Cooperation, consulting and Fads LO7339

Michael Erickson (
Thu, 9 May 1996 11:20:11 -0700

Replying to LO7305 --


I'm not a consultant, but having been a freelance artist in one of my past
lives, I can tell you that taking on things that are beyond you is
something a lot of professionals end up doing. Whether by design or
because they need the work it's fairly easy to get in over ones head.
(not good news...)

My only suggestion is to get it clear in your mind what you are actually
offering your customer-and what you are not offering, and make sure it's
clearly communicated. So often the business community is looking for that
"bit of magic" that they can buy to end their troubles, when what they
really need is a little education and some quiet reflection. Consultants
represent that bit of magic to the business community, and end up being
the scapegoad when it doesn't pan out. Jumping from fad to fad is a
symptom of a deep sickness and an unwillingness to handle problems
directly. I personally don't have the nerve or drive to handle such a
situation, so now I work for a corporation that moderates my life

I don't earn as high a wage as outside consultants do, but I don't have
the stress or risk either.

Ethics are nearly all set by the individual consultant. You have the
ability to clearly spell out what you will do and not do. Some of your
best calls might just be the "NO-what you really need is..." statement.

And hopefully your E-mail note will generate a "virtual network" of
individuals that can assist you as well. I've thought for quite a while
that we need some sort of informal network to facilitate working together.
I for one am a cartoonist. I have no "at home" e-mail address as yet
(soon I hope). But I do have some production ability and a cockeyed sense
of humor that permits the visualization of certain problems/concepts.
Sometimes you just need to show people what they are saying. All the data
gathering/analysis techniques in the world won't help people believe the
truth about their current reality, the consultant can only present the

This also is "off the top of my head", so use or ignore as is applicable.
Just be aware-you aren't the only one that feels out on a limb.

Michael Erickson

-- (Michael Erickson)

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