There’s an old saying that goes “those who can’t, teach.” I believe that to be quite a disparaging and negative remark about the teaching profession, and I’ve never subscribed to it. Nor have I ever believed it. However, like all ‘statements’, there is some truth in there; in this case a positive one. I believe there are people who can teach certain things, and teach them well, even though they weren’t very good at the task themselves. I’ll use Charlie Lau as an example. Lau was a former major league baseball catcher who hit .255 for his career. (For you non-baseball fans, that’s not great.) But he became a superb hitting coach who worked for a variety of teams, most notably the Kansas City Royals from 1971-1978. One of his disciples was George Brett, who is one of the best hitters in major league history (and certainly one of the best I ever saw in person). And, to stay on the sports theme, there are also numerous golf coaches who are extremely adept at helping professional (and non-professional) golfers improve their game dramatically, even though they may never have achieved “greatness” at the professional level.
So that brings us to consulting. Because there is another saying that extends the previous one: “Those who can’t, teach. Those who can’t teach become consultants.” UPS had a commercial several years ago about their logistics program, where two consultants tell a client what he needs to do and then the client says, “Great. Do it.” They look at him somewhat bewildered and one of them responds, “Sir, we don’t actually do what we propose.” The other one says, “We just propose it.”
That’s not what my business is about. We are focused on diving in with our customer partners and helping them identify what their root problems are, making recommendations about how they can resolve these issues, and then, more importantly, helping them implement the changes they need to make to become a more effective organization. We have the skills. We have, the experience. We have the knowledge. And we have to make this happen to help you improve your business.
And that’s what we will do. In other words, we actually do what we propose.
Kelly Stephen Consulting
Software Strategy, Execution, Quality, Delivery