Leader Volume 9, Number 11
Over the past six
months, Iíve been responsible for hiring experts to help my
company set up a more creative environment.
Each month, one of these experts spends a day with us.
Itís been an embarrassing experience.
I frequently have egg on my face after one of these people
show up--theyíre terrible!
Not all of them, but most were.
I learned about
these consultants through agencies as well as from web sites.
They come with glowing recommendations and sometimes send
ten minutesí worth of video to show off their skills.
But watch out for their promotional tricks!
brochure and web site mentioned that he was an adjunct professor
of management in a top-notch university.
The university had no such adjunct professor! Another
person gave me the phone numbers of two people who ďwould be
pleasedĒ to recommend him.
They provided rave reviews.
During his visit, I became suspicious and did a bit of
sleuthing. One of the
recommendations came from the consultantís cousin, another was a
good friend of the consultant!
consultant provided several glorious quotes with the names of the
individuals and the name of their companies.
Turns out that no such people worked in these companies.
One of the best
ruses was someone who advertises his consulting with the following
quote from a well-known CEO of a huge, successful organization: ď(Consultantís name) played a major role in helping us
develop (a very successful product).Ē
When I called the person who was in charge of developing
the product, he told me he never heard of the consultant.
And I bet the CEO has never heard of him either.
I guess one
learns through mistakes. Iíve
now spending more time on the phone with the consultant and am
asking more pointed questions.
For example, where and when were your last two engagements
and can you give me the phone numbers of your key contacts there?
I also ask if they will guarantee
that their service will be valuable to us.
In other words, if we donít find value, they donít get
paid. Thatís a good
way to eliminate the frauds.
At least Iím