Sunday, July 12, 2015

Consultants Typology: The Self-deprecating Consultant

This post is the third post in the Consultants Typology posts. The first post is about two different Consultant types: All Around Consultants and Niche Consultants. The second post described the Consultants who knows everything

The term Self-deprecating was used in another post: Customer Typology: The Self-deprecating Customer.
That post described a Customer who accepts any thing a Consultant recommends. This post describes an upside down state: The Consultant accepts anything the Customer would like him to recommend.

The ideology of the Self-deprecating Consultant
The Self-deprecating Consultant first priority is a satisfied customer.

In order that the customer will be satisfied, he assumes that the customer, would like confirmation of his views, therefore he supports the customers views enthusiastically.

For example, if the Customer has to select a Software product, the Consultant will praise the product, which he assumes the customer prefers. He will explain why that product fits better than other products to the customer's requirements. He will explain: why this product's future is brighter than other products' future, the advantages of the product's vendor in comparison to other vendors etc.

Sometimes, an experienced consultant, could describe the advantages better than the customer. 

Who should use the Self-deprecating Consultant's services?
When the customer is a high class professional, who can make the right decision and knows how to execute the project, he actually does not need a professional consultant.  

The main issue is approval by the top management. The Self-deprecating Consultant could be a valuable resource: He is an experienced Consultant who worked for many enterprises, he is not an employee,  so he could be less biased by intra-organizational politics.

Why you should use another Consultant's services?
"The Failure is orphan" but not in the case of the Self-deprecating Consultant. The Self-deprecating Customer could blame his Consultant, but the Self-deprecating Consultant has no one to blame. He will be responsible for a failure.
By the way, the probability of a failure is high. 

Usually a Consultant is hired because he is more experienced than the Customer and/or because he is more knowledgeable and/or because his better understanding of the subject matter.  

As far as the Self-deprecating Consultant is concerned, even if he knows and understands better than the Customer, the products will not be better than products produced without any consultant's help.   

What is a Consultant role?
The consultant's role is to help the customer to improve his decisions making and/or the assimilation of the decisions taken. 

The bottom line is real Value for the customer.
In order to perform his role sometimes the Consultant should oppose the Customer's wrong decisions or at least the decisions the Consultant is convinced that are wrong decisions.

The Self-deprecating Consultant will not oppose any Customer's decisions, so sometimes the Customer chose an unsuitable product and/or wrong strategy and/or wrong Architecture and/or wrong Platform etc.  

My Take
More than 40 organizations asked for my consultancy services. I never was a Self-deprecating Consultant. Unfortunately, I had to tell some customers that they should change their decisions. Some of them changed the Consultant instead of changing the direction or the decisions or the proposed technical process. 

Usually, after two or three years they fail.

Other customers were more Flexible and Adaptive and changes their views, decisions, processes etc.
Usually, they provided Value to their organizations.

The next post will include some examples.   

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