I hate it when we get called consultants. The title doesn’t sit well with me. I guess I started forming negative connotations when I was in healthcare and we occasionally leaned on IT consultants to come in and help us with large projects that we couldn’t tackle in house. The teams would come in and talk a great game. After completing the project they would wrap up and head back home and that’s when the problems would start. Things wouldn’t go as planned or we’d discover something missing that we needed. They’d be hard to get a hold of and there was always red tape around the support we’d find ourselves needing post-implementation.
You get the picture.
Well, more often than not we get called consultants seeing as we’re not full-time employees of the organizations we work with and apparently there isn’t another title out there. Partner sounds to ass-kissy. We’re not really contractors. So, we consult I guess. It still doesn’t sit well with me even though I know we’re nothing like the consultants I’ve worked with in the past.
Today I was emailing back and forth with a big company about how we might work with them and I found myself thinking that it might be fun to be an in-house innovation consultant. Someone to answer all the questions we get as outsiders. Then I quickly realized what a shit show that would be.
Why? I’ll tell ya why. If i took a job with a big company, within a short amount of time I’d start defending things like resources and space and budget money. I’d start learning about what had been tried and didn’t succeed and which leaders will always say “no” when asked for something. I’d figure out who the nay sayers were on teams and which products and services would never pass senior leadership approval. I’d have baggage. And lots of it. And that baggage would weigh me down and turn me in to an employee. And as an entrenched employee, my mind would lose it’s ability to explore in the same way. My horizon would be limited. My blinders would be on and I wouldn’t even know it.
As a consultant however, I can come in and go big. I can help you and your teams work on problems employees don’t want to touch with a 10 foot pole. I can help create solutions that the incumbents would never get to. I can get radical because I have nothing to lose. No paycheck to defend or turf to guard. I am tethered to nothing except solving problems with kick ass solutions.
Hell yeah I’m a consultant. And I have the freedom to come in and operate in ways you can’t. I…excuse me, we can remind you of how you want to behave. Of how you behave when you’re at your best.
Think about it. Thats what outsiders do for us in all of of our lives. They bring objectivity.