…a great post by Adrian Chan on consulting:
As service providers, we are in the business of facilitating change. Some of this is concrete, and takes the form of deliverables and “works.” But some of it is more ineffable — is process, communication, relationships, and understanding.
The contractor, faced with a new client opportunity, occupies a unique position. We are outside the organization yet soon to become a temporary resident. We are tasked with responsibilities (for which we are paid) and yet given a greater freedom of movement than employees. We have the capacity for driving change but our success is contingent on the organization’s flexibility. We have been hired based on reputation but are, in each and every new situation, given an opportunity to shape and move the client according to our own skills and abilities.
I choose independence because I enjoy it. I prefer the new and the fresh to the long-standing and ongoing. I am turned on by the challenge of unfamiliar people and problems, and I am drawn into the world when it is rich and complex. For me, contracting delivers the possibilities of the open, of the future, and of the ability to act as an agent of change.