Consultancy Is Not Dependency.

Updated: Apr 13, 2020

In my other life, I am a qualified cycle coach, privileged to work with some of the best youth athletes in Scotland. I have found that there is cross-over between coaching athletes and running a consultancy business. In my other blog I have written about modern cycling coaching methods. In my blog post I talk about how poor coaching practice leaves athletes dependent on on the coach, and they are unable to think for themselves.

Athletes find themselves in a position of dependence, unable to think for themselves, their destiny in results and performance is no longer in the hands of the athlete.

I also talked about the most common business model for coaching as a business is to create dependency, thereby (hopefully) creating repeat business:

The business model relies on the athlete becoming hooked on a highly prescribed training plan. Many athletes are unable to function unless they are told what to do, when to do it and how to it. Take away the program and athlete stops training.

In addition, paid for coaches often create complicated coaching plans, so that athletes believe they are getting value:

Prescribed programs are often complicated. Why? Because athletes believe that for something to be valuable it must complicated. For paid for coaching services to maintain the edge they need to come up with a hook, something new, something unique and usually something complicated.

So what has this got to do with business consultancy?

Running a successful consultancy business relies on repeat business, and a business can become dependent on consultants to deliver their business, often elevating the consultant above their own staff. This can disenfranchise the workforce. I have often seen cases where highly paid 'consultants' simply tell business leaders what their own people already know (if leaders only listened). If you do not trust the people you hired, why do you keep them on. An extreme outcome is that organizations start to distrust their own people and there is no common purpose and no clarity of action. Many business consultants have some angle or hook, often a complicated business solution that only they can implement, not unlike snake oil salesmen of the wild west.

I believe that effective consultancy should be different, ultimately a consultant is successful when they are no longer needed. Good consultants create independence not dependence.

My principals as a cycling coach are:

  • We share knowledge and experience.

  • We are humble in learning from others.

  • We apply simplicity in everything we do.

  • We are committed to developing independent athletes.

In our business consultancy we adopt similar principals:

  • We want to work with your people to help make a difference.

  • We share your passion for solving problems.

  • We aim to simplify everything we do.

  • We share our knowledge and leave you business in a better place.

  • We aim to enfranchise your people so that you can become less reliant on consultants.

  • We help develop common purpose and clarity of action.

If you would like to hear more about some of the ways we can help you, and some of our bespoke knowledge sharing programs, please use our contact form on the main page.

We are always open to chat, without charge, because we always learn something when we share experience. Tells us how we can help you make a difference.

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