A: Because we have abandoned our passion, guts, and hearts. For spreadsheets, checklists, and anxiety.
Big consulting has caused us to be scared, timid, and take passion out of our businesses. This country was built on a foundation of entrepreneurial spirit, passion, and calculated risk. Over time, Corporate America, fear, scarcity, and apprehension took over.
I am tired of “consulting” firms who analyze a problem based on a checklist, a spreadsheet, a set of rules they feel “safe” following. If we follow the rules, then no one gets sued *. No one ever paid attention to the *. Well now, we are forced to.
The * means: if you only follow the rules, your business may die. That is SCARY.
Why are we analyzing problems with a fraction of our human assets (just our intellect)? What happened to feelings? Emotions? Compassion? Empathy? And sheer GUT?
In our effort to “automate” and “systematize” the “consulting” process, we’ve abandoned our biggest solution generator – our guts.
I accidentally became a successful consultant and business advisor. “Accidentally” you ask? Yes. Accidentally. I was the product of the melt down of Arthur Andersen. When I started at my new public accounting firm, I knew I needed to secure client work (i.e., “become chargeable”) or my days were limited. However, I was still too “young” in my career to have the fancy marketing and sales training. I never learned how to sell a “product” to a client. I never learned how to shove square pegs into round holes.
So, I sold work the old fashioned way – by talking to people. By connecting, by listening. By asking questions. By walking into a meeting with a blank piece of paper. No preconceived notions of the problems or possible solutions. I would ask. I would listen. I would think. And, wait for it, I would feel. The solutions I generate, Salman Solutions, are a combination of intelligence, experience, and logic combined with human nature, compassion, and gut.
Why are consultants so scared to think freely? To feel freely? To generate solutions on a white board?
And why do we allow people to advise others even if they lack passion for the project, the idea, the company, or even the entire team?
To really turn a business around and to truly help, a consultant needs to roll up their sleeves and jump in the trenches with the company. If your consultant doesn’t eat, live, breathe and sleep your brand, then how can this person properly advise you on a business you’ve nurtured for 20+ years?
No number of checklists, spreadsheets, consulting classes, advanced degrees, and business school can replace experience and being in the trenches with the intangibles of the business. Often, the things that matter are not captured in a report or a spreadsheet or a power point.
We must put the passion, heart, soul, and sweat equity, back into the consulting business. ALL of it. Not just some.