HYCS #24 – Consulting is Not Linear

HYCS #24 – Consulting is Not Linear

We’re almost at the halfway point of this course.  It’s time to recommit and to banish the idea of linearity.  Also:  I have a new call-in number.

Word Count: 515

Reading Time: 2 minutes

Assignment Time: 3 minutes

Linearity is a nice word for being in a rut.  A rut is doing the same thing in the same way and expecting a new result. There is a fine line between a routine that nourishes and a rut that depletes and becomes a kind of madness.

Routines provide just the right amount of structure to support creativity and renewal.  Routines allow for variation or something altogether different.  Ruts are rigid, tiny and not comfortable for even one person.  It’s impossible to get a client or a team in one.  They keep leaping out.

Setting the Stage – Entering – Contracting – Diagnosing – Deciding – Planning and Implementing – Assessing and Closing:  Routine or Rut?

The Consulting cycle appears to be a linear process that burbles along like a mountain stream.  A comfortable, predictable, safe routine. But that’s not the way it happens in practice. And insisting on going step-by-step can turns what is a useful routine into a tiny, cramped rut.

The consulting cycle is not going to save you from bad work or difficult clients.  You are.  That means you need to know when to follow the steps in order and when to vary your approach.  Worst of all is falling into a rut where you don’t really see your clients and aren’t really in touch with what you want and need.

We’re nearing the halfway point in this online course.  I’m giving you fair warning about what’s ahead.  But first, a quick glance at where we’ve already been.  I’ve spent 23 weeks talking mostly about who you are, what you value, what kind of consultant you are, meetings in general, phone meetings and the entering meeting in particular.

That’s about the right mix:  Nothing is more crucial than establishing yourself as a consultant and forming a partnership and learning all you can up front about your clients.

For the rest of the course I’ll be addressing the latter stages of the Consulting cycle using examples from my consulting practice:  Contracting, diagnosing, Planning and Implementing, Assessing and Closing.

But that’s not all.  The latter stages of the consulting cycle are like the Wild West.  There’s little routine and ruts get downright unlivable.  That’s why the grounding of the initial stages are so important.


  1. Go to the membership area on the Collaboration Zone website and look through the list of emails.  Are there any you want to review?  If so, click through.
  2. Recommit to the monthly phone call.  They happen the 4th Friday of every month from noon to 12:45.  The next call is Friday, April 4thThe call-in number has changed so I can recommit to recording the calls for later listening, something that was no longer working with the service I was using.  Here’s the new call-in info:

Dial-in Number:  857-232-0158

Conference Code:  959198

“See” you on a future call!