In 1992 I was at a crossroad in my career. I was either going to get out of the consulting business altogether, or I was going to find a consulting firm that more adequately reflected my values and what I wanted to be a part of. As I thought about what I liked, and didn’t like about consulting it came down to three core issues:
Consistency – What would it take to deliver consistency that our clients can count on, so that they know what to expect each and every time they do business with us. No A team and B team, and no greenbeans. Just seasoned professionals with similar values, talents, and motivation.
Commitment – How does an organization win the loyalty of its consultants so that the client does not have to worry about turnover, losing critical resources half way through a project. How do we ensure that we hire professionals interested in a career in consulting, as opposed to a consulting job as a stepping stone in their career. Then, how do we give them sufficient reason to choose to spend the remainder of their professional career with us.
Collaboration – How do we provide the culture, incentives and tools so that individual consultants can deliver the collective value of the entire organization – so that we are not wasting precious time and money reinventing wheels or solving problems that have already been solved? If our consultants can spend their time tailoring proven solutions and best practices to their clients’ unique circumstances, the clients will receive greater value and the consultants will continually grow.
These are some pretty interesting issues! But it was fairly easy to boil them down into four Core Values. However, the devil is always in the details, and it is not easy to remain true to values and principles while the market is constantly changing.
Recently SEI celebrated its 20th anniversary. We have prospered through multiple economic boom and bust cycles and constant change in the market and competitive landscape. Our tactics, techniques and tools have changed to deal with changing opportunities and challenges, but our core values and guiding principles have not.
Founder of Systems Evolution, Inc.