Monthly Archives: September 2013

Using consultants as catalysts in power driven organizations

Power driven organizations are focused on their “shareholders”. They might be not-for-profit organizations, businesses or “solopreneurs”; in all the cases they are focused on the needs of the “owners”.

Business ConsultantsThe natural role of a consultant is:

1) To be an expert who provides expertise.

2) To be a tool provider.

3) To be a technology provider.

The role of what has been named a pseudo-consultant is:

1) to outsource work processes

2) to provide opinions

3) to work as a catalyst

Power driven organizations do not use consultants, they use pseudo-consultants. When using pseudo-consultants they cannot accept including them in the circle of “WE”.

Therefore they are an external element that is used to empower their system because of some problem the organization has to solve. This means that the pseudo-consultants are not part of the business processes and therefore function as an external element that works as a catalyst.

A business catalysts works as a competitor with the system it is catalyzing. That is why catalysts wear out by using them. Pseudo-consultants get worn out in these organizations, and at the end they are perceived as a “persona non grata”.

Also consultants work as catalysts but what catalyzes is the functional expertise, the tools or the technology. What gets worn out is the objective added value which is absorbed by the organization as soon as it is installed and “vanishes” as a catalyst. The subjective role of the consultants becomes upgraded during this process.

Pseudo-consultants are used as “subjective” catalysts, and the organizations compete with them in order to “beat” them to avoid their competition with the power of the members.

That is why “institutionalized consultants” cannot work with power driven organizations, and power driven organizations need to have a reservoir of consultants to use when needed.

Peter Belohlavek

NOTE: The Unicist Research Institute was the pioneer in complexity science research and became a private global decentralized leading research organization in the field of human adaptive systems.