Creatives vs Consultants and the Crazy that’s coming…
If you want to make God laugh, show him your plans is a popular new age expression meaning we dream too small. Our meek humility is actually hilarious to a parent as abundant as the Almighty. This is the same new age philosophy that advised everyone to follow their heart or as Howard Thurman put it Ask not what the world needs, ask what makes you come alive and go do it, because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
Currently people in the creative arts — people who followed their heart — are struggling to keep their head above water, while the business consultants, who completely screwed up the track and trace system, are earning £6,000 a day.
Over the years, consultants have been called many things… Someone who describes the water while drowning; Someone who takes your watch, then tells you the time, and “Suits” — implying they’re just a piece of smart clothing… not an alive thing at all.
Nowadays the only value money has is the value someone gives to it. Business consultants will say things like “this is the price the market can stand” which is taken to an extreme by drug companies who say “this is the price someone will pay if they’re dying”.
They also say “if clients don’t pay a lot of money, they won’t value it”. The most popular seminars at the moment teach “How to get high paying clients”. The answer is normally… increase your prices, amp up your marketing and stand in front of a mirror saying “That’ll be £10,000” until it sounds normal, and not what it actually is… completely absurd. (This is not a joke by the way, Rich Litvin advises doing exactly this, in his book The Prosperous Coach).
Most people in government and senior management positions were educated in traditional academic institutions. These turn out highly intellectual people, with absurd levels of self confidence, who have been responsible for some truly terrible judgements — eg deregulating the financial institutions which led to ten million Americans losing their homes. The advisors were not held accountable and still took their bonuses, no doubt after standing in front of a mirror saying “you’re totally worth this money… you’re amazing”.
Creative people practice their art ‘live’. Consultants analyse data from the past to predict the future. It follows that because this pandemic is unlike anything that’s gone before, their data is fairly useless. They’re winging it.
Creativity and common sense have more value in any new situation, because creative people are used to making moment by moment decisions in the “here and now” moment. They should be valued and rewarded, but the opposite is true. They’re at the back of the queue for any support the government are offering during this financial crisis.
Creative people like Sir Ken Robinson and Steve Jobs knew the real value of creativity. Ken Robinson’s Ted talk on creativity has been watched 67 million times and been translated into 62 different languages. After management consultants almost bankrupted Apple, Steve Jobs turned it into the most successful company in the world, He said “the ones who are crazy enough to think that they can change the world, are the ones who do”.
Unfortunately, the Suits and the narcissistic politicians fought back. The consultants are still fiddling the books while the planet is burning. It’s the revenge of the boring and uncool… the people who refused to “come alive” the people whose only visionary aspiration was “Making money while you sleep”. This is hardly what Howard Thurman had in mind when he advised that people “come alive”.
The Titanic sank due to an arrogant, over confident captain. Musicians played while the ship went down. The band’s heroic leader, a fiddle player called Wallace Hartley said that music was a bigger weapon for stopping disorder than anything on earth.
Our current politicians would be wise to take that into consideration before they sign off the next load of invoices to their pals.