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Consulting BriefConsulting

Brief 1.0-Id-Entity

Most of every writer’s day will be spent alone. Writing must be the most solitary sport, an internal Olympic competition featuring cognitive Greco-Roman wrestling, conceptual Winter Biathlon, and solitary synchronized swimming. The games always involve dredging up to translate, rediscovery more than invention, rearranging the same old notes into new-sounding tunes. Like with all games, the boundaries deeply influence play and the rules, originally arbitrary, seem inexorable now.

The trick, once mastering bald aloneness, lies in daily re-mastering it, for solitude serves as no more than soil within which unlikely seeds might sprout, where the completely cognitive and conceptual push beyond the leaf litter into space where anyone might experience them. What blooms seems so very different from the parent seed or rhizome that even the solitary gardener might mistake them for volunteers, accidents of potential, nutrients, and time. Slip over here for more ...


The Burgeoning Self Deception Industry

I am part of the burgeoning self deception industry. You probably are, too, either as a purveyor, a (probably enthusiastic) consumer, or, most probably, both. This market segment has enjoyed huge, unprecedented growth over recent decades, yet the top of its market remains beyond anyone’s ability to see, a bubble seemingly incapable of bursting.

Self-helplessness accounts for most of the activity within this industry. Slip over here for more ...


Bare-assed Consulting 1.0: Sick's Sigma

Even bare-assed consulting turns dicey when a client sets his mind on some process improvement scheme. It never really matters what the scheme might be, you can be certain only that it’ll fairly quickly produce the opposite of the attracting intention. Whether by initial interpretation or the influence of organizational antibodies, that true north veers due south. ’Twas always thus.

And the timing of the consultant’s arrival won’t much influence the outcome. The tariff, as Peter Block once noted, on imported method inevitably exceeds the expected return.

These initiatives always start as bright ideas,”I know, we’ll just put on a show!”-quality fantasies, laden with invisible externalities. Whether a Senior VP read some article in an airline magazine or transferred in from a company that had fully integrated some scheme, the mandate comes from the top down. The suits arrive shortly after the announcement, mustering a committee of ... cough ... cough ... volunteers ... chartered to change the company’s culture from the bottom up.

Therein lies the disabling paradox Slip over here for more ...


BriefConsulting 1.0: The Suits

The Suits quite deliberately dress a little better than you, disarmingly casual in their formal business wear. Who couldn’t be seduced? Shoes glossy, ties perfectly knotted, shirts starched into absolute submission, knife-edged pants, cuffs shot to show just a wink of onyx cufflink inside. Funny how I can’t remember a single face. No sincere smile, no twinkling eye, no wink of recognition, just those finely tailored empty suits.

Their advice seems equally disconnected. They share abstract models, distilled to wispy essence—ten easy, twelve step, top five best practices, and the most mysterious commodity of all, expertise. Slip over here for more ...


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