RSG is typically engaged for its technical expertise and problem solving skills. All pretense aside, we’re just good at that sort of thing. However, there’s also an unspoken but common practice of hiring a consultant to deliver bad news to elected or appointed officials. The consultant takes the point of the spear and gets run out of town on a rail (okay, slight exaggeration), but staff is left intact to pick up the pieces and press forward.
In many cases, the art of consulting is being able to take an unpopular situation, present it in a palatable manner and then be a part of the solution. You not only avoid the pitchforks, but you build loyalty and trust with clients that will last a career. Your status goes from that of a knowledgeable unbiased bystander to a helpful lifelong partner.
On very rare occasions, we find an insurmountable situation. It’s almost always the result of a confluence of issues that, taken as a whole, cannot be redirected. It’s tough, as a professional, to be beaten up for good work. It’s even harder, as an employer, to boost the morale of junior staff whose painstaking efforts are being maligned in a public forum. Finally, it’s heartbreaking to know that a community didn’t get the process or outcome it deserved.
Office puppy anyone?
Written by Alexa Smittle, a Partner at RSG.