Wednesday, October 07, 2009

Whose Success?

There is sometimes a quandary between whose success we seek.

Acting as a consultant, you obviously want your own work to be considered successful, so that you will induce others to hire you. Getting there isn't so easy though. We often look downstream to the customer's customers. By helping meet the customer's customers' needs, we hope to make our immediate customers successful. The catch comes when something the immediate customer is doing is preventing them from satisfying their customer- and they don't want to change it. If we make the customer's customer successful at the cost of making the customer unsuccessful, we're probably not going to be successful.

Remember the secrets of consulting- you have to help people learn to solve their own problems, you can't always solve their problems for them. You can be satisfied with your accomplishments, regardless of whether they give you credit. The ideal form of influence is to help the customer see the problem more clearly, but let them decide. Finally, if you want to understand a dysfunctional system, follow the money!

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