Let’s lay it out on the table: Most consultancy is a joke. My rationale is sound and I’ll prove it, but let’s begin with an example:
A handful of months ago, I attended a presentation to a cross-section of my company’s leadership on the topic of “Generation Y.” Since Millennials, as a generation, are really quite the enigma and scientifically non-human, the event organizers invited a handful of young adult employees to attend for translation needs.
I could immediately see why we were invited. The 26-year-old millionaire on stage was making groundbreaking statements, like how this new generation of employees and customers are “tech-dependent,” demand “instant gratification,” and sometimes come with a “sense of entitlement.” The Boomers in the room nodded vigorously in revelation and jotted thorough notes. My fellow Millennials and I shot sideways glances at each other, obviously in unanimous thought: We really dropped the ball on writing books that characterize obvious traits of our own generation and pitching ourselves as consultants.
We commiserated on the way back to our cubes and TPS reports that we should all quit our jobs and return to work for our employer as external consultants, enjoying a third of the work and triple the pay. No but really—An internal contingency of young adult employees could provide not identical, but better perspective at no cost, with less receptivity from the organization. But why?
Most obviously, consultants wield the power of some omniscient external perspective. But to rake in the cash, they have to offer that (typically empty) perspective with flare. At its heart, the Gen Y presentation consisted of two components: basic facts and a fantastic performance. Without saying really anything new or of value, the energetic speaker knew his audience exactly and used all of the right examples. I wish I were joking that his heart-wrenching anecdote at the close of his presentation left some attendees teary-eyed.
Many people try to replicate similar performances on a daily basis in the business world. Those who fail fill up our Bullshit Bingo cards. Those who succeed become consultants, and you pay them inordinate amounts of money to state basic business facts in an ostentatiously eloquent manner.
After some careless consideration, I decided that my aforementioned degree in bullshit and flare for the dramatic positioned me well to go into consulting myself. I am starting my own company, Berka Consulting, Inc., so I, too, can be a thought-leader in business common sense.
Do you understand basic concepts like, “It is unprofitable for costs to exceed revenue?” Do you follow difficult tactics for structuring work akin to, “You need to pair the right skill sets with the right jobs to maximize production?” If so, consider bankrolling with Berka Consulting, Inc. Applications forthcoming.