.
The miracle consultant has a magic bullet, a series of buzzwords, false hope and a satchel of promises. They may be called organizational architects, organizational magicians, organization energizers, organizational monks and “organizational free thinkers”. These folks charge a very large fee to elaborate truths and insights.
Here is a bit of context which may allow us to understand the appearance and disappearance of these consultants.
1) There is magic to be found in the addictive quick fix which the miracle consultant promises.
2) Often these miracle consultants “blame” something/someone else and absolve the CEO from responsibility.
3) These wonder consultants often have built up such a brand name that senior management believes that “they cannot be wrong”.
Miracle consultants disappear very quickly. The messiah is proclaimed false very soon after a few sermons. A lecture, a month, or until the second or third invoice arrives.
The appearance of miracle consultants often indicate deep despair, stupidity and denial at the top, or all three.