I’ve been reflecting on a blog post this week on the HBR Blog Network by Ed Batista entitled Don’t Inflict Help, Provide It. The author identifies several ways that a helping hand can miss the mark: the wrong timing, too much help, or the wrong help. As I consider “help” in the context of consulting, most of the failures I’ve observed – some first hand – fall into the category of wrong help. In particular, the help that is offered is out of reach because the starting point presumed in the solution is not where the one being helped is starting. As I work with a client, I am intently focused on a solution that he or she is able to implement starting from where their particular starting point is and designed to match their skill set and temperament. Crafting this kind of solution that is tailored to the individual is the art of consulting and what I find most gratifying.
“The right word at the right time is like a custom-made piece of jewelry” ~ Proverbs 25:11 (The Message)