We Are All Consultants
Let’s try a little thought experiment.
I’d like you to take a couple of seconds to consider what you think about when you reflect on the following word: consultant.
If you are like many, the ideas that you came up with probably echoed many of the following: “Expert.” “Highly paid.” “External.” “Independent.” “Suit.” “Objective.” “Dispenser of advice.”
So far, so stereotypical. And as with many stereotypes, there is a kernel of truth in these terms. I work as a consultant. I’ve had all of these labels (and far worse) applied to me. It goes with the territory.
At the same time, I’ve been a consultant (and known it) for far longer than I’ve actually worked for a consulting firm. My entire career has been about projects on one hand, and consulting on the other. Most of the consulting that I do has been about projects, and about project management. And while I’ve been an external consultant for more than two decades, I was an internal consultant before that.
The idea of internal consultant ebbs and flows. It’s been around for awhile (certainly long enough for me to know that is what I was). And there are some advantages to consultants being internal to the organization. A big one is familiarity; internal consults know at an intimate level of
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