Growing from Within

I sometimes think hiring a “ready to go” consultant to get started immediately on an important project is a bit like Captain Ahab hunting for Moby Dick; if you actually “catch” a consultant with the right skills, you may end up sorry you did. You’ve found something very powerful and the allure is understandable given the potential, but highly experienced consultants are used to swimming their own way — and my experience is that more often than not, hiring one will leave you with a broken ship.

So it never works to hire experienced consultants?

No, it can definitely work. Of the dozen or so hires of highly experienced consultants that I’ve made over the past decade, it has worked out a few times. When it doesn’t, the problem is usually cultural. We have a very strong entrepreneurial culture of excellence that requires initiative and critical thinking. When people have been with organizations that discourage such things, the change can be jarring and, most of the time, insurmountable. We keep trying because the reward for the exceptions is significant, but we can’t build our business this way. Continue reading…

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