Defining the Consultant 2.0

A recent post entitled Dream to Reality: How I Quit My Day Job by Tina Su made me reflect on the evolution of my career vocation as well as life after the graduation—my thesis defence is tomorrow at noon. I have no plans to quite my day job any time soon. But I do want to make certain changes in order to be able to better balance my life and feel I’m getting the most out of it.

Tina Su seems to have made a vocation of blogging. She writes:

Through my quest to finding my passion, I discovered blogging as a platform where I can share ideas and lessons learned that are closest to my heart, as a way to serve others. For the first time in my life, I feel that I am living my life purpose.

I “digged” Tina Su’s blog post and remarked the following:

There is something to this blog post. I’m sort of halfway there – I’m working from home and blogging, developing a network and pursuing my passions on the side, planning for a moment where I can generate revenue with my opinion/online resources — it’s a kind of consultant 2.0. I most certainly appreciate the advice and tips.

Then of course, I got to thinking about what does consultant 2.0 mean? Has anyone else used this term? And how did they define it?

Noah D. Roth wrote a blog post in April 2007 entitled Consultant 2.0 where he gives a definition of what a Consultant 2.0 might be:

Today’s consultant- let’s call him Consultant 2.0- isn’t just looking for 3 years of consulting as a gateway to a line role in industry. […] Consultant 2.0, working 80 hours per week at 80% travel, doesn’t have time for a second full time job looking for their next career move. And his next move is likely to be less-traditional. He may sacrifice cash for equity. Having been a generalist for most of his consulting career, Consultant 2.0 isn’t going to the first client who makes him an offer. He is choosing an industry and a role, and developing deep relationships with his own firms alumni network, and the recruiters who can get him in the door.

Next, Leslie Bradshaw has a consultant 2.0 category for her blog, and though she never uses the term specifically, in one post entitled The rise of the “influential 2.0″ and the “strategist 2.0″ and the … ok, you get the point she writes:

The “strategist 2.0″ – Strategists and consultants — such as those from the political, PR and advertising phyla — who make their money leveraging the influence, relationships, fundraising potential, Word-of-Mouth marketing, etc. from “the blogs” (and other online media, groups, networks, outlets, and so on).

Next, I found a slideshare presentation created a month ago by Pat Kitano on How Web 2.0 and Internet Transparency is Changing Management Consulting:

Last Monday, Dion Hinchcliffe wrote in his Web 2.0 Blog that Web 2.0 remains the top word used to describe Internet trends. He discusses offspring terms such as Advertising 2.0, Law 2.0, Library 2.0, Enterprise 2.0 and even Government 2.0 and remarks that:

At this point there are some that like to invoke Buzzword Bingo at such seemingly gratuitously coining of new terms, but I personally find this a crucially important point: The global network of the Web itself, which is shaped continually by the endless participation of hundreds of millions of users around the clock, is no more than a reflection of those that shape it (which are then shaped themselves by it.)  That the principles of Web 2.0 cross all disciplines, types of business, types of government, languages, as well as types of people and culture has fostered an interesting phenomenon.  Namely, each of these topical areas are in the various stages of translating how Web 2.0 transforms and improves what they do, from architectures of participation and harnessing collective intelligence to radical decentralization (with cloud computing being the most interesting new example) and open service ecosystems. (links in quote provided by Dion Hinchcliffe)

Google returned 7,540 results for “consultant 2.0”. There’s a machining calculator called Consultant 2.0. I don’t know why the author named it that way. Random.

I’m still not sure exactly what Consultant 2.0 really means yet, at least not for me. But if I try to define some common points, it involves:

  • using blogs and other social media tools to build a reputation as well as a network
  • sharing with others what I know, what I read, what I think, how I feel… by extension who I am
  • being transparent and accessible
  • having an opinion, recognizing other’s opinion, being able to compare and contrast them
  • a lot of reading and writing
  • being able to effectively evaluate information I find on the Web
  • being confident, yet humble
  • developing a balanced scorecard approach to evaluating the return on investment of the practices listed above that involves more then an immediate cash return

Anything else?

