My youngest son is an architect. We, including my oldest son, are computer and business consultants. Sitting in the living room one night we started talking about what he does and how it compliments what we do.
We ask a lot of questions when working with clients. The questions are to help us understand the client’s current environment and to drill down into what is the main issue. When someone calls us there is always a key underlying issue.
A client will call an architect because they want a new house or building. They have specific things they want to see in that house. It is the same with a business decision. The client usually has a vision of where they need to be or how they want a process to work if it’s currently broken or not being implemented efficiently.
The topic around the living room eventually evolved into the idea of a webinar or blog series to talk about building a business like a house. You need a strong foundation. You need to decide what kind of walls you build – open or closed. How many rooms do you need – or segments of business and departments. Will you expand and need another floor – do you need to add people and build the infrastructure to support them.
The more we talked the more evident it became that there is a strong correlation between being an architect and being a consultant. Ultimately we are both asking questions to come up with a design or solution that solves a problem or builds a structure, whether it is a house or a business. The word architect derives from the Latin architectus, which derives from the Greek arkhitekton (arkhi-, chief + tekton, builder), i.e., chief builder. The word consultant, derived from Latin: consultare “to discuss” is a professional who provides professional or expert advice, typically in a particular area. A business consultant has a broader range of expertise – they may not know everything and typically don’t, but they know where to look. That is the key.
So, you have someone who designs and asks questions and someone who discusses, asks questions, and comes up with an answer to help you build what you need. The consultant and the architect do similar things and have similar and complimentary skills – we just have a different result and output.
Now, imagine partnering the two together. Wow. A lot of business consultants are very left brained. They are very focused on the details and the how to’s. Architects tend to be very visual and right brained. They look outside the box to see things from a different angle. That is a powerful addition to the business consulting world. Marry the two together with someone who can take that visual idea and articulate it in business language and you have a dynamite pairing. Put that into one person and that consultant is making a lot of money.
My challenge to you, my readers, is to think of this yourself. Does your business have a strong foundation? Was it built like you would build a house? Is it strong enough to survive a storm? Is it strong enough to survive exponential growth and add on new floors and editions? Is it a modern home or a log cabin, put in place to bring in just enough money to pay the bills? Interesting idea, isn’t it.
I think this is a magic idea and have put together the beginnings of a series of articles and webinars using this approach. It is going to be fun mapping all the components together. My two sons, the architect and the consultant, make a great team. I can see the marquee now – the Berastegui Brothers take on Architecting a Strong Business Foundation – from the ground up. Stay tuned.