My “Rules of Consulting”

In order to provide the best value for the clients I want to work with and who want to work with me, I refuse to jump through irrelevant hoops or deal with incompatible factors. So, with that in mind, here are…

My rules of consulting

  • My definition of consulting is improving the client’s condition. Often, the biggest improvements come from simple, easily-implemented interventions. I’ll never suggest a £100 tool to do a £5 job.
  • I tend to get along better with entrepreneurial businesses but I’ll work with “corporate” as long as they don’t behave too corporately.
  • I can provide most value for businesses that want to be at the top of their game and that demand and reward excellence.
  • I will present reality as I see it without sugar coating. For example, I will tell you if I think the real sources of problems lie in the business’s culture or systems rather than with individuals. If you want someone to tell you only what you want to hear, or to reinforce your illusions, I’m not your man. The last thing you need is a “yes man” from outside; most organisations have far too many of them on the inside.
  • I never suggest or offer solutions until I’ve first determined causes. If you’ve already decided on the “solutions” you think you need, there’s nothing to consult on and you might as well go straight to suppliers (who will probably be happy to give you what you ask for, whether you need it or not).
  • Similarly, please don’t expect me to respond to a standardised RFP, request for proposal (they’re a great way to paint yourself into a corner). Same with tenders (they’re for the supply of commodities, not inventive solutions). I can’t propose anything until I know what you need—not what you think you need.
  • I don’t normally take phone calls unless they’re scheduled and I don’t check my email every five minutes. I’d rather give full attention to my clients.
  • I hope to learn as much from you as you might learn from me. It’s not a one-way street.
  • Life’s too short to deal with committees. So I won’t.

If anything in the above indicates that my way of working is unacceptable to your organisation, fair enough. We obviously won’t be working together in a consulting capacity.

On the other hand, if what I’ve written above suggests to you that I’m a reasonable and sane human being who might be able to add value to your business, please take a look at my other pages on consulting. Then, if you need to know more, please get in touch.

So, if you’re happy with my “rules,” what sort of consulting do I do?

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