Myths and strategy go hand in hand

At movemeon we love when members of our community want to share their insight, advice and thoughts on consulting with us. Today, Phil,  London-based independent freelancer dispells the myth that consulting is something radical. 

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Misconceptions today

Many misconceptions persist today even when it is easy to check the facts. Just say a few words into an iPhone and a selection of responses will appear on the screen. “Hey, Siri, what is…”.

The great wall of China is not visible from space. Goldfish have a memory span of about 3 months. Napoleon wasn’t at all short, he was 5ft 7”, well above the average height for a Frenchman at the time. Guy Fawkes did not die from being hung, drawn and quartered, he leapt from the gallows and broke his neck.

Why do myths persist?

Well, it most likely depends on the audience at the time and balancing the demands for accuracy and entertainment value. Still, the quest to learn the facts is appealing to most, particularly for strategy professionals, where it can be the difference between having an evidence-based plan or launching a rocket with the wrong coordinates.

Freelancing myths

There are many myths around freelancing too. Firstly, it is not as new or radical as you may initially think. In 1820, the word ‘free-lance’ was used by Sir Walter Scott to describe a warrior and weaponry that served many Lords. In 1903, ‘freelance’ was recognised as a verb in the Oxford dictionary and so changes to employment statuses were afoot nearly one hundred and twenty years ago.

Today many professions have workforces of which a significant portion are independent. The most popular are probably journalists, IT professionals and photographers. Worryingly the role of a hit-man makes it onto the same Wikipedia page!

The art and creative industries have had many successful people who began their careers as freelancers; Stephen King, Mark Twain, Brad Pitt and Charles Dickens to name a few.

Strategy work requires a solid mix of creativity, art, science and logic and so it doesn’t seem surprising that the freelance strategy community is growing strongly. Facts for this I don’t have to hand at the moment. And my iPhone battery just died. Typical.

– by Phil 

 

Author: Phil Carrivick – independent consultant focused on M&A support, growth strategy and business transformation in consumer sectors. 

 

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