I’ve worked as a management consultant for about two decades. Over time, I’ve developed a set of professional philosophies that guide my work as a person who wants to make a positive contribution to the world.
All people are capable of growth and that the role of the organization is to uplift and empower. I believe that the workplace is a venue where people at all levels of the organization can realize or fulfill their potential. To this end, I strive to help leaders create work environments that foster employee growth and well-being.
Government agencies can positively impact our communities in a myriad of ways. Government agencies can also be a place where employees build talents and contribute to society in meaningful ways. Unfortunately, sometimes these organizations are extremely dysfunctional and toxic workplaces due to their bureaucratic nature. In these organizations, the toxicity is embedded in the culture and extremely difficult to change. My experience and education have uniquely prepared me to guide government agency leaders in affecting positive change for the benefit of the employees and the taxpayer. At this point in my career, this is where my talents are most in demand and where I can be of service.
My role is to support my client in transforming their organization by offering education, inquiry, and facilitation, providing insight when asked but more importantly teaching my client how to step back and see the organization from a new point of view. As practitioners, we hold our client’s wellbeing and best interest as our highest priority. This means that we bring the tools and resources to them that will serve them best. In some cases, this may mean that a particular technique, such as Appreciative Inquiry, is not in their best interest and as consultants, we must be prepared to tamp down our own enthusiasm for the approach and develop an approach that works best for them, meeting them where they are.
My client’s interest comes before my own financial gain. This means I always provide guidance and consulting that leads to the success of the client organization even it means I will work my way out of a job. In fact, I usually point out to clients that my job is to work my way out of a job, having transitioned my knowledge and skills into the organization. In my experience, a consultant reaches a point in the relationship where our helpfulness comes to an end. Accepting this and looking for the next opportunity can be a challenge for a consultant, especially if we have a lot of affection for the client or the organization, but it is necessary for the client organization and ultimately in our own best interests.
My clients deserve excellence in our actions, deliverables, and communication. If we are not delivering excellence consistently, we must change course. Implicit in this is the belief that we have an obligation to communicate honestly with the client. When we are stuck, admit it. If we need to bring in another practitioner, don’t hesitate to do it.
My consulting will result in a more effective client organization; therefore, I deserve and choose clients whose missions align with my own values system. This means that I cannot serve organizations that cause harm to our society, like cigarette manufacturers, or those that behave in unethical ways. Opportunities to make an impact in my community fill my soul, which brings me to my last professional philosophy. Or maybe it is a practice. Regardless, it is this: to work from the heart. By that I mean that when we allow the feeling of love to guide our work, our impact as practitioners increases exponentially.