There are consultants & there are consultants
Being in the IT/digital space, I am often asked a myriad of questions about new technologies, existing technologies, trends, critiquing websites and the list goes on and on. The problem is everyone wants a solution and a full detailed strategy (for free) without realising that it is defrauding someone else’s IP. Let’s get real people!
Why should I spend hours burying myself in information online, offline, seminars, meetings, webinars, podcasts, blogging etc. and give it away for free. While everyone else is enjoying life, I am immersing myself in information overload and giving up my free time… but you couldn’t care less, especially when you can’t actually see or touch what it is that I have in my head!
Recently, my strategist and I were cornered by a colleague who desperately needed information to take back to a board meeting on the effects to their business (which is a technology company) if they were to partner with a major IT vendor. Of course, we were unable to answer, but what puzzled me more than anything is none of the board members of this IT company had any or some IT background! I asked if they had engaged an independent consultant to do a business analysis and he looked at me blankly…. go figure. I wouldn’t be buying shares in this company that’s for sure!
Consultants are not supposed to be a little bit of everything. They are meant to be experts in a field with a particular focus on a subject. It is irrelevant whether you are employed by IBM, Deloitte or an SME. What is relevant is your credibility in a particular space. Clients need to get a reality check on this! Most consultants outside the tier one firms are far more knowledgeable, passionate, degree qualified and focused on delivering key outcomes, using proven methodologies, at half the cost.
The world of IT/digital is complicated. It is impossible to keep track and up to date with all the new information. A marketing director or CEO is not capable of acquiring 100GB of information daily, because he/she is too busy working in and on the business.
Today, an organisation cannot survive without innovation, collaboration and change. Sometimes, your internal people can’t deliver new ideas because they have reached their own limitations or are too busy working on micro deliverables or are simply inexperienced. Consultants can add immense value to your business as long as you understand their value proposition. They can help you save money and avoid making costly and timely mistakes.
When you engage experts in any field listen to them and know they are actually there to help you. They are on your side. Next time your boss asks you to call your mate who is a guru in their field, tell your boss he/she has a value and its time to pay for information and value talent in the form of knowledge. We do actually have brilliant people living in Australia. We don’t need to go overseas to find them and pay astronomical amounts of money!