Friday Reflections | Gaetan (G.) Vanistendael
My passion for consulting
My non-consultant friends and colleagues often ask me why I am so passionate about my work. They see me put in long hours to deliver strenuous projects, with no certainty of where or what I’ll be doing next. I always tell them that, even after 10 years in the job, I’m still afraid of moving to industry because I do not believe any company can offer me more than a consultancy.
A company with a purpose
I love consultancies for their strong vision and ability to execute, both of which are indispensable for them to survive and thrive in a highly competitive environment. Consultancies must have the ability to constantly reinvent themselves and change course to keep leading their customers throughout never-ending change. They exist to generate value for their customers by understanding their customers better than they do themselves. Consultancies have a mandate to point out new ways of generating revenue, as well as more cost-effective ways of delivering services. A prerequisite for this capability is cutting edge market research to predict the trends and plan for them.
A working culture focused on growing people
I love consultancies for the opportunities they give people to deliver as a team. Often, I’ve been staffed in sectors or project types where I had limited prior experience, but I nonetheless had a vital role to play. Consultancies exist because they are vessels of expertise with seniors who have a deep understanding of the industry built across endless projects. They attract young potential which is willing to work hard in order to learn and grow fast. To share these learning experiences with my seniors and peers is why I’m willing to go the extra mile on every project.
A mandate to get things done
I love consultancies because they always get the work which the clients cannot deliver themselves. Consultancies are brought in for their proven methodologies and ability to get things done. It has often put me on seemingly impossible assignments with short deadlines, but I always knew I had the expertise of my company and the support of my colleagues to fall back on. Delivering difficult projects in so many different work environments has strengthened my professional abilities and boosted my confidence to take on even bigger challenges.
My non-consulting friends and colleagues sometimes understand when I try to explain, and sometimes they don’t. But I hope that most of you understand and share my passion. Consulting is more than just a job to me. It’s my way of life. And it gives me a life I’m happy to live every day.