Over many years of working for clients and other organisations, and observing others working in the same field, a philosophy has emerged which underpins Stratum's approach. This philosophy is based on a few basic and interrelated principles.
I have seen too many "Yes Men" working as consultants, and seen some of the messes they create, allowing a client to maintain a direction that is sub-optimal or just plain wrong. I have come to realise that clients are best served by telling them the truth, even when it is not necessarily the news they were hoping to hear. Only by working from a basis of honesty can a true partnership be built, with trust on both sides.
To help a client to solve their problems or to plan a way ahead, it is necessary to fully understand the client's problems and environment. Achieving this means engaging fully with the client, working to build an understanding of their organisation, politics, ethos, motivation and culture. Failure to explore and understand these softer issues will mean that the support provided to a client will not address the real problems, or that a solution, while technically unimpeachable, will simply not fit into an organisation, and will fall be the wayside.
Support, Don't Drive
The client will have taken you on to solve a problem, but will want to own the solution. Help him solve it, guide his thoughts, improve his understanding, but don't take over!