Friday, July 30, 2010

Going Native

So I'm sitting in the Ontario (CA) airport, waiting for a flight to Sacramento. The purpose of today's flight? In short, to show I care.

I'm spending time with a client today to help launch a significant JD Edwards implementation. While they know they need the system, they're understandably nervous about the project. I'm attending the project kick-off to show that our company will be there with them and to assure them that we'll do whatever it takes to get them across the finish line. Today is not about billing, generating revenues, or even sharing nifty Oracle tricks. It's about showing that we care.

In consulting, we often talk about consultants who have "gone native" - who put the needs of the client above the needs of their own company. It's usually spoken of as a bad thing. Me, I wish I could find more consultants like that. Happier clients, superior deliveries, a brand reputation that drives customers to the door. That sounds like the road to success for a service-provider.

I need to work harder on going native. Today is a step in that direction for me. How 'bout you?

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad


jpiwowar said...

I think that this is my default state, for better or worse. :) I thrive in an environment where there's a sense that everyone's on a mission, and "going native" can enable/feed that perspective.

Gary Myers said...

When I was introduced to consulting, I was told the term was 'turning into a pickle', as in 'spend enough time in the vinegar'.

There can be benefits from "being" the client, but being the only consultant from your firm at a client for months on end can definitely lead to disengagement from the actual employer.

Anonymous said...

I find it's one of the benefits of being a contractor. No big consulting firm to watch my back reprimand me when I go too 'native'.

I defend the customer's needs, and that's why they hire me again and again. It's a win-win situation.

John Stouffer said...


I've always felt that "going native" was the sign of a great consultant vs. a contractor. There are times you may get accused of being too "emotional" about the customer but that's what most of us are there for is to be the client's advocate through this often unnecessarily complex activity that we call ERP...:-)

Good note and good luck.