In the world of specializing and niche markets, consultants are finding a wide open landscape of opportunity. Though there is a great deal of money to be made for some consultants, their motivations to be consultants must reach beyond pure monetary gain. As the people in the global village become more and more connected, and relationally driven, the consultant who is only motivated by money may find the well of clients drying up. (Cole, 2015) Consultants need to evaluate the ‘why’ behind being a consultant, and if that ‘why’ does not originate with a genuine desire to help others, then it may be time to consider another career option.
Consultants who what to be successful in the future need to find their motivations grounded in widely-held values. Values are socially and personally shared conceptions of the good, desirable, and righteous actions of individuals. (Bishop, 2013) Values are stabilized beliefs about personally or socially preferred approaches to behavior that some attribute to environmental influences and other believe they emanate from within the individual (Bishop, 2013).
For consultants, their goals are organizational development and individual development. When the values of consultants line up with the values of others, they are more accepting of sustainable development. (Nováček, 2013) However, if consultants do not exhibit, or act out of identifiable values, individuals and organizations are likely to reject the attempts of consultants to encourage development. A consultant who desires only monetary gain or selfish ambition without concern for the well-being of clients and their successful development does not have the intrinsic values necessary to be a successful consultant. (Moore, 2004) Instead, consultants need to embrace the eight principles of the heroic environment (Khan, 2006):
- Treat others with uncompromising truth
- Lavish trust on your associates
- Mentor unselfishly
- Be receptive to new ideas
- Take personal risks for the organization’s sake
- Give credit where it’s due
- Do not touch dishonest dollars
- Put the interests of others before your own
Bishop, W. H. (2013). The Genesis of Values in Genesis. Journal of Human Values, 19(2), 127–132. http://doi.org/10.1177/0971685813492271
Cole, D. (2015, April 14). The Future of Consulting: Thoughts on How the Industry Should Evolve. Retrieved July 25, 2016, from https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/future-consulting-thoughts-how-industry-should-evolve-douglas-cole
Khan, S. (2006). It’s Not so Much What as How. Consulting to Management, vol. 17(iss. 2), pp.62–63.
Moore, A. D. (2004). Values, Objectivity, and Relationalism. The Journal of Value Inquiry, 38(1), 75–90. http://doi.org/10.1023/B:INQU.0000040014.27357.03
Nováček, P. (2013). Human Values Compatible with Sustainable