I love to coach not just consult. I like to inspire not just motivate. What is the difference?
Perhaps it stems from the fundamental premise that I have a purposeful practice and not a business.
I do not like to consult.
There are many phrases that describe a consultant, some respectful and some in lighter vain. I see myself as a coach and here are how the two roles differ in my mind.
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I must admit that I 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 I am wrong, and we all have a learning moment.
I 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, I 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.
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I do not run a business.
Just because I have a registered legal business entity, does not imply that I run a business.
A business sells a product or service, and its marketing and focus is typically more directed at that commodity being sold (product or service). It has a management structure because it is aimed more at sales than billable hours. There is a myriad of pricing models, but a business (as I’m using the term here) is more likely to charge and collect in advance for the product or service being sold.
A practice is where individuals provide services, professional or otherwise, to clients. A practice typically bills for services at or after the time they are rendered. The key to a practice is the reputation and competency of the individuals providing the services.
Business must focus on financial gains as a key performance indicator. A practice serves a purpose usually social or professional, with financial metrics as enablers for sustainable continuation.
The two need different mindsets, different trainings, and different business models.
I choose to run a practice.
I like to practice purposeful innovation coaching, rather than innovation consulting business.
If you wish to engage with me in a conversation on innovation mindset, please register for online session scheduled for April 1 2021 at 9AM ET co-hosted by Nerac.