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Part 1: Introduction > Consulting environment

Chapter 3. Consulting environment

Before discussing the Seven Cs model in detail, it might be useful to compare the consultant role to that of a sailor who used to transport goods around the world. Today's commercial drivers are like the trade winds that blow towards the equator from the north-east or south-east. In the days of sailing ships, every sailor's income (and life) would depend on the trade winds to carry the ship from port to port. In the same way, your career or income is derived from the trading activities that blow through your industry.

Consulting is a trade-based operation, where the ability to sell products and services is a core competency. As such, you must be able to tune into the trade winds that blow through your particular organization or industry. Failure to instinctively tap into these winds means that, like sailors in the old days, you will be caught in the doldrums, the calm area where little wind blows. Consequently, even when deep into a client project, you should be looking and listening for future commercial opportunities. The inability to manage this has resulted in total quality consultants who failed to see the rapid emergence of business process reengineering or IT specialists who fell out of step because they ignored the speed at which the Internet would grow. The consultants who survive and prosper are those who have a predator instinct. They constantly search and ride on the emergence of new business theories and schools of thought; they have the old sailor's ability to find and ride on the back of the trade winds.


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