References:

Can a Goofball be Taken Seriously?

We all have our expressions. One of mine is goofball. It’s not too rude (mind you I’m careful about who I call a goofball), and kind of silly, and reminds me of this guy. Sometimes I use it with affection, sometimes with friendly sarcasm and sometimes when faced with adversity. I even refer to myself often as being a goofball, goofing off, goofing around, etc.

I like to laugh and make people laugh. I’m even goofy sometimes when I’m teaching; it’s my way of being entertaining. It doesn’t always go over well, not everyone appreciates my humour. But more often then not, it does. And people find me approachable because I’m not all stuck up, but rather a bit goofy. It’s like if you spend any amount of time with Thiagi, an ultimate goofball, you’ll hear him refer to himself as stupid. Of course, he’s goofing around.

However, I sometimes wonder if it might come across as unprofessional. Janet Clarey actually raises some important questions about how we perceive professionalism in a blog post about business communication.

But Chris Brogan got me really thinking about this with his blog post entitled The Importance of Being Funny. He displays, what I would characterize as, a picture of him being a goofball (Chris, I say that with the utmost respect 🙂 ). Chris tackles the issue of how funny is perceived and how it is sometimes necessary and how it impacts storytelling.

Ok, so every picture tells a story. A picture is worth a thousand words. Yadda3. So when my good friend Sonia decided to do a photoshoot for me a while back, we narrowed the best pics down to about 10. The picture on the left is the one I use 90% of the time when I have to submit a professional picture. The picture on the right is my friends’ favorite. Why? Well Sonia, the photographer, said it was the picture that captured me the best. It tells the best story about who is Kristina Schneider. My response was that these were business photos… I’m rethinking this right now.

Can you take a goofball headshot seriously?
Can you take a goofball headshot seriously?

 

Steve Woodruff wrote a blogpost entitled Your Personal Brand – Does it Matter? in which he argues:

People often question if they “need” a personal brand. Here’s the news – you already HAVE a personal brand. The only questions are, what is it? And are you projecting it effectively?

I think this is bang on.

But can goofballness be part of that brand or does it harm that brand?

Ultimately, can a goofball be taken seriously?

Or perhaps, how well known do you have to be before you can get away with being a goofball.

References:

Building the Argument for Changes in Enterprise Learning

Today Jay Cross posted his elevator speech on what he does in his post Enterprise learning:

Most of the businesses and governments live in the last century. They cling to industrial-age beliefs that the world is predictable, management has the answers, and workers are under their control. In the real world, no one has the answers, collective intelligence beats top-down decisions, and management’s task is to inspire people rather than tell them what to do.

Corporations need to replace traditional training, knowledge management, and in-house communications with something more informal, interactive, collaborative, self-service, impromptu, and flexible. Instead of pushing content, they need to be facilitating conversation. I try to help them get there.

So what do you do?

I think when Jay asked “what do you do?” he meant, “how do you define yourself”. I could actually steal Jay’s elevator speech because that it pretty much what I do. Or at least what I’d like to be doing more and more of. But I can’t sell a service that people won’t buy, right? So I’m going to interpret it another way. What I do is try not to get discouraged/feel frustrated by those who cling to the industrial-age beliefs and want me to implement top-down learning systems. Don’t get me wrong, I do have some break-throughs, but I find I face so much resistance.

I know there has been a lot of research on why there is so much resistance to change.

Sometimes I wonder if my argument for change is not solid enough.

Perhaps this might help. The University of Massachusetts Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research recently released a report of their research on the use of social media by the Inc 500. I discovered this report via Ross Dawson who writes that “this is one of the first longitudinal studies, showing changes in adoption of social media tools from one year ago”.

In addition, a little over a month ago, Tony Karrer blogged about a Fortune Magazine interview with GE’s CIO who reports that their professional networking site gets 25 million hits per day and is “is becoming sort of a heartbeat of the company”.

There are definitely no lack of arguments for this change.

