Tales of Consulting Tribes
The development of the consulting services market goes through the same stages as other business lines. First, in the literal sense, all who feel like it are climbing. Then, most of these “enthusiasts” because of their incompetence and, apparently reconsidered, leave this battlefield. The rest are gaining experience, but over time it also becomes clear that they, due to certain reasons, are far from providing professional services at the output. Personal experience is no longer enough, and even approaches developed on the basis of common sense cease to justify themselves. The market at the same time is filled with new representatives who have not only theoretical training, but also real work experience in the area in which services are offered. Thus, professionals are coming to replace amateurs. All is natural. But to date, the market has experienced some difficulties thanks to consultants, who, fortunately for the customers, have already left the consulting market.
What are these difficulties? Firstly, customers are cautious about today’s consultants, after they were visited in their time by the “experts” from consulting from previous periods. Secondly, the stereotypes of the customers themselves, who are confident that the effectiveness of the use of consulting services is insufficient, are still strong. So, it takes up to 80% of your time to direct the leaders into persuading them that the effectiveness of attracting external consultants is very high. Knowing the reasons that may hinder the achievement of the desired results will avoid frustration with the effectiveness of consulting services. So, everything is in order …
Science Fiction Consulting
Let’s try to simulate a warm-up situation, which literally has been successfully implemented on the Ukrainian consulting market. So, a certain graduate in finance, fascinated by psychology, read a dozen of relevant books. And he became interested in psychology so much that he decided not only to apply his extensive knowledge in a new area for him, but also to teach others about it. In order to teach others, I applied for a job at a relevant university. And in order to help the souls of those who suffer, he turned to a psychiatric institution. What were the answers for our “psychology expert”? For the variant with the university, everything is quite simple – a refusal, since a dozen books read on one subject is not yet a reason for teaching. The second option is more difficult – they could probably be taken only as a patient. Why? Because competence for practitioners means not only the systematic knowledge, but also the obligatory presence of relevant experience. Selective reading of a number of books in a particular field of interest can claim a maximum for the erudition of a person. Remember, “English in 10 days,” already have the book “MBA in 10 days.” As long as there are people who can be fooled, there will always be people who want to make money on it. And if the second can be said that they are good sellers, then the first is just a pity.
What could such a situation lead to? Thanks to scraps of knowledge, a person begins to reinvent the wheel and present it as a kind of “great” product. As one popular business coach said, “I sell my vision.” There are many examples of such visions: a lot of programs using the word “aggressive”, “micro-MBA” and others. I think that the word “vision” can put emphasis on the first syllable and on the second – the essence will not change! But that’s not all. The fragmentation of information leads to the proposal of a single solution for all occasions. And this is fraught with, but let’s talk about this below.
Now about the second mandatory component of competence – practical experience. This is not about practical experience in consulting as such. If we are talking about management consulting, then, in my opinion, experience in managing departments and organizations is obligatory. Being engaged in PR-consulting, one education in this area will also not be enough. The fact is that not everything that is stated in textbooks can be put into practice. And copying foreign experience on our cruel reality also does not always justify itself. And a business on paper or near a university board can significantly differ from the one that actually produces tangible products.
Therefore, as long as psychologists teach management, and teachers who do not have practical experience in commercial structures will say what and how to do, we will meet dissatisfied customers and strengthen their stereotypes.
Is it possible to relieve joint pain, improve eyesight or cure a stomach ulcer with drops from a cold? You can try, of course … However, we have already identified what the fragmentation of knowledge leads to. Now how does it look in practice.