From Consultation to Consulteaching
As a higher ed administrator, former department chair, and business owner, I have grown weary of the standard consulting model.
On the hiring end, the endless conversations, the “What I Can Do For You!” song and dance from consultants desperate to close; the money spent on ponderous analyses offering no solutions. On the consulting end, the pitching, the unpaid proposals, the haggling…
So I stick to work that I love. That saves all of us time and aligns me with my basic career paradigm: teaching.
Teaching is my nature, my long education, my trade, career, and vocation. I taught other kids in kindergarten, then taught other students in high school and college. Then I moved up to doing it professionally in corporate settings, community colleges, universities, tech events, psychotherapy practices, graduate programs, and more venues than I can recall at the moment.
My answer to the consultation model is consulteaching.
I can’t heroically solve people’s problems, and I don’t try to be an expert on your field of operations. You already are. Instead, I offer tools, practices, approaches, skills, and lessons that enable you to solve your own problems and move to a place of greater flexibility, efficiency, focus, and fulfillment.
Being involved in that gives me joy. And I like to stay in touch with the people I’ve worked with.
Consulteaching isn’t mere fixing or advising: it’s creating lasting relationships and a sense of community.
It’s not for everyone. But if you’re serious about bringing about lasting and animating change, personally, organizationally, or culturally, and you think the deep teachings of psychology, Systems Theory, storytelling, and folklore could have something to offer, then we should talk.
My Philosophy: “The Point At Which Things Change”
You’ve probably heard the cliché that the Chinese character for “crisis” or “danger” also means “opportunity.”
That is not true. According to the Chinese dictionary, the character’s additional meaning is “the point at which things change.”
How they change depends on how we meet the challenge.
As a family therapist, I learned that families ask for help when faced with a rite of passage, a new step forward in their evolution, they aren’t sure how to navigate. The same is true for small businesses, academic programs, corporations, and many other kinds of organizations. Current (horizontal) obstacles combine with past (vertical) stressors to hinder organizational momentum.
Difficulties with moving forward show up in folklore as threshold guardians: ugly beings who demand to be responded to properly before they open the way. In Systems and Complexity terminology, these guardians can look like double binds, groupthink, system archetypes, and shifting strange attractors pushing for renewal. In plain language: speed bumps on the way to a higher road.
In some cases the issue isn’t a difficulty, but simply a lack of education, perspective, or training. That is easily remedied. Life and work are all about being vitalized by new learnings.
How I Work
The first step is a conversation about how I might be of service to you. We talk over what you need, ask each other questions, and find out if we’d like to work together. We can do this in person, on the phone, or via my Zoom or FaceTime accounts. It’s important that we both feel enthusiasm for the project and for what I bring to it.
Next, I start building a customized class that includes not only an initial opinion about the situation and an outline of what I’ll offer, but an array of resources to apply. For groups or organizations that require a proposal, this class will serve as one but, going farther, will also offer an initial brief, proposed solutions, and training materials.
While I work on this, contact the key people involved and ask them to send you a written summary of how they see the situation and what they want for an outcome. Once I have the summaries in one bunch, I will read them, finish the class, and send it to you.
If you want me to proceed, I can:
- Show up to teach and train
- Conduct trainings online
- Launch workshops
- Give presentations
- Design trainings
- Design curricula
- Work in small groups
- Work one on one
My fees are:
$500 per customized class.
$1,500 per one-day 8-hour training, consulting, or workshop event.
$200/hour for additional advising and consulting.
I have invested decades in school, in earning three degrees and several certificates, in designing and teaching more than 30 new classes, and in converting what I learned into practical uses outside the academy. I’m glad to make it available to you.
Read here for more about my professional life and background.
I look forward to hearing from you.