Random musings, observations, squeaks, whimpers and perhaps the ocassional rant. About what, I'm not sure.

Sunday, May 15, 2005

Great Consulting Website...


I have to thank Technorati for again unearthing an interesting place to spend a little Internet time.  I have a watchlist related to a couple of management frameworks/topics, and one of them yielded a link to a blog called “Guerrilla Consulting”.  Its written by a guy named Mike McLaughlin who’s also co-written a book called “Guerrilla Marketing for Consultants“ with Jay Levinson (author or co-author of something like 10 or more marketing books).  The 15 or so posts I read seem to deliver solid if simple advice for consultants.

I especially liked one post on ideas as intellectual property/capital.  Here’s an excerpt…

Some consultants resist sharing their ideas and the products of those ideas (AKA intellectual capital) with clients before they're hired to do a project. They fear that clients will take their work and try to complete the project on their own, or worse, give it to another consultant.

The world is awash in information and ideas. If you're stingy with yours, it will show. Besides, client aren't buying your methodology, tools, or your point of view. They're buying your expertise, and that can't be pilfered by poring over proposed workplans, preliminary recommendations, or your perspectives on how to solve a problem.

If you’ve done much consulting or hired many consultants, you’ve seen this.  A related flavor is trying to apply intellectual property constraints – trademarks, copyright, patents – to every little thing you produce.  If you’re a budding consultant and you’re doing this – stop.  Today.  It makes you and your firm look like amateurs.  Here are a couple of examples…

I think both of these scenarios are the result of “scarcity mentality” – rampant in small businesses and perhaps more so in small/one-person consultancies.  I’ve written about this before – its viewing the world thinking there’s a lack of everything… clients, ideas, capital, whatever – rather than believing resources are abundant, and that one must seek them out and then marshal them to good use.

If you’re good at what you do, there’s no reason to try to build what is essentially a see-through intellectual property fence around your ideas, or to be afraid that someone else will “get it” and overrun you.  Maybe you don’t want to share the intimate details of how you’re tweaking the latest methodology because you feel (and maybe rightly so) it provides you with a slight and temporary competitive advantage, but c’mon.  Believe in your skills – sell results.  Its easier, and far more lucrative.  You don’t become known or engaged for expertise or problem-solving by keeping your ideas in your head or under a rock.


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