I have been seeing a lot of people who want to be "thought leaders" in consulting and business. What ever happened to consulting with the tried and true?
There are two sides to the concept of thought leading. One is the sense that there are always opportunities to improve management practices and consulting approaches. The other may be what you are getting at: how do we know that "new" is better than "proven."
If, as an academic or consultant, you are familiar with management practices that do not work well or are rarely implemented effectively, you are likely to view favorably any opportunity to explore and experiment with a well-considered improvement. If, as a manager, you have had experience with consultants who have saddled you with a new and unproven, and ineffective, service, you are likely to view favorably sticking with more diligent application of well-proven approaches. Where you stand depends on where you sit.Tip:
The balance here is that it is OK to be new as long as what you are proposing actually works. Consultants have an ethical obligation to offer services only when they can demonstrate that such services have a reasonably likely chance of improving a client's situation. Having a clever idea that "might" work is not a solid basis from which to be a thought leader. Keep it simple and serve your clients with what you know works.© 2009 Institute of Management Consultants USA