Let us transform the consultant/client relationship. I am no more an expert than my client is on matters of substance. What I bring to the table is a quiver of tools and strategies from which, as partners, given our respective perspectives, we can co-create the roadmap for organizational continuity and sustainability. We will work together to discover what will work. My goal, therefore, is to facilitate the process of invention – to develop the strategies and processes that will improve my partners’ ability to deliver the needed knowledge, solutions, and services to the communities they serve.
When I enter the organization’s portals, my ego suspends. I am without fear. So it is that I have no fear about calling it as I see it, telling the organizational truth as I understand it, not imposing my observations on the client but acting as a prism through which their truth may refract and reveal to them the full spectrum of their options. I am an instrument in the client’s hands.
Their wisdom is equal to mine. It is only that they are too close within the web of their forest that they cannot see the larger context or imagine the Way that will work for them to transcend the web’s limits.
Thus, I set myself up as a mirror so that by my devices they can better ponder and assemble the wisdom that already lies within them.
Our shared task is to discover the Way that works best for them and those they serve.
I am, in the final analysis, a best friend and guide in times of trouble as well as flush times, during each of which unique challenges exist as potential obstacles to moving the Way. In times of trouble, they are at risk of despair, inertia, and, and atrophy. In flush times, they are at risk of complacency, inertia, and overextension.
Up the Way – is progress. Up Your Nonprofit is the challenge!