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Monday, February 25, 2008

Consultant's Sign System

Throughout the history consultants have had one important function. They have made people think that they know something about the future. Since knowing the future is an important advantage, especially when combined with resources, consultants have been valued by decision makers.

What struck me while preparing the last lecture was how similar are some modern day consultants to the old day shamans, priests and oracles who fulfilled the consultancy function before our time. Consider these two pictures. On the right you see an Estonian astrologist Igor Mang, on the right you see a bloke from google image search (searchword "consultant").

They may look different, but when you start analyzing the two pictures, you will suddenly see that both guys are trying to use some attributes in order to convince the viewer that they have some knowledge about the future. While the guy on the right dresses somewhat like a shaman and has a beard like an old wise man, the guy on the left, has clothes that must convince us that he is at home in modern business environment.

The guy on the right has a black sheep looking at him - clearly a visual sign that he must have some connection to the mythological or astrological side of life. The guy on the left has surrounded himself with some ICT and is holding a recorder. The latter must convince us that "this guy has thoughts". Well, does he actually have any thoughts? This picture does not tell anything about this. The only information here is that this guy "wants to have us thinking that he has thoughts".

And this, my friends, is a different thing from having real thoughts. As far as the black sheep is from the cosmic wisdom.