A New Consulting POV

In business today, it is common to hear executives complain about the dysfunctional impact that large consulting firms have had on their company. At times, my voice has been one of those. Now, I have become a consultant and since hypocrisy is one of my pet peeves, I have developed 7 principles that guide my relationship with clients.

1. 10 consultants with 2.5 years experience each does not add up to 25 years of experience. It's my responsibility to demonstrate that putting 1 consultant with 25 years experience into a company can be more effective.

2. I don't focus on cost cutting, I focus on topline growth. I don't focus on revenues or monetization first because those are outcomes. I focus on improving value creation for the customer/consumer. When you execute against clear strategies and tactics for value creation, revenue growth kicks in.

3. I will be a great sounding board for my clients but I will always remember that good listening is the point-of-entry. My client is not paying me to listen, I am paid to be worth listening to.

4. Some consultants try to discern what the company wants and then figure out how to make it happen. I focus on what the company needs as opposed to what it wants even if I am expressing a point-of-view that threatens my opportunity to expand the relationship.

5. Employee training does not have a lasting impact if it happens in a vacuum. First, the company must describe a new sense of purpose and direction and explain to employees how their jobs need to change so that they can deliver their best value for the company. Training towards a new destination that aligns with the company's evolution is effective and long lasting.

6. Consulting firms seem to be good at getting a company to grow addicted to their services. My approach is to empower employees and reduce dependency as a constant work process. I am not doing my job if I have become "indispensable" to my client.

7. Data is critical but spreadsheets are not insights. The rationale for my recommendations must be so tightly tied to consumer behavior, best practices, pragmatism and value, that the company embraces scalable and repeatable solutions instead of spreadsheets.