Un-consulting

My friend and business colleague, Hal Richman, and I have worked on a couple of projects and have submitted various proposals over the past few years.  We are always looking at how we can do meaningful work but sometimes feel like we’re just submitting one more report that will gather dust.

Hal sent me this explanation of his new work offer, which significantly differs from the traditional “deliver & disappear” consulting strategy. I like it.

Kurt Lewin (1890 – 1947) was a German-born psychologist who earned the title the father of social psychology.

Lewin was one of the first researchers to study group dynamics and organizational development in practical settings. His vision about what people could become in their lives has always impressed me. This vision is threaded in his dense academic writings, as well as his work as a problem solver and founder.

During WWII, Lewin worked with Margaret Mead on the National Research Council’s Committee on Food Habits to determine how the government could prevent hoarding, make rationing work, and feed the Allies during and after the war. Following the war Lewin was involved, along with Dr Jacob Fine at Harvard Medical School, in the psychological rehabilitation of former occupants of displaced persons camps and was requested by the Connecticut State Inter Racial Commission to find an effective way to combat racial and religious prejudices. In 1947 he established the National Training Laboratories in Bethel, Maine.

Lewin had an insatiable curiosity and refused to be pigeon-holed. People came to him with diverse problems because of his diverse background when conventional solutions to problems either do not work or simply did not exist. They didn’t know what to do; however, they did know they needed someone who could look at the problem with a new set of eyes, from several perspectives, and come up with a practical, innovative solution.

Lewin has been one of my most constant role-models for the past 35 years. I haven’t been satisfied to have one career, one challenge in life. And, I’ve found that my diverse background has helped me help myself and others.

Like Lewin, I’ve had many people come to me to solve things, start things, to run things.

Perhaps you are frustrated that the lack of time may mean passing up on a great opportunity. Maybe your firm (or one you have acquired) needs a turn-around, has a great team but can’t get them coordinated or needs a new strategy and direction. Or, maybe you’re temporarily over your head, slogging through a swamp and looking for a way out.

That’s when my company is most welcome. I’ve got some time and I’m an excellent swamp navigator.

A few months ago I was thinking of investing in an ecotourism firm but decided that it needed a turn-around first. As I stood up to leave the table, the owner jumped up from his seat and said “You can’t go,  I need you!” I am now providing hands-on management services for financial planning and control, strategy and metrics, systems selection and implementation and marketing communications.

Tell me about your challenge, your opportunity. Let me jump in with you – not as a disinterested consultant but in the trenches with you – excited, adrenalin pumping, burning the midnight oil.

I have over 20 years of experience as an entrepreneur and a problem solver for small and large organizations. Let me bring a new perspective to a problem, different experiences to bear on the objective.

As a free-agent, this model is viable. You have the option of committing totally to a project or a client without the overhead and billable hours concerns of consulting workshops.

I also know several others who have this perspective, much experience, and are willing to commit. Does this interest you? Need committed help with a thorny problem? Give us a call.

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