But if you had a smartwatch?

Can you guess Carl Ally's definition of a Consultant? Click To Tweet

So, I watched the Antiques Roadshow this week, and during one particular consultation, the expert explained to an astonished client that they had a sought after watch. And this got me thinking about my latest CPD, a Coach certification course. You see, I need to write up a reflective learning log, and I have been struggling to articulate just what I have learnt from the programme entirely. 


For the past 15 years, I have been a Business improvement consultant. According to Carl Ally, who on the 7th October 1965, Bedford (IA) Times-Press, pg. 4, col. 1: Ally defined a consultant as a man who borrows your watch and tells you what time it is. 



Ally was particularly sceptical of consultants, and the explanation was meant as a slight. Although I disagree with its premise, consultants don’t add value, the quote does hold a modicum of truth.  


But what if it were a Smartwatch? Click To Tweet


For the sake of this, let’s roll with the watch theme. As a business improvement consultant, my clients fell into three broad categories:


  • Many of my clients either didn’t know what a watch was or didn’t know they had a watch. The value I added was to use my watch to improve the business. 
  • Some of my clients had a watch, they looked at it every day, but they simply didn’t do anything with the information. I added value by reading their watch for them; and told them what they should do. I often just did it for them to save time. 
  • Some of my clients owned businesses run by Management teams who were not interested in a watch or what it did. I don’t need to explain how I added value to this category. 



The watch theme can be further expanded. Carl Ally’s watch will have been an analogue watch, and whilst still an excellent “bit of kit”, an analogue watch pales into insignificance when put up against a modern Smartwatch.  


Some of my clients owned businesses who's management teams were not interested Click To Tweet


There’s more tech in an Apple Watch than in the entire Apollo 11 Mission


A Smartwatch with more processing power than sent the first man to the moon can reward us with a vast amount of opportunity for insight. 


  • GPS tracking, navigation, route selection and planning, distance to destination, estimated time of arrival.  
  • Communication and administration tools include email, text messaging, social media, web browsing, and a plethora of Apps.
  • Advice on your health status, heart rate, VO2 max, and paired with a set of scales, weight, BMI, and body makeup. 


So, if I was a business improvement consultant working in your business, I would take a look at a watch, yours, mine, no matter. I might ask a few qualifying questions before advising you on the way forward. 



On the other hand, if I was your Business Leadership Coach, I might ask you to take a look at your watch. “What one thing can you fix/do/be this week which will move you toward your goal”?


Each time you look at your watch this week, why don’t you have a think about that?    


Oh look, time for a cup of tea. 

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