Not sure if one can technically recant something that's never been formally stated, but I'm doing it. I hereby recant at least 40% of the malicious thoughts, derisive glances and scoffing mutters I've flicked at the retreating figures of unsuspecting consultants during my (still almost laughably short) sojourn in the corporate world. Whew...check out that run-on.
Anyway, I have had the singular pleasure of working the past couple of weeks with a professional who has opened up a revisionist view of consulting for me. In the past, my experience has shown "consultants" to be overpaid, overbearing, and overestimated...pricey gorillas of various weights who spend an inordinant amount of time bashing things around and leave before anything's been reassembled. I've seen these people lauded (and compensated handsomely) for their "vision" and heard many times how lucky [we] were to have them, but I've never really felt it. Don't get me wrong, I relish the snip of scissors (or the crash of a machete) through red tape as much as anyone. And I'm no crusader for the status quo. But my previous experience has not shown consultants to be worth the price.
Not, that is, until I worked with Shauna. So far, she's everything I thought a consultant would be when I started out naive and fresh in the world of business. She's quick and flexible and visciously efficient. She's free and open with her opinion, and quite insightful, but doesn't slight the experience or intuition of others. She's a fresh perspective but she's not analyzing an entirely different painting. Plus, she's given me enhanced access and added clout with the management. Approval on this over-due magazine insertion in 10 minutes instead of 2 days? I'm not complaining. Part of this, I'm sure, is that she's a consultant of the investing variety and $2M in an outstretched hand gets management attention much more quickly than even my most frenzied leaping and shouting. Perhaps if we required all consultants to make such an investment...
I'm still not entirely convinced, but the flow of bad karma has definitely ebbed.