Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Consultants Typology: The Consultant who Knows Everything

The post: Two Types of Consultants: Niche vs. All Around, was the first post about Consultants typology. The post differentiated between Niche Consultant, whose knowledge and experience is focused in a Niche and All Around Consultants, who know and understand a variety of Niches and topics.

If you read the Customers Typology posts, you probably read: Customers Typology: The Customer who Knows Everything

The behavioural patterns of the Consultant who Knows Everything resemble the behavioural patterns of the Customer Who Knows Everything. 

The only difference is that the Customer is capable of making decisions. The Consultant is only advising. 

Is there a Consultants who knows everything?
No, but I had worked with All Around Consultants who know and understand a lot about large number of topics. Some of them have the Capability of learning quickly and understanding deeply new topics.

Of course, the number of theses extraordinary consultants is limited. However, other good All Around Consultants know and understand many topics. 

One may know 7 topics, another 10 topics etc. It is a continuum.
Even some of the Niche Consultants' knowledge could be in two or three different topics. 

It should be noticed, that an All Around Consultant's knowledge and understanding level may vary: In one niche his knowledge could be similar to the knowledge of the best Niche consultants. In another niche his knowledge and understanding could be limited.   
Two types of Consultants Knowing Everything
The best All Around Consultants are not included in the group of Consultants Knowing Everything.

In a meeting with one of them (and about twenty Customer's employees) he said: "You should know what you do not know".

The Consultant Knowing Everything do not know everything. They know and understand less than many other consultants.
Usually they label themselves as the best All Around Consultants.

There are two distinct types of Knowing Everything consultants.

The First type: Impressive Past
The first type of The Knowing everything consultant was a CXO years ago. Sometimes he was a successful CIO.  
Information Technology is dynamic and changing. He is no longer a CXO. However, he thinks that he knows everything because of the good old days.

Sometimes the Customer's CIO was his subordinate ten or twenty years ago. The Consultant believes that he knows more and understands more than the CIO. Well, that was true 20 years ago...

The Second type: Sales experts
The first type has impressive past. The second type of the Consultant who Knows Everything could not be proud of his past achievements. 

A second type consultant main qualification is sales. Due to mastering Sales he may convince a Customer that he is the leading expert in any topic, niche or subject.

The Customer may not discover the truth even after a failure. The consultant could find someone else to blame for the failure and convince the Customer that the failure is not because he lacks the skills, but despite of his enormous contribution.

What should The Customer do?
If you can avoid of a Consultant who Knows Everything , do it. 

Ask for recommendations and experience and verify or deny his claims.

The risk is in following his recommendations in a topic he knows nothing about.

Even if you hired him, do not hesitate to hire another Consultant, as soon as you discover that Knowing Everything stands for not knowing the topic, the Niche, the Technology, The system or the Architecture you are trying to get help for. 

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