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.
|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|
|Is good for solving a problem||Is good for building the skills to solve a class of problems|
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.
|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|
|Aligns you with management styles and metrics||Aligns you with leadership attitude and outcomes|
|Is good for improving productivity||Is required to foster innovation|
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.