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Pierre Michaels
Pierre
Michaels

What companies can learn from a 24-year-old

28.01.2019
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You are a successful managing director of a global operating company, you are faced with an important strategic decision and hire a consultant to support your project. Wouldn’t you be surprised if presented with a strategy consultant who is clearly in his mid-twenties and therefore can’t have a year-long record of consultancy experience?

Well, that’s probably how most of my clients feel when they meet me for the first time – surprised. When my Managing Director recommended me in the first alignment meeting, referring to me as a quick thinker, an empathic person with great people skills and a fascinating problem solver, they probably added “experienced” subconsciously to the list. Because that’s how the consultancy world ticks: companies hire experts with years of experiences, who ran projects like theirs hundreds of times and will solve their dilemma within the blink of an eye.

But wait – does the consultancy world really work like this?

Is experience always and necessarily a positive aspect that leads to project success? Or asked in a different way: Can it be positive to have little experience?

Having a lot of experience can, of course, lead to efficiency by applying familiar patterns over and over again. But should you really let up routine in projects? Isn't every project different? From my perspective, there are projects where you need a fresh perspective, where routine will most certainly not bring you innovation and a “template” approach would not lead to the wished-for outcome.

A young consultant approaches projects without prejudices and can thus develop completely new ideas.

An interaction of a young consultant with an experienced team in the client’s company can consequently be worth a mint. However, in order to do so it is important that everyone has the common goal of the project in mind and works and thinks far away from personal sensitivities. The consistent feedback from my previous clients was that they appreciated working with a person who is passionate and hungry to deliver results and which brings completely new ideas into their projects. Therefore, I would like to invite you to challenge your idea about consultants and ask yourself if, for the next time when you need external support, you go with the young professional.

To sum it up: I made the experiences that for some topics and projects, you need a fresh mind rather than a long-established way of working.



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