What I’m about to say is abundantly self-serving and even somewhat arrogant on the surface, but hear me out: you should hire PhDs.
Several articles have been written recently outlining some positives of hiring PhD consultants — access to institutional knowledge, increased ability to incorporate the latest researched perspectives, and bolstering an organization’s professional reputation. While these are valid reasons in their own right, they don’t specifically differentiate doctoral-level talent from other high-caliber individuals. More importantly, hiring PhD consultants provides an overwhelming advantage:
- Skills acquired during a doctoral program allow PhD consultants to think about common perceptions and occurrences in terms of organizational perspective and proximity.
- Or said another way — we know how to perform discovery in a way that uncovers information beneath the surface. We get answers to your questions — as well as our own, through Perspective and Proximity.
In academia, we learned how to learn. It is not by doing research that we learn, but by how we research. The content is almost always less important than the awareness we acquire while getting the information. In other words, the way in which PhDs collect data, analyze a large variety of individual and collective perspectives, and draw conclusions is highly sophisticated and nuanced.
As a result of our training, we know how to take advantage of proximity while on site. As an intended consequence of collecting in-the-moment data, we’re provided an objective look at organizational strengths and gaps via the uninhibited viewpoints of the organization’s front-line workers and executives alike. We’ve been taught how to effectively build trust quickly and trained on managing the struggle alongside individuals as they learn and develop into their roles. By doing so, we gain a wholly unique understanding of the relationships among individuals within an organization, allowing us to create a deeper and more long-standing impact.
In this way, the combined expertise of knowing how to cultivate in the moment perspective and the proximity of eliciting objective feedback means access to “two” different experts when you hire a consultant PhD.
The Point: Hire the right PhDs
Hiring PhDs is advantageous, but truly capitalizing on this advantage means hiring the right ones. Doctorally-trained consultants who provide off-the-shelf solutions, use a lot of buzzy language, dictate change instead of facilitating an environment where change can occur, refuse to listen (and incorporate) your feedback, don’t work well with in-house consultants, or act as the sole expert, are not suited for your organization and will likely compound already existent issues. Instead, look for consultants who are not arrogant, want help from members of the organization, welcome different points of view, learn alongside their clients, and have business acumen to complement their doctoral-level experience.
About the Author: Bryce Homyk, PhD is a senior consultant with Psynet Group