My concerns are the following:

  • I’ve found I’ve been able to implement change slowly: a little blog here, a little discussion forum there. But is this the most effective way to implement this kind of change?
  • Perhaps eventually they’ll think of a larger scale implementation, but I need to show the results and evaluation is a little trickier in this arena. What are the ways that we can concretely assess success with this type of learning?

I’m curious what kind of arguments and approaches have been successful in helping organizations change. I’d love some feedback.

References:

Visualizing the Transition from Learning 1.0 to Learning 2.0

On the wiki page devoted to VizThink’s Visual Learning Group, Brent Schlenker asked others represent the  transition from Learning 1.0 to Learning 2.0.

I contacted Brent a few weeks ago, manifesting my interest to participate. I’ve got something brewing…

The Evolution of Workplace Learning
The Evolution of Workplace Learning

Peter Stoyko has already come up with an information graphic. It focuses on how social media/Web 2.0 tools have facilitated learning as well as how mapping and graphic/visual facilitation have facilitated learning.

I’m thinking there is a link between the two actually. I believe they feed one another somehow. I’m not sure how to formulate it yet, but it definitely has some of the following elements.

Technological improvements /  Web 2.0 technologies make it easier to:

Can you think of other links? It would most definitely help me out in developping my own information graphic.

References:

How Gen Y Operates with Web 2.0

Slideshare is nifty little tool and some already have come up with eLearning uses for it.

Here are two examples or Web 2.0 explained to Gen Y by Gen Y.

From the brilliant mind of Sacha Chua, sketched on her Nintendo DS, The Gen Y Guide to Web 2.0 at Work:

 

From another brilliant woman Marta Z. Kagan, here is her self-proclaimed World’s Best Presentation:

 

References:

Blog Design Study

Smashing Magazine present their findings of their study of top blogs.

  • Part 1 discusses layout design and typographic settings.
  • Part 2 discusses navigation design, information architecture, advertisements and functionality (RSS-feeds, tag clouds, pagination, etc).

What Smashing Magazine has to say about their study:

We have identified 30 design problems and considered solutions for each of the problems separately. We have posed 30 questions which we would like to answer with our blog survey. Below we present findings of our survey of popular blog designs — the results of an analysis of 50 popular blogs according to Technorati’s Top 100.

Also from Smashing Magazine is their helpful post on 15 Desktop Blogging Tools Reviewed. I actually wrote this post using BlogDesk. Not too bad, just took some getting used to. I will try ScribeFire (a Firefox plugin) for my next post.

References:

Putting the Learner in the Driver’s Seat

Ever notice that a long trip is seems shorter when you’re the one driving? When I’m a passenger and I don’t have anything to distract me, I feel like a trip can go on forever. But when I’m behind the wheel, my mind is constantly engaged, thinking, processing and deciding. I actually prefer driving a manual transmission because I feel like I have more control over the car. (Sidebar: Earlier today, Karyn Romeis posted a very another interesting analogy about learning and driving and I discovered it after writing mine. Ah! I love mini-zeitgeists!)

In a post entitled Here’s Why Unlocking Your Course Navigation Will Create Better Learning, Tom Kuhlmann discusses the number one reason (I’ve heard) for why certain people are adverse to eLearning courseware:

Courses need to be designed to accommodate the uniqueness of each learner. And that doesn’t happen by trying to control them.

Yes! Exactly!

As a consultant, I find myself trying to get clients to understand this constantly. They argue that they want to make sure that the learners don’t skip something very important and that they need to ensure that everyone understand everything the same way – this seems to be very important in the case of certification programs. Maybe they’d be better served consulting with the spirit of Asimov…

Tom then goes on to make a case for problem-based learning:

Locking the navigation is a solution to stopping learners from clicking through the course. However, it doesn’t address why they’re clicking through it in the first place and not focusing on the content. Instead of locking the navigation, create a course that removes the reason to just click the next button.

