Everyone who reads this blog, knows that I am a huge Drucker fan. This quote from The Effective Executive here (affiliate link), published in 1967, sums up how good consultancies run. Consulting firms are just a tribe of knowledge workers.
The knowledge worker cannot be supervised closely or in detail. He can only be helped. – Peter Drucker
An effective consulting team or group is made up of competent, cognitive thinkers, who trust each other, and build credibility and trust with clients. It is a loose affiliation of free agents who “jam” and make executives and clients’ lives easier through their work.
They are not a Dilbert hierarchy of mangers watching, tracking, measuring, project managing other people. It is not full of status reports, and dashboards of progress. It is not SG&A or overhead. As Drucker said, [consultants] can only be helped.
As a consultant, my question to you is:
- How have you helped your fellow team mates today?
- What are you doing to build your practice?
- Have you codified the learnings from your last project, so it helps others?
- Are you always responsive when other consultants reach out to you for help?
- During your day, what % of time was spent 1) solving client problems? 2) helping others 3) doing administrative duties?
As a manager, my question to you is:
- Are you coaching your team, or micro-managing them?
- Are you showing your team what good managers look like?
- Are you giving away credit, and taking more of the blame?
- Are you protecting people weaker than yourself?
- Are you extending grace to junior consultants who make mistakes?
- Are you giving truth and feedback / pushback to seniors, on behalf of the team?
- Peter Drucker said, “Meetings are a symptom of bad organization. The fewer the meetings the better”
- What Peter Drucker says about Effective Executives