Monday, April 17, 2006

 

Knowing Your Commitments


As a creative consultant you should really know the total current inventory of your work for a client, or you won't be fully aware of what you can't do. Read that last sentence again. So often, in a silly attempt to please a client, one of the worst things a consultant can fall prey to, we leave off taking an inventory of work we commit to and get side tracked.

This is a sure way to lose integrity.

A weak consultant tends to re-act to a clients anxieties and fears. Instead of doing what he is paid for, to offer a clear and steady light shined on the doable, this kind shuttles back and forth, bending with the wind. New priorities spring up like a weed, out of nowhere, and without purpose or design for the final outcome. The un-doable is scanned and considered, wasting time, the clients money, and the future success of any project.

This is when looseness loses, open-endedness exhausts, and carefree becomes careless.

Anyone who has read my books: "Anyone Can Consult!" or "The Secret Creator Within" knows I'm an adamant defender of a balance between the relaxed, contemplative mindset and the tightness of structure enough to produce. The importance of taking your own thinking and adding value to it by doing the research and then letting it go to allow new ideas to enter into the equation.

But when you haven't taken inventory, at every critical stage of the project life-cycle, even the best consultant can be left defenseless to concerns and new deadlines that are best left ignored.

What kind of inventory am I speaking about?

Consider:

1) Am I still aware of the original perimeters that we set at the beginning of this project?

2) Do I constantly continue the search for elements that are needed and necessary?

3) Have I gotten too theoretical or philosophical in my advice?

4) Am I carefully monitoring my freedom vs. the structure needed for success?

5) Are the clients fears injecting themselves to the detriment of the project?

6) Have I remained dis-passionate about the process but committed to the outcome?

7) Am I still concentrating or do I need a fresh turn or viewpoint here?


By taking these points as a starting place for your own personal inventory assessment (and you must develop your own for it to work and benefit your style) you constantly re-assess yourself and your goals.

In this way, you'll always keep your integrity in tact and your clients interests at heart.

In addition you might ask yourself:

What would you like to be free of? What discipline is needed where, to accomplish what? Where could you use more looseness? Where could you use more structure?

I leave you with this quote from Rueben Able:

" We must avoid here two complimentary errors: on the one hand the world has a unique, intrinsic, preexisting structure awaiting our grasp; and on the other hand that the world is in utter chaos.

The first error is that of the student who marvelled at how the astronomers could find out the true names of distant consellations. The second error is that of Lewis Carroll's Walrus, who grouped shoes with ships and sealing wax, and cabbages with kings."

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