Don’t let yourself be dumbed down by consultants

There is always more to learn, so we take it seriously to keep developing ourselves and our knowledge. Doing just that, we came across the work of Mariana Mazzucato and Rosie Collington and their book “The Big Con”, highlighted in a very open interview and article in “De Groene Amsterdammer” with Mariana.

In it, Mariana says: “Too many consultants infantilize their own clients and are not there to make the world a better place, but merely to line their own pockets.” 

The article focuses on the deterioration of in-house knowledge and expertise, thus eroding the quality and capacity to act in governments. Our experience is that this happens not only in governments, but certainly in the business world as well. Dependence on external expertise (of mediocre  quality) combined with a decreasing ability of the organization to critically assess this, leads to flattening, money-grubbing and everlasting transformation projects without real change or improvement.

Previously we wrote here about “Conscious Consulting“, our own philosophy of conscientious, quality and honest consulting: delivering real value, leaving your client better and self-reliant and making yourself redundant as a consultant.

As far as we are concerned, it is time to reevaluate the profession of consultant. Consider: why are you a consultant? To keep yourself employed or to make your client (and the world!) better? Many firms get away with making the second almost a (incidental) consequence of the first instead of the other way around. 

Both clients and self-respecting consultants cannot and should not settle for what a board member of one of those big consulting firms once said, “you can only build a consulting business with thousands of consultants with mediocrity in the mainstream.” 

Now, back to those governments for a moment – we should appreciate them a bit more, too: they are there to (enable) great things beyond an individual’s or company’s capacity. Helping us do what is good for us (even if it hurts) and serving the overarching interest(s) (development, security, freedom). Providing a vision and a safety net, setting and enforcing the rules of the game. And for that you have to have knowledge, guts, decisiveness and stamina – yourself. Any organization, which has the ability and strength to spend 400 billion somewhat in a controlled way, must also still be doing something very well.

Let consultants make you wiser, not dumber and poorer.

Want to know if and how we can help you(r) organisation get better and smarter?

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