Saturday, January 29, 2011

Knowing versus Doing

I was exiting my yoga class at the gym last week when someone struck up a conversation with me at the water fountain. He noticed I had just come from the class and he was curious about it. What style of yoga did we do? Did we do the chattamarangya (or something)? When we did said pose, did the instructor have us put our arm in front or behind our leg? Embarrassingly, I had no answers. I just “do” the yoga. I asked him about his yoga practice. He’s never done yoga. He’s been curious for years. He’s read up (obviously more than me) on the various styles and poses, even signed up for some classes, but just never was able to go through with one.

Now I ADMIRE his knowledge of yoga and he could certainly help me out there (actually he already has me scurrying to the books). I probably could not help him out primarily by talking ABOUT yoga with him. I could only help him by encouraging him to actually do what he knows to do.

And so it goes with a good consulting practice. How many consultants know stuff but don’t actually do it? And which is more helpful to a client – knowledge or results? It’s results. Are you observant enough to know when to pull back on the knowledge exhibition and ready to DO what it takes to make sure the client gets their end result? That is what it’s all about.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Interview on AfterThoughts

This podcast is an hour long conversation with S. Denice Newton and Thaddeus.  We had a very spirited discussion about consulting and the domain I practice in - Information Management.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Interview on Biz Talk

This podcast is a 45 minute conversation with I. Vitt Argent, "Dr. Ande."

The abstract: An expert on the ever-growing consulting career option and subject author, “90 Days to Success in Consulting”. William McKnight will be joining us this week with some insight and tips on how to handle modern consulting and career trends.

Monday, January 10, 2011

The Creeping Death of Productivity

What a year 2010 was when it came to optimizing your entertainment. Hitting mainstream was the fact that you can easily access most any movie, any YouTube video, any podcast, most any song, hundreds of games, service reviews, facebook updates and tweets on any reasonable medium (TV, computer, PDA, tablet) and you can do it anytime for very reasonable fees. Most of the aforementioned are used strictly for entertainment and not business.

Now I’d like to believe I put a business spin on a lot of these activities, but that only goes so far and the unproductive side of all these goodies can creep up on you. I’ve had to adopt a “Time Blocking” type of strategy, like what Chris Brogan discusses here in his blog. For me, this includes the business and the fun side of using the new technology.

I believe that there is a serious new element in determining success now. It’s something that has always been there, but is ever more important and that is avoiding procrastination and maintaining focus in a world where the distraction possibilities have exploded.

Stay focused on task. List your goals. Block your time, giving yourself ample time for fun. And when you feel like you’re falling victim to an unwanted distraction, recognize it and hopefully the rest will take care of itself.

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Mind the Gap

2 consultants of equal delivery ability in the eyes of the buyer.

Consultant 1 is independent or from a boutique consultancy and consultant 2 comes from a large, well-known, branded global consultancy. All too often, although happening less frequently, the buyer is willing to pay more, sometimes substantially more, for Consultant 2.

Little of the largess goes to the consultant herself. It goes to the consulting organization, specifically the management of that organization. The question is “Is the employment of the consultant by a large, well-known, branded global consultancy worth the gap?”.

Some of the anticipated additional benefits of hiring the large consultancy include access to an internal network of experts, ability to be replaced quickly from within the firm, and motivated consultants because they have a career with a big firm.

What if these were largely untrue or not valuable? I’m just saying.

What if the independent has a much richer network of experts? What if the client is better off re-sourcing any replacement that might be necessary than accepting who the firm provides? What if big firm layoffs and revenue distribution are causing consultants to re-think loyalties? Heck, what if the client knew that the consultant boarding process was essentially the same for both profiles – or even better for the independent profile? Or that independents were more motivated to attain client satisfaction than billing hours?

And then there’s the “no one ever got fired for hiring ____ (large, well-known, branded global consultancy)”. However, I see the consulting economy moving to “no one ever got fired for hiring results.” Keep delivering results, whatever consulting profile you are in.