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#222: The Value of Consultants Playing "Second Fiddle"

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, January 19, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, January 20, 2010
Having spent decades building my firm and procedures, I enjoy designing and managing my own engagements. Why should I team with others and compromise my standards and practices?

I can certainly understand your pride in the processes and practice you have developed. However, part of our value as consultants comes from the continuous advancement of our skills, perspectives, independence and objectivity. Part of that is not becoming stale in our skills or limited in our perspective. Whenever we have opportunities to learn new consulting skills or behaviors, we should take them.

Whenever we can expand our scope or perspectives, we should also do so. One way we can do this is to work with other consultants on teams. Sharing the design or management of an engagement helps us see that our approach is not the only one. Even when we don't agree with the other consultants on the team, who is to say that there is not some value in seeing how other industries or disciplines look at a management issue? Being part of a team does not require you give up your standards or professionalism, just that you let someone else take the lead.

Tip: There is something to be said, regardless of our level of experience, for playing "second fiddle" on a consulting engagement. After so many times of running the show, we are in a different position when we are asked to take direction from another experienced consultant. Seek out opportunities where you are providing just subject matter expertise and not serving as engagement manager. You will be surprised at how clearly you might better understand how your own approaches could be improved.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  collaboration  consultant role  consulting colleagues  engagement management  learning  roles and responsibilities  teaming  virtual teams  your consulting practice 

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