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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 (V0.2)

 

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 key.

 

2. Consulting needs to constantly challenge its own ideas, thinking and methodologies instead of sticking to it against better evidence — for instance because we generate licensing fees from it.

 

3. Consulting means intelligible discourse with, knowledge-transfer to and eventually empowering the client. The consultant serves as a sparring partner on the client’s way to realignment/reframing  — rather than convincing and overwhelming him with lingo and (pseudo-)scientific approaches.

 

4. Consulting needs great theory but must go beyond that. Our aspiration must be to deliver results that work 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 vs. 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 emphasize using and developing language & methods that not only cater to top-management but to stakeholders from all levels of the organization. Consulting itself needs to be empathic to reach out to all stakeholder.

 

7. Consulting should consider itself as a connector & facilitator in our clients’ organizations. We need to aim at activating and enriching the collective knowledge that exists in there instead of envisioning ourselves as saviors of businesses.

 

8. Consulting must be independent or at least very transparent about biases which stem from business relations with companies that sell follow-up products — and might therefore influence your guidance. That is, we must cherish integrity above all else.

 

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 rather then trying to make money off the newest buzzword.

 

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 a up-or-out culture.

 

12. Consulting will 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.

 

Creative Commons License
The Consulting Manifesto by Digital Hills by Eck Consulting is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://www.theconsultingmanifesto.com.

 

Click here for the living document:

The Consulting Manifesto V0.2

 

Hall of Collaboration

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

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