The need for honest consulting

The consulting industry needs a makeover. How can we enforce a more compassionate and helpful industry for the greater good of all business?

Every industry has its own ways to get business, and specific tricks that get the most money out of consumers. Consulting is no different - we've all heard stories about consultants playing 'dirty' to 'extract' money out of their clients…

This kind of upsetting behavior by some people in the industry is unacceptable, as it is not only unfair to businesses, but it creates a sense of distrust for the entire consulting profession, and should not be tolerated by both clients and other consultants.

The world needs honest consulting.

Advisory services that actually improve firms in both the short- and the long-term without draining its time, money, and its executives' nerves would be marvelous.

However, you and I were not born yesterday. We know that this ideal only exists in a utopian parallel universe where the world has no cheats and liars, every person has happiness and life is peaceful and comfortable. (Actually, in this utopian parallel universe, there would be no need for businesses, and hence no need for business consulting services.)

Imagine a community of people where everyone is honest and only has others' bets interests at heart. This kind of honest community exists because of the people within it - the people are the ones who make the community what it is.

So, we know that if we want the consulting industry to be a honest community, we need honest consultants.

Sounds easy. However, in our world, there are many different factors that could affect a person's behavior. Social expectations, family pressures, financial concerns, cultural notions, industry best practices and many other things can easily influence what one regards as moral or correct, the way one interacts with other people, and how one functions in various situations. As a result, we cannot expect every single individual within the consulting industry to be honest, benevolent and put the interests of others ahead of their own straight away.

We can, however, build an environment that will enforce the desirable behaviors within the community.

Structures, processes and technological possibilities are what shapes people's attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors. Using the right structures and processes, we can build an environment that will only allow people to be honourable and compassionate. Honesty can be enforced through certain restrictions.

And in time, these restrictions will not be necessary. As more and more people start participating in this community, they will get used to the behaviors encouraged, and start seeing honest consulting as the only way to do things. It will become the norm.

Honesty will not need to be enforced externally anymore, as it will become self-enforced.