Consultant as advisor, how should the model work?

I heard it again today, and you’ve probably heard it a hundred times as well. The adage/definition – a consultant is someone who uses your watch to tell you the time.

 I’ve nodded agreement and wondered about the truth underlying the humour.

 And I wonder if that truth is a bad thing.

 How often do we make time to look at our watch, not only to tell the time, but to maximise the functionality we get from the watch?

 I am currently doing a lot of work looking at businesses in the sustainability space, and while almost all are doing things that are unique to their businesses, there are a number of initiatives that apply to all businesses.

 How do we share what is best practice from a sustainability perspective, while developing that unique market innovation that will improve our own bottom line? 

Businesses that are applying the lens of sustainability to their practice also seem willing to share their stories – the successes and the failures, to help all businesses improve their environmental footprint.

 As an example, follow the link and have a look at the initiatives being applied by Linfox

 The noticeable common traits:

–                     Corporate will to change practices – and a clear governance structure to monitor performance

–                     Changed business practices

–                     Changed behaviours

–                     Organisational focus on the environment

–                     Managing the bottom line

While the cultural change must come from within, sometimes it is external eyes and forces that help focus on the innovations needed to both drive change and improve profit. Sometimes we are so busy wearing the watch that we don’t bother to look at the time.

 Maybe now is the time to stop, have that all important look and ask for help if we decide that’s what we need.