We do not like to consult.
There are many phrases that describe a consultant, some respectful and some in lighter vain. We see ourselves as a coach and here are how the two roles differ in our mind.
|A CONSULTANT||A COACH|
|Solves Client’s problem||Builds client’s competency to solve the problem|
|Maintains a transactional relationship,|
over a finite duration of the task,
with a defined deliverable and closure
|Builds an empathic relationship,|
that is longer lasting,
with no pre-defined end point
|Provides a tangible and visible Outcome with explicit solution||Provides an intangible and invisible outcome, with implicit competency|
|Is expected to be more competent than the client on the transactional engagement||Is expected to make the client more competent than what the client believes possible|
|Protects his/her skills, tools, and tricks as IP||Shares his/her skills to develop the client|
|Is vested in the task outcome||Is vested in client success|
|Controls the solution speed||Permits the client to control the developmental pace|
|Tends to give what client wants||Is compelled to give what client needs|
|Recommends when client needs them again||Recommends when client needs a consultant|
|Is good for solving a problem||Is good for building the skills to solve a class of problems.|
We must admit that we sometimes struggle to develop a good connection with many clients who are only used to working with contractors and vendors. But once leaders understand that good coaches push hard for a good reason, it becomes easy. There are times when we are wrong, and we all have a learning moment.
We do not like to Motivate.
Too often, managers and consultants are focused on motivating their people and teams to do something. Well, it works. However, we have been fortunate enough to work in environments where the need for influence without authority was the norm. And that led to an appreciation of the term ‘inspiring’. Inspiration lasts beyond jobs, and titles.
|Is an external pull to perform & accomplish||Is an internal drive or urge to pursue|
|Pulls you towards a goal or an objective||Drives you towards a purpose|
|Provides generally visible & tangible rewards||Provides generally invisible & intangible rewards|
|Is good for improving productivity||Is required to foster innovation|
We do not run a business.
Just because we have a registered legal business entity, does not imply that we run a business.
|BUSINESS||FIRM OR A PRACTICE|
|Sells a product or service||Provides professional service|
|Marketing directed at commodity being sold||Marketing directed at competency of service provider|
|Has a management structure||Generally, loosely structured team|
|Myriad of business & pricing models More likely to charge and collect in advance||Simple fixed price or T&M type billing usually after rendering the services|
|Financial gains are the primary objective, Quality and delivery become growth drivers||Purpose, delivery, and reputation defines growth Financial gains are a desirable outcome|
|Innovation and productivity fuels growth||Open mind and continuous learning fuels growth|