Tuesday, April 12, 2016

A Field for Eccentrics

We are limited by our experiences. That is why it is important to study the experiences of others. We may disagree with the lessons they drew but the events are instructive.

A chief appeal of being a management consultant is that no field of study is useless. It is obvious that some subjects are richer veins than others but if you are alert you can find lessons hiding in the most unlikely of places. An innate curiosity helps to connect the dots and an unwritten part of the job's description involves detective skills. Although the client sees Problem A, the real source of difficulties may be Problems B or Z.

The ability to make that diagnosis can come from a variety of disciplines. Perhaps that is why the field has so many eccentrics.  


Kurt Harden said...

Isn't this true of "management" or business as well? I often find marketing ideas, operational solutions, and perspectives on human behavior in a wide range of subjects that, on their surface, have nothing to do with the problem I am contemplating.

It is why we should be well-read in a diverse number of subjects; to gain perspective and insight.

Make sense?

Michael Wade said...


It is true of management or business when it comes to the value of seemingly unconnected subjects. I believe you are the exception, however, when it comes to business leaders. A great many of the ones I encounter don't do a lot of reading outside of a narrow range.

There was an encouraging report that came out several years ago which noted that some top CEOs tended to read biographies. As you know, those can be very helpful.