Why hire a local consultant?

Posted by Robert Merrill on July 25, 2009 under uFunctional Values | Be the First to Comment

When you’re on your own like me, you take what comes in terms of client engagements. There’s that daughter in college, after all. And I can’t seem to shake this food addiction.

But my compass consistently points towards local, part-time, long-term engagements. That’s what I sow and cultivate.

I have a value-proposition reason, a forward-looking reason, and a personal reason.

  • Change for the better grows best in a steady, soaking rain of consulting, not a cloudburst.
  • Rapidly rising travel costs and finally-effective telepresence technology are about to transform the economics of consulting.
  • I don’t like to travel.

The Information Age has already transformed consulting. You no longer have to fly in the expert knowledge. You can webinar it, podcast it, blog it, feed it, Tweet it, Kindle it, or still use old-school ink-on-dead-trees. Information isn’t the problem, it’s application. In the area I know best, software development, the gap between “best practice” (if there is such a thing) and current, local practice is typically huge. Good-enough information that soaks in steadily, beats a downpour of best-of-breed information that runs off.

In the traditional  “Airborne Consulting” model, the high-powered experts parachute in. Read more of this article »

Jack and Jesus talk Work-Life Balance

Posted by Robert Merrill on July 14, 2009 under uFunctional Values | Be the First to Comment

No such thing as work-life balance.” —Jack Welch
No one can serve two masters. You can’t serve both God and Money.” —Jesus Christ

Why I’m able to sell

Posted by Robert Merrill on under uFunctional Values | Be the First to Comment

I heard that. Stop laughing.

No less than the Harvard Business Review just confirmed what I felt all along—the only reason I can sell at all is that I sell for a company I love.

Read the third comment to the HBR article—it saddens me, but also renews my determination to be different. Right now, uFunctional is just me. I love what I do (most days, anyway) and I believe in it. Get me started talking about software-intensive businesses and how to form a combined team of bizzies and techies and create value by creating software, and you can’t get me stopped.

It’s a problem. I just posted a comment to Roxx Allaire’s post, “What are the 7 Keys to Success in Sales,” that a key skill is Listening. Oops.

If uFunctional ever grows beyond just me, I hope I have the courage to keep it a team that those who represent it can love, and summarily fire those who would undermine that.

Failing that, I hope I have the courage to scuttle the whole thing.