One of my favorite Swedish expressions is the nickname for Wednesday: "Lill-lördag". Because even if you love what you do, the weekend looks a long way off when it's Tuesday. When Wednesday is over and done with, the weekend seems just around the corner. So Lill-lördag is now behind us. It was actually a relatively quiet day today, not too many people in the office. As part of a global consulting firm, you get used to not seeing your colleagues a bit sporadically and yet maintain a constant connection with them. Most are out with their clients and projects for a good percentage of the time. Our product is our people, more than any other business can say, so that is exactly where consultants should be.
But many Senior Managers like me and Managing Directors (the highest level in the company) work a little more from the office, developing business on several different accounts and several different themes at a time, as I've mentioned in my last posts. This means, at least in my case, a lot of days with small progress but in many fronts. Discussions with teams of colleagues, with our legal department, with the customer coordinating upcoming meetings etc. - those are kind of standard for any day.
At lunch today I looked at my calendar for tomorrow and I was reminded that I have to go into my daughter's day care class and take my turn talking about my work. The looming prospect of explaining my job to a bunch of 4 year olds who would rather be playing dress up as Elsa and Anna and Batman is made even more complex by the question itself: "what does a consultant DO?" Other parents are airline pilots, run real estate firms, work in construction. Dream professions if you need to explain them to kids. But I even have trouble putting into words what I do with my "grown up" friends. And it got me thinking that some of you who are subscribed to this page and reading this post, might be wondering just that. While there are lots of jokes out there about what consultants do ("borrow your watch to tell you the time" comes to mind...), it takes some deep googling to find anything resembling a true definition. Here is one I found of interest: “Consulting is like being a doctor for companies. Whether they are ill, need a checkup or want to compete in a marathon, we are there to help them strategically succeed” I like this, in fact I used something similar with my daughter a few weeks ago when she started getting interested in what I do. Then I overheard her saying to someone on the weekend that "Daddy is a doctor for people's business" - which sounds significantly different, particularly in English.
I’d better come up with a better explanation by tomorrow…
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