Industry & Career Insights

Junior Consultants: Just Do the Work

In a post at Consultants Mind, the author laments as a Gen Xer how the young consultants have trouble with motivation. He thinks they need too much encouragement and lack initiative. Is this crotchety old-man speak, or does he have a point? Probably a little bit of both.

What to Expect from Punk Kids

As a senior consultant, the author does not want to hold anybody’s hand; he wants to be able to rely on junior consultants to think through a problem themselves, even when the problem is hard. He cites numerous different methodologies and strategies to apply to challenges without having to defer to the older guy in the room:

  • DMAIC for process improvement
  • Maturity models to determine your current performance
  • SIPOC to narrow the scope of a project
  • Interviews with experts to short-cut[sic] to the answer
  • Hypotheses to guess your way to the answer
  • Industry research to get smart quickly

If a junior consultant wants to get clarification from senior members, then that is great and preferable. But any answers that could be found through basic research of one’s own should be done on one’s own. The best employees, consultants or otherwise, are the ones who keep busy and find ways to be productive even when work has not been specifically assigned. And when they have great ideas, they take the time to formulate why those ideas are great, so that other people have an easier time agreeing to go with them. Ultimately, it sounds like the author just wants the younger crowd to be willing to do all the legwork, which is not unreasonable. The younger crowd might however argue that the author has been simply hiring the wrong young people though.

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