Your Decision, Your Project, Your Responsibility

They said “We call our people accompanists because we don’t want churches to think we’re sending in a consultant to tell them what to do.”

Well that just about wraps it up for consultancy, doesn’t it?

Certainly it has no place in community development, it would appear.

Well hang on a minute!

We should not be so ready to junk what can be a very helpful service. Where a business or organisation lacks certain skills, the “Done For You” approach of expert consultants can be a sensible investment. Expert consultants might charge a lot of money but they can still be cheaper than employing a member of staff.

We use experts all the time. Most of us, however skilled, would not cut our own hair or perform our own surgery!

And indeed the time taken building our own website might be more valuable deployed elsewhere while an expert does it for us. (But see what I have to say about web design before you find your expert!)

Often though, you are the expert ...

  • you understand your business and neighbourhood;
  • you have your unique vision; and
  • you have loads of significant experience.

But sometimes when real progress seems just beyond your grasp ...

Space shuttle Atlantis taking off.  Booster rockets!

Space shuttle Atlantis a booster analogy that probably breaks down if you push it too far!

... you need a boost to your brain-power!

  • Someone who can ask searching questions that bring you to new insights
  • Someone who can help you model new solutions
  • Someone who can help you solve those nagging problems that run round and round in your head and never let you settle.

That someone is a non-directive consultant (sometimes called a coach) and they are not experts (except in non-directive consultancy).

It’s your decisions, your projects, your responsibility but you have someone alongside you as you tread your path to success.

So, how can a non-directive consultant help? Well, they can

  • support you with new ideas and insights as you wrestle with intractable problems
  • be a critical friend, spotting the flaws in your plans before anyone else does.
  • help you be accountable. You know the feeling, you promised yourself you’d do something by Tuesday next and then time slips away and no-one knows you didn’t meet your deadline, except you. You can set your own deadlines with a consultant and then report back about how you got on.

You need non-directive consultancy not only in real life but also online. You don’t need some expert telling you what you need to do, you need help to clarify what you need to do and someone who knows enough to guide you towards the best ways to do it. This is not necessarily about the technology. Often technology cannot help until you resolve your organisation's problems.

Once you know what you need to do, you work together to find the best methods and then prioritise, schedule and work out how to do the work.

Online you will build a web presence that meets your needs and your organisation’s needs; integrating online and offline presence. And online solutions will be an integrated part of your business or cause; not stuck on as an after-thought.

So, if you think this might work for you, perhaps you would like to know about my free consultancy offer.

Or find out more about what’s happened to web design recently.