What is a Consultant?

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Perhaps the first question that anyone needs to ask, before they engage with a consultant is, exactly “What it is a consultant?” So, let’s answer this question.

A consultant is usually an expert or an experienced professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter.

This definition is from Wikipedia, who got it from Pieter P. Tordoir.

This definition gives us quite a lot of insight, but, it really isn’t enough. What is more important is an extension of this. We really need a consultant to be an expert in the field with knowledge and practical experience. The word practical is really important as it separates out those who have looked or studied, but never done anything.

As a way of explaining things, we use a couple of different analogies, one involving ducks and another involving snakes. Today we will be using the one with the snakes.

There are broadly three types or levels of consultant, which means that not all consultants are exactly the same.

Type/Level 1

A Type/Level 1 consultant with some knowledge, is someone with a theoretical understanding and maybe a little practice or experience. This type of person tends to be new to the field. They generally know there are snake pits and have been told that they should be avoided, but they don’t know what they look like or how to find them. They have no idea how to avoid them.

Type/Level 2

A Type/Level 2 consultant with knowledge and academic experience understands the topic and knows a lot about it. They can discuss it at length. The type 2 consultant tends to be someone who worked in a previous job and is now a consultant because they have years of experience in a business. They know there are snake pits, they have seen pictures in books, but have no real practical knowledge of how to avoid the snake pit or how to find them if they are not exactly the same as the ones in the book.

Type/Level 3

A Type/Level 3 consultant has the theoretical and, more importantly, the practical experience, because they have done this before, in different ways. They can talk about the theory and practice, but also have the practical experience to get the task completed. They know there are snake pits, often from both the inside and outside. They are familiar with snakes and know what to do and what not to do and. Therefore, have a deep understanding of the risks associated with snake pits. They can often navigate a path through uncharted snake pits, as they know what to look out for and what to do when one is detected unexpectedly.


In summary, we are looking for someone who fully understands there are snake pits, has experience in avoiding them, while understanding what the consequences are of falling in. Therefore, as a result they will plot a path through the unknown landscape which is full of snake pits, with you and minimize the risk. This is done with experience, detailed theoretical and practical knowledge, which is applied directly to your business.


DVANA help businesses become exceptional. We do this because we understand business and know all about the snake pits!