Monday, October 8, 2007

On the merits of dipping

It's a rule in consulting that you never have enough time to do all the analysis you'd like to.

Two levers to increase productive output for a consultant

  1. Increase the productive output/hour.
    • Capabilities: Developed over time through education & experience, fixed over the short term.
    • Willpower: Pretty fixed in the long-term and probably LIMFAC'd by IQ, training, or education
  2. Stay productive for more hours
    • Work Harder: Easy to say, but fits back into willpower. With long hours some people's productive output drops off dramatically.
    • Apply an External Stimulant
      • Coffee: Tried and true, and many consultants will seriously overconsume on coffee. The problem is decreasing effectiveness over time. I can do a double-shot of espresso at night and be asleep one hour later.
      • Cocaine or Speed variants: Highly effective, with the drawback of being illegal and putting you in jail if caught.
      • Smoking: Probably the least popular social norm in society, so you lose stature in the eyes of your client and your team, most likely. Plus, how can you work on your slides when you're freezing outside by the loading dock door?
      • Chew Tobacco: Ahhh, here we are. It is highly effective at delivering sustained amounts of nicotine over time, keeps both hands free for working, and doesn't set of fire alarms. The downside is social disgust, but with some skill, you can prevent the client and your peers from even knowing it's there.

I think dip, aka chew tobacco, is a hidden differentiating advantage for the hardworking consultant. Think about it.

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Monday, October 8, 2007