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I’ve written somewhere in the region of 150,000 words about the consulting market in the last three months. That’s, like, a couple of books-worth or something. I’m the Barbara Cartland of the consulting industry. Actually, let’s not go any further with that idea.
Anyway, it’s only a rough guess but I’d say that about 149,998 of those words have been about pragmatic, hard-nosed, results-focused, transformative, implementative consulting. The other two words were about blue-sky, hot-air, results-agnostic consulting. And they were, if I remember rightly, ‘nothing’ and ‘doing’.
Little surprise there. But having just found a day of calm between the USA (booming) and Southern Europe (busting) I wanted to take a moment to let off some steam that’s been building up. I hope you’ll forgive me.
I like blue-sky. I like hot air. I like ideas that aren’t remotely rooted in reality (partly, I have to admit, because I’m not a big fan of reality) and have very little chance of ever making it off the drawing board. I like pie-in-the-sky, back-of-the-envelope, head-in-the-clouds thinking. More importantly (though I should re-emphasise that I am just letting off steam here and have no designs on making this in any way practical) I suspect that most of the people who come up with the best ideas have absolutely no idea how to turn them into reality. And I’m a bit worried that in the consulting industry’s head-first dive into the world of pragmatism, it’s going to lose them.
Please don’t lose them, consulting industry. Please cherish them. Because I’m worried that there will come a day, ten years or so from now, when teams of brilliant implementers are sitting around itching to implement the living daylights out of something, if only they could find a few bright sparks who couldn’t organise a fire in a tinderbox, to give them something to implement.
That’s got that off my chest. Thank you for listening. I’ll get back to it now.