I remember when I used to call myself a consultant. And others used to happily pay me for “consulting”, too. Not that the outcomes were ever anything to write home about.
I’ve come round to the belief that consulting, predicated as it is, largely, on telling people “answers”, doesn’t work too well. It’s not well-aligned with how people learn, change, and grow.
The Therapist’s Stance
These days, I much prefer to actively help people – whether individuals, teams, groups, departments or organisations – to find their own answers. This seems much more useful, in terms of outcomes, although often, much more difficult than just telling.
Moreover, I believe that the answers people have open to them, those that they can discover, embrace and apply, are strictly limited to those answers which “fit” into their current world view, belief system, or mindset.
“We don’t see things as they are, we see things as we are”.
~ Anais Nin
Or, as I sometimes rephrase it:
“We can only see those thing that our beliefs allow us to.”
Aside: As we can see from the table, above, organisational therapy seems well-aligned to Teal organisations (cf Laloux) in particular.
Mindset, and particularly the collective mindset of an organisation, plays a fundamental role in the things people can see, and so to the options they believe they have open to them.
This explains my choice to pursue the path of therapy for organisations, and my adopted role of therapist. How else to help folks in organisations find their own answers – to what they believe and what they could believe differently, that might serve them better to see folks’ needs well met?