This is something every good face-to-face to trainer knows well. In order to avoid having a bunch of blank faces staring back at you, you need to interact with your learners by asking a question or by soliciting their opinion, anything to get that little hamster running. The advantage of face-to-face training is the visual feedback that learners are disengaged. In an online setting, you won’t get that feedback and disengaged learners won’t be paying attention to the content, as Janet Clarey and her commenters demonstrate in a post entitled: What to do while attending a boring online learning event: stealth learning.

The premise of problem-based learning is to stimulate the learner to think. You first present a problem, get the learner thinking about it, get them interacting with the content, give them feedback. The idea is rather then spoon feeding the content to the learner, you get learners to arrive to the ideas and concepts you are trying to convey.

It is no wonder that Serious Gaming is getting more and more press and is being considered by organizations as a effective way to deliver training. I’m actually quite excited as I’m designing my first serious game for a project I’m working on – and this is allowing me to design a whole other level of problem-based learning.

I’d love to hear other creative ways people are designing problem-based learning!

References:

Blog Content Pirates – Advice Needed on How to Deal with Them?

There is one word to describe how I feel at this moment: Ick.

And the reason is feel this way is because I discovered that the entire blog post I made yesterday was copied and pasted and reposted on someone else’s site. Oh, the heading states that I (or technogenii) as the source, but there is no link to my blog. Actually, I was able to discovered this incident because I linked to another one of my blog posts in that post and received a pingback request.

But even writing “Source: technogenii” in the headline, in my opinion, is not enough. I understand that because I’ve published my post in the public domain that it isn’t protected by copyright. But isn’t there some kind of an etiquette amongst bloggers? There is an ethical way to point to another source on the Web without republishing it without permission.

I’ve been blogging for about a month now. So I’m looking for the advice of more seasoned bloggers on how to deal with this time of online rip-off.

The Capacity to Recall vs. the Capacity to be Resourceful

In a post entitled Brain 2.0 : eLearning Technology, Tony Karrer discusses whether or not it is more important to be knowledge-able rather than knowledgeable. The basic premise is whether or not is more important to:

  • store a bunch of information in our minds that we can recall at any time (recall), or
  • know which information to access, where to find it and how to verify it’s accuracy (resourcefulness)

This reminds me of the research methods class I took a few years back. During one of the first lectures, we learned basic statistical formulas such as alpha coefficient and chi square. Now numbers and I aren’t always friends. I can work through formulas by following instructions but it takes all my concentration to do so and I often make mistakes. I have a tendency to inverse numbers a lot too. Anyhow…

I asked the professor when would it be appropriate to use chi square as opposed to alpha coefficient (I know now that they don’t do the same thing but I’m still not clear on what it is that they do). He answered that it depended on the data and when I would have my data, I’d need to listen to the data. For the exam, all I needed to do is memorize the formulas. Oh boy. That is perhaps when I decided I’d look for a thesis topic that would lend itself well to qualitative inquiry!

I need to learn things in context. If I know why I’m learning something or I have a set use for it, I’m more likely to remember it. So at this time, I can’t remember the formulas for either. But I know that they are available online. The thing is, that right now I have no idea when to use them, nor can I assess the validity of the resource. So I got a B in research methods, lowest grade during my whole MA, but I passed, but not without developing a total aversion to statistics. How absolutely unfortunate.

Tony Karrer refers to Brent Schlenker’s There is no Brain2.0…so why Learning2.0?, where Brent evaluates the pros and the cons of the e in eLearning, something I’ve addressed in another post. He argues that:

We must better understand the learning process in order to create better content and experiences. Its not just behavior that we need to understand. We MUST understand the human brain. (link from original post)

Absolutely, we need to understand how the brain works in order to design better content. If more people did, we’d have less of these page turning eLearning course with information recall assessments at the end of them. We’d create simulations and problem-based learning courses. And if we created these types of courses, perhaps “training” would give individual tools to make contextual decisions rather then be bounded to a set script.

Now I agree with Brent that technology is an important factor and that is where the “e” comes in. However, the technology can be used to store the tools and resources (formulas, language rules, procedures, etc) that we don’t use on a daily basis so that we can concentrate on thinking.

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