Don't just do. Solve. 

By Siddharth Pathela

Business Technology Analyst | Consulting

Doing something for someone may seem like you’re solving their problem, but are you really? If someone asked you to create a slide for a deck, sure, by creating that slide you have fulfilled their most immediate need. However, have you really solved their problem? That deck has to have a certain flow, deliver a message and even sell an idea. By doing what was asked of you (i.e. creating the slide), you have helped the person but you haven’t really solved their problem. It would have been a good idea to go over the deck, understand the purpose of each slide, determine the message the deck is delivering and then propose potential improvements or modifications to the deck before you delivered the final product.

The same underlying logic can be applied to all consulting work – and potentially other fields as well. Clients are people and organizations that have real problems, often complex and ambiguous. Sometimes, the client doesn’t even know what their problem is or what they really want. It’s important that everyone on the team work towards building a solution and not just doing what was outlined by their superiors. Always try to think beyond the immediate task and try to make your superiors’ lives easier by solving problems for them.

Of course, this may not be the most natural thought process for most co-ops or recent graduates. School teaches you a completely different way of thinking. Often times, you’re just memorizing or cramming for exams without taking anything away from the course. Been there, done that. Just keep in mind that “quality” is just one aspect of a consultant’s review process. I’ve had some trouble adjusting to this mindset myself, but it’s something that you should keep working towards – it’s only going to help you in the end.  

So, remember, don’t just do – solve!

Siddharth is currently a Business Technology Analyst in our Toronto practice.

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