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#438: Consulting Humor: Do No Harm

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Updated: Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Third of five very telling jokes about consultants and how to avoid them being told at your expense.

The (original) Hippocratic Oath applies to management consulting just as it does to medical consulting. It states, in part: "I will prescribe regimens for the good of my patients according to my ability and my judgment and never do harm to anyone."

A doctor, engineer, and a consultant were arguing about which of their professions was the oldest.

The doctor explained, "The Bible says that God created Eve by removing a rib from Adam's side. Obviously this was surgery so it is easy to see that medicine is the oldest profession."

The engineer said, "Wait a minute. Before Adam, God created the heavens and the earth from chaos. You have to agree that this was a magnificent example of engineering, making it the oldest profession."

The consultant smiled and said, "Yes, but who do you think created the chaos?"

Takeaway: This is a painful reminder that there are consultants whose advice has indeed made a situation worse. This is often caused by lack of experience and skills in diagnosis, or not knowing the most feasible and realistic approach to acting on a client situation. This is another example where certification would help assure a client that a consultant has competence in a broad range of consulting skills and behaviors needed to make capable and effective diagnoses.

See more at (or contribute to) IMC's Consulting Humor blog

Tags:  consultant role  ethics  professionalism  reputation  trust  values 

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