Working with Consultants: A to Z

Over the past thirty-eight years (1979-2017) I've worked with consultants, I've hired consultants and I've made my living as an independent consultant. I've done all the above in numerous different industries ranging from banking and construction to insurance to marketing and advertising consumer goods to nonprofits and social enterprise. I’ve worked in many different capacities over different time frames in my career. I've studied what works and what doesn't when it comes to consulting "process" and even treated myself to a little formal training. No, not from those Big 8, no wait, Big 4, or was it Big 2 consulting firms. Who knows how many there are or what they're called nowadays?

Most of my consulting learning and experience has come from that infamous School of Hard Knocks. I'm proud to say that and say it with head held high. I believe that's where most of the really meaningful consulting rubber not only hits the road but STAYS on the road! Ask any good consultant worth their salt and I think you’ll hear the same thing.

Working with Consultants: A to Z will be a compilation of my experience, successes, nightmares and other assorted thoughts over 35+ years working as a consultant, working with consultants as a client and partnering with other consultants. As we move from A to Z I'd like to offer one caveat…I don't claim to know it all. If that were the case, I'd be presenting this series of blog posts to you in person as part of an all-expenses paid trip on my yacht off the coast of Fiji. What I hope I can do is give you some things to think about and act upon to get more out of your work with consultants today, tomorrow, and further on down the road.

Some of what you'll read may appear to be a blinding glimpse of the obvious. That's okay. In a world that's moving at the speed of light where yesterday's bright, shiny object is dull today and possibly non-existent tomorrow - obvious may not be as obvious as you once thought! And based on what I still see happening after thirty-eight years...there's absolutely no shortage of room for improvement!

Some of what you read here may make you a little uncomfortable. That's okay. Challenging is good. So is being a little uncomfortable. Reality is even better. If you're looking for sugar coated, you're in the wrong place.

You may disagree at times. That's okay. Share your point of view or experience so we can all learn!

Finally, if this proves to be a good use of your time and you take away some new insights...please don't be shy. Share with colleagues, clients, consultants or with anyone else you think might benefit!

Welcome to Working with Consultants: A to Z. We'll start with A next week!

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