Virtuous cycle

Bartlomiej Owczarek weblog

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Why consultants do not blog?

I’ve been trying for some time to find some interesting blogs written by other consultants. With little success so far, which I thought was perhaps due to my little experience with this whole blogging thing.

However, it seems I’m not alone, as Steve Shu had a similar difficulty, specifically in finding McKinsey blogs (and an original post here).

Steve’s blog, by the way, has been quite helpful for me in getting grasp on what’s blogging is all about. And it led me to some further interesting reading, like this blog by Deloitte?s principal.

Steve is involved in blogs rather professionally, so he is more about corporate blogging. As a reason for relatively low popularity of blogs among management consultants he suspects availability of other established channels of spreading “thought leadership” (e.g. McKinsey Quaterly), risk management (handling of confidential information) and still low blog readership among corporate buyers.

Anyway, even though corporate blogging is fine, I would rather find some less formalized blogs of consultants like me. Distilled and filtered corporate communication I have enough, thank you.

I was able to find a nice blogging “podium” set up by Accenture in Netherlands here. My personal favorites are of course the girls – Maisey and Rieta. (note: I moved this paragraph here so its position doesn’t imply the podium is one of those sad, formalized and filtered places, which it is not)

I was thinking along the lines what personal features of consultants would make them less likely bloggers than other professionals. Below I listed some hypotheses, based also on my own experience with this webpage.

Because of their time constraints
As a matter of fact, consultants are usually not the ones leaving office at 5pm sharp. Objectively, they might have problems finding free time for blogging.

There may also be time management dimension of this. Consulting work allows you to develop quite rapidly by itself. However, I noticed that, sadly, consultants often lack drive to explore avenues of self-development other that the ones connected to work requirements. Work requirements are always urgent and it?s hard to devote precious time to something which is not, even if it?s promising.

Because they want it to be perfect from the start
Consultants may also be inclined to set the bar too high from the start. After all, we are used to maintaining high quality in everything we deliver.

It refers also to me, but as you can see on this site I managed to fight this urge to perfection quite effectively. I also have additional difficulty with my ?do-it-yourself? approach, which is to blame for this lousy home-made layout:) (updated: I changed the layout, there is a screenshot of my original one here)

To be serious, I still don?t know exactly what direction all of this should take, whether it?s light comments about consulting life, preferably illustrated with amateur photos not to write to much, or serious analyses full of insight and analytical rigor. Or maybe I leave this blog under my name for the latter and create another for anonymous complaints about consulting hardships and existential thoughts that get you in the airplanes.

Start small and learn what sticks, that much can be learned from Google.

Because they live in a world full of policies
And there is still the issue of policy compliance. If your blog is not anonymous, you would rather not want to be fired because of something in it. You impose some self-restrictions on what you write, which doesn?t make it easier.

As for myself, I still don?t know if my company has a policy related to private publishing. I never made an effort to look for policies. This was the first time I did but haven?t found anything.

Nevertheless, after some considering I removed all references to my company?s name, just to be on safe(r) side. And I will work on some nice disclaimer later.


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  1. November 19th, 2005 | 8:37 pm

    Hi Bartłomiej, I like your post and can relate to many things you are saying.

    In response to the notion that corporate blogs are too much filtered, I guarantee you that the Accenture Netherlands BlogPodium blogs are not at all formal. True, we do know our bloggers and provide the means for them to express themselves online. You can consider it a branded TypedPad as a service to our employees.

    The posts are not screened or changed in any way.
    I personally guarantee that since I set up the BlogPodium and to date am the administrator.

    Cheers,

    – Stephan

  2. Administrator
    November 19th, 2005 | 9:38 pm

    Hi Stephan,

    Thanks for dropping by!

    Indeed the blogs that I was able to read (in English:) did not seem formalized at all and therefore were fun. I subscribed so I will stay in touch how you are doing.

    I added the paragraph about blogpodium later and it landed in the wrong neighborhood.

    Will be more careful next time:)

    Best Regards,

    /B.

  3. November 20th, 2005 | 10:56 pm

    Hi Bartlomiej,

    First of all, thanks for mentioning my blog! I’m honoured! :D
    Being a consultant does mean that we don’t have a lot of free time to write blogs, but I’m trying to keep it up during the weekends or evenings. We’ll see how that goes… **fingers crossed**

    Keep in touch!
    M.

  4. November 20th, 2005 | 11:13 pm

    Funny – Going to your blog and seeing my dear colleagues have beaten me to it in leaving a reaction. Like the story, and agree on the points mentioned. I’m glad that I started the blog in English, it’s nice to reach an international audience. I hope we can choose for the lay-out to be in English as well soon, so it’s easier to understand that you can read further and leave a reaction on our blogs as well. (things that are currently mentioned in Dutch).

    Good luck on exploring the world of blogging – we’re just starting here as well.

    Rieta

  5. December 29th, 2005 | 2:04 pm

    Many insultants don’t blog because they also don’t have original thought!

    Think of the very large insultancies who back up the school bus to large enterprises and hand their consultants scripts to execute. Not saying you fit into this camp but many of your peers in the industry do…

    http://duckdown.blogspot.com/

  6. Joyce Newton
    August 30th, 2006 | 12:37 am

    I came across what looks less corporate and certainly unfiltered. Not all posts have to do with management consulting, but it’s worth looking at. Happy hunting.

    http://gettingoutofconsulting.blogspot.com/index.html

  7. June 8th, 2008 | 9:41 pm

    […] wrote a post on why consultants do not blog once. Among other things I noted that I failed to find any kind of blogging policy of my own […]

  8. November 25th, 2009 | 8:59 pm

    I highly enjoyed reading this article, keep on creating such exciting posts!