Last night I went to see Southside Johnny and the Astbury Jukes. The venue was dire and the performer well past his prime, it made me wonder who tells performers when they ought to hand up their microphones? You would suspect falling audiences and record sales but obviously despite being in a 5th rate venue Johnny isn’t getting the message.
So what you wonder has this got to do with consultancy? Well, it made me wonder who tells a consultant it is time to hand the watch back? If our clients aren’t happy with what we do then they don’t renew a contract – quite telling and something to make us think. But when that happens do we think well I must brush up on my skills or think about diversifying? Probably not to start off with but we should as consultants not just offer up our tried and tested expertise but also learn to embrace new methods of working that will continue to excite and captivate both existing clients and help us to reach out to a wider audience.
As consultants we can gather this sort of information anecdotally from our trusted network but I feel we should take some time out occasionally to add to our knowledge and to perhaps network with new people, some of whom having never met us before (like me last night with Johnny) won’t be afraid to show us where our ways of working could do with a little revision.
So for me the best event in the calendar is the Skillfair conference as it brings together at least 50 and often more consultants both as delegates and speakers with a fabulous array of topics which I would otherwise have to look far and wide over many days to cover.
Unlike Johnny who has lost a potential fan and the respect of a long term admirer I will be observing what my audience is saying to me.