There was a group of ducks under our birdfeeder today. The ground and the lake are covered with snow, and a bunch of more courageous ducks walked or flew into the rear of our property and joined the birds and squirrels around the feeders. No one seemed to care, and the ducks ate their fill, looking pretty funny with their beaks covered in snow, but also quite content.
The instigation for this is that my morning feeding had been consumed, and the ducks had run out of food. So they left where they were and went to where the food is. Some had the wisdom to do this, and others had the common sense to follow. The preponderance (we draw about 300 ducks in the winter) sat around on the pond looking at where the food used to be.
Consultants have to go where the food is. Willy Sutton robbed banks because “that’s where the money was.” We have to go where the business is.
Where is that likely to be?
• Strong, successful organizations which can invest in their own growth and are confident enough to bring in outsiders who may possess more knowledge than they have in given areas.
• High growth organizations, where there is a high tolerance for risk and rapid growth demands new ideas and courage.
• Organizations where you’ve worked before with sterling results and continuing relationships.
• Wider and wider geographic ranges, where technology and common needs can offset the obstacles of distance, and a “one-world” economic outlook is prevalent.
What you can’t do is zealously adhere to your current methodology, geography, or contacts. You must be willing to change with the times. You may be the finest Radio Shack Color Computer expert extant, but I wouldn’t be putting in additional phone lines to handle the crowds if I were you.
Go where the food is. The conditions might be different, the environment novel, the clients surprising. But the money will be accepted by the bank. You’ll still be a duck, but you’ll be leading the flock.
© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.