As a follow-up to yesterday’s post, Joe Patti made a fascinating connection with something Vu Le recently published at Nonprofit AF where he encourages consultants to resist the payoff that often comes with pushing clients out of status quo comfort zones.
At our best, consultants help bring in a new perspective and certain skills and tactics that could really help an organization and its important work; plus, we help sustain the growing sticky-dots and easel paper industry and those it employs. At our worst, we consultants get paid a bunch of money to help entrench organizations in survivalism and competition, perpetuate the hunger games, inflame tensions, reinforce white moderate philosophies and practices, quash visionary ideas, and prevent change and progress.
Nutshell: there’s a bigger payout for consultants willing to support what clients already believe than moving them in directions that benefit the sector as a whole #ConfirmationBiasPayday.
I agree with Patti that this aligns nicely with the concept that the orchestra field needs to do a better job at assigning value to and rewarding professionals that demonstrate which parts of conventional wisdom need to be left behind and are capable of producing results in the form of attracting and retaining new audiences.
Sadly, I’ve lost track of how many times I’ve seen consultants squash up and coming talented administrators. So, from that perspective, it’s every bit as important to apply the same expectations to consultants. Reward those that help break out of negative conventional wisdom and present options for moving toward solving real problems.