Naval Ravikant, entrepreneur and investor, has a great saying:
"Useful feedback comes from either nature or the market.
Journalists that write for journalists get corrupted. Restaurant chefs that cook for other chefs aim for status, not value creation."
Most consultants I know enjoy exchanging with their peers. After all, we have common interests and passions. And we're all in the long game of building and growing a practice that works for us.
Strategy consultants like to explore innovative techniques, frameworks, and mental models. IT consultants often enjoy getting technical and discussing the latest solutions in the market. Is there something wrong with that?
Not at all. The problem is born when partners and advisors think these discussions are relevant for their clients as well. Almost always, they see no or little value in these topics.
Strategy clients want focus and direction. They're interested in creating a robust and easy-to-communicate business strategy that informs priorities to the rest of the company. Not in unorthodox approaches that might get featured as a strategy case study in the future.
IT clients want to reduce risks and increase staff productivity. They are looking for solutions that are tried-and-tested and cost-effective, integrate with their current stack, and make it easier for their internal team to implement. It's not a good use of their time to understand every new and shiny technology that comes up.
Before you bring new ideas and suggestions to your clients, ask yourself: Is this something truly relevant for their business, or only for practitioners in my space?
Being up to date with new developments and adding modern solutions to your toolkit are key characteristics of competent advisors. But so it is to select the information and ideas you present to clients.
Curate before presenting.