Few know of the dangers of falling into a fixed mindset — the scarier fact is that we don’t realize we live in this sort of mindset ourselves.
A friend of mine, Lyle, were discussing the topic recently over an early breakfast at Hole In the Wall. The topic of conversation soon turned to his consulting business and the recent developments in corporate culture that have started to emerge in companies we’d typically label as “start-ups”. First, some background.
He mentioned that for many of his projects he couldn’t quite understand his role in the team dynamic. Of course this is nothing unusual as consultants are often hired on short-term contract, and the onus lies on the consultant to adapt to his client’s culture and team. However, this client was different. Although his role was unclear, his client seemed perfectly satisfied with this. While Lyle did have a project to complete, his relationship with his client remained the same, Lyle completed his project, he got paid, and every one moved happily on their way. “The project wasn’t easy but it wasn’t difficult either, yet I couldn’t help but feel I was way overpaid!” Said Lyle. “Not that I’m complaining but it is strange.”
His story made me think of a recent Quora post I stumbled upon regarding the role of large consultancies a la McKinsey or Deloitte and the involvement of their consultants in their clients’ business activities. One of the answers struck me. “Consultants often times many not play a tangible role. In many cases they are simply used as a tool for members of upper management to use as leverage to promote and implement their ideas.” Or consultants could be used to point out the obvious flaws in an organization or discuss topics no one in the executive team is willing to discuss, or even uproot fixed mindsets detrimental to business success. It’s a purely political role, but it serves a very important strategic purpose for members of upper management.
Once my friend and I put the dots together we discovered this critical piece of leverage he now has at his disposal when he approaches clients for his consulting services. He believes it mark the beginning of an entirely new business line for his business. At any rate thank you for reading and this is Kevin Tellier.