Friday, July 11, 2003

The "Follow the Money" approach to organizational consulting

Prompted by the gentle goading of my friend/colleague Meg, I will attempt to briefly describe what this is all about. I know I've been avoiding the subject, even though it's incredibly interesting to me, because I imagine it will be a challenge to present in a way that makes sense. Yet, in the spirit of my original courageous endeavor to wash one fork, here goes.

When I was in college, all I wanted was to be a therapist. I thought human emotions were completely fascinating and hoped to have some one day myself. I had no interest in organizations or finance or anything of the like--although when anxious I did like to balance my checkbook, then hand-calculate regression equations to estimate what my bank balance might be in a week or a month (no comments on this are solicited or will be considered!). Then, as I neared the end of a lengthy and expensive stint in graduate school, it dawned on me that I would need to support myself and that I preferred to do so in style. Given that newly minted social science Ph.D's do not usually receive lucrative job offers, I decided to go to business school....Sort of. I attended a program at Wharton that was, in effect, a combination finishing school/boot camp for Ph.D's and ABD's in non-business fields who wanted to get jobs in the business world. By this time, I had shifted my fondest hopes and aspirations to doing organizational consulting--in other words, corporate therapy.

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