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August 24, 2008

Which enablers do you need?

Skills, knowledge and experience are not assets for management consultants.

Thats right they are not assets, that is they cannot earn revenue by themselves. If you want to use them to earn revenue then you need to package them, market them, inform people of the value that you can deliver because you have them, and then sell and deploy them.

They are not assets - they are enablers. 

They enable you to earn revenue, sell services, develop IP and increase your personal (or company) brand. For me, training and continued learning is eminently important. probably the greatest investment opportunity for most consultancies and freelancers.

Yet, in all the years I worked for consultancies I did not receive one day of formal training! Ridiculous isn't it. All the training I have been through, and I put myself through a steady stream of training courses, have been chosen by myself for myself.

So which enablers?

If you are looking at attending a training course paid by your company, or if you are looking to deepen or broaden your skill base, then here are some questions to consider.

1. Will this make you more employable for significant positions in consulting firms?

2. Will this make you more attractive to clients?

3. Does this compliment existing skills and abilities?

4. Will this give you the insight needed to consult in another consulting area?

5. Are you burrowing down too deep into your own methodology?

6. Does the course tie in with present trends or future demands?

7. What leverage will this course give you in terms of finishing existing projects to develop consulting assets or consulting service packages?

I think we are all convinced now, and if we aren't then we should be, that over specialization is a recipe for a disasterous and pigeon-holed career. But... you need to be very good at one or two things in particular. (And pretty good with everything else!)

We are also aware that there are some skills, like problem solving / presenting and negotiation, that provide general deepening of the consulting skill portfolio.

I hope this was of use, good luck to you.

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