Consulting Manifesto


This is a living document. We publish it under a creative commons license. The idea is simple: We want to inspire a discussion about the current and future state of the craft. Also, we want to invite everybody who cares to give input, develop it and make it your own — as long as you stay true to its core and in turn make it accessible under the same terms. You can even feel free to publish it on your website if you subscribe to its message. Of course, we have no quality management in place, so you yourself are responsible for living up to it. You can give us your input in the corresponding Google Doc.


Log of development cycles:

First Iteration (V0.1) from May 13th – June 2nd 2016


The Consulting Manifesto For the 21st Century (V0.3)


1. Consulting should value critical thinking over the application of textbook models. With complexity increasing in the world around us, continuously scrutinizing what we believe to know becomes critical.


2. Consulting needs to constantly challenge its own ideas, thinking and methodologies. It mustn’t stick to them against better evidence — for instance because we generate licensing fees from it.


3. Consulting means intelligible discourse with and knowledge-transfer to the client. Eventually, its about empowerment — not convincing and overpowering clients with lingo and (pseudo-)scientific approaches.


4. Consulting needs great theory. But it must go beyond that. Our aspiration must be to deliver results in the real world. That is, we must make our knowledge truly actionable instead of only delivering sound theory and not caring about the implementation.


5. Consulting means to truly embed yourself in the client’s organization, not merely being a visitor. Only when we build understanding and foster relationships with people from across the organization will our projects lead to tangible results.


6. Consulting needs to employ language & methods that not only cater to top-management but to stakeholders from all levels of the organization.


7. Consultants should consider themselves connectors & facilitators in our clients’ organizations. We should aspire to activate and enrich the collective knowledge that exists withing our clients’ organizations — instead of envisioning ourselves as saviors of businesses.


8. Consulting must be independent or, at least, very transparent about biases which stem from selling up follow-up products — and might therefore influence your guidance. That is, we must cherish integrity above all else. (The same goes for deals with third-party companies.)


9. Consulting needs to carefully balance the line between mindless hype and meaningful innovation. We should focus on what adds value to our clients’ organizations and not try to make money off the newest buzzword. That’s not only ethical, it’s also good for business as it creates trust and lasting relationships.


10. Consulting needs to feel responsible for the quality of the decisions that are being made based on our work — rather than just leading to any decision whatsoever, in order to merely meet the client’s deadline.


11. Consulting firms need to be inspirational places where forward-thinking people come together and constantly create new insights & ideas from which their customers can benefit. Thus, consulting firms need to be more focused on developing people instead of pursuing an up-or-out culture.


12. Consulting needs to become a cooperative, collaborative ecosystem instead of a set of individual companies that protect their intellectual property. As knowledge spreads quicker and freer than ever, the value we generate stems less and less from our knowledge but from our capabilities to make it useful.


13. Consulting needs to find new approaches to its business model instead of mostly selling time. Business models that don’t scale well will be at a disadvantage in the future, for instance when it comes to attracting top-talent.


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The Consulting Manifesto by Digital Hills by Eck Consulting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
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Click here for the living document:

The Consulting Manifesto V0.2

Hall of Collaboration

Sarah Eisenmann, Thomas Euler, Nicole Forrai, Patrick Liegl, Manuela Nikui