I am always a bit reluctant to call myself a consultant in the current environment. The definition and the role of consultant has been dramatically altered and diluted over the generations. Once upon a time a consultant was an industry professional who had extensive experience and was sought after for the experience they held with the hopes of being able to impact some experience onto their client and bring about cost savings or efficiency improvements.
Fast forward a couple of decades, we now have "consultants" who cannot claim any working experience except being a consultant. The belief is that their studies have entitled them to this esteemed position in the workforce and a 3-4 year degree surpasses any practical experience gained in the workforce. The role of consultants has also changed from providing invaluable advice to trying to find clever ways to extend the contract with the client and to provide "expert" advice without actually knowing or caring about it relevance to the company or whether the advice actually leave the company in a better position than before the consultation.
I can imagine a darkened house in the suburbs with frosted glass windows. Upon walking inside you see the sign "Consultants Anonymous". There is a circle of chairs with common items placed upon them: A solid gold pen, A notepad, rolls of butcher paper, a scientific calculator (with the "-" button superglued UP to prevent any accidental subtractions), and a small yellow book with black writing on the spine "Consulting for Dummies".
The meeting commences, first member stands up, "Hello I am Bob. I am a consultant. It has been six months since I have given practical usable advice to my clients. I have convinced clients that any failures have been due to their execution of my recommendations and lack of understanding and I have gained at least 5 contract extensions as a result during this six months." Bob is met by a chorus of cheering and slaps on the back for a job well done and for his progress as a consultant. Next member stands up nervously. " Hi I am Joe. I gave my last customer advice he was able to easily and immediately implement. There was no need to extend the contract as he had achieved his aims after the first contract".
Shocked looks from the circle. Some fainting. The meeting chairperson pulls Joe aside and advises him that this "relapse" is serious and they will need to stage an INTERVENTION. They will actually get the founder John involved as he has been a consultant for 10 years, has never actually held an industry job and always manages to impose a blowout on contract price of at least 100% while convincing the client this is due to their initial lack of understanding. The chairperson tries to reassure Joe " Nevermind Joe. You can come back from this, there is still hope"
My name is Brian and I am a consultant. That is until I find a more suitable title. I considered Genius for a while but some Apple stores have done a good job of tarnishing that title. So I will keep searching.
Don't contact me to hold an intervention if you are from Consultants Anonymous.
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