When the winds of blow some people build others buildAfrican proverb
We are often asked what an explorative consultant does differently as compared to a “regular” consultant, also known as exploitative consultants. The big difference lies in the value delivery and concerns both the type of knowledge and the relationship between the consultant and the client.
Regular consultants leverage their existing expert knowledge to advice their clients in a ‘power over’ type of relationship. They are the authorities on the subject and are hired by their clients because of a lack of such knowledge within those organisations. Since they “exploit” existing knowledge, extension of knowledge is gradual. They stay within the realms of what is already known.
Explorative consultants, on the other hand, acknowledge their clients as rich and deep sources of knowledge, and draw on that knowledge during a collaborative and explorative process of new knowlegde creation. This exploration leads to the realms of the unknown. The space where innovations occur.
As explorative consultancy we use a design approach to meaning making. Through this design approach we co-create and reshape value, using the imagination. Explorative consulting is helpful when addressing complex problems that require new order and paradigm shifts (e.g. from a goods dominant logic to a service dominant logic). Through explorative consulting we shift the focal point from the outcome to the process; and from knowledge transfer to co-created knowledge. In this way we are able to open up multiple directions in which organisations can evolve. Which direction is most suitable depends on the context. Meanwhile we use an array of theories, like complexity theory and social constructionism.
So, as explorative consultants we are designers who use the narrative mode while collaboratively shaping a new future. The strategy emerges through interactions between the participants in the strategy process. It is a continuous dialogue. Together with your team we gather inspirational data for you, about people’s live, values and thoughts, which will spark ideas within your organisation. We engage with the members of your organisation in a process of context-specific knowledge creation, through a cyclical process of research, action and reflection. The focus is on participation, action, and change. You can hire us project-based. Give us a call. We’ll discuss the details.