The Stone Soup Approach to Consulting

    stone soup
    Stone soup made in a village

    The old folk story of stone soup is about three vagrant travelers passing through a small town with nothing but a cooking pot. They ask residents of the town for food but meet resistance at every door.

    Finally, they go to the local stream and fill their cooking pot with water. They place a large stone in it and put it over a fire they built in the center of town.

    This piques the interest of the towns folk and they asked the vagrants about their endeavor. The three men explain that they are making stone soup. They describe how delicious it is, but it just needs a little garnish to finish it off

    One of the townspeople doesn’t mind providing a few carrots. Another offers come celery. Other people offer various herbs and spices.

    Before long, a delicious pot of soup is enjoyed by the whole town.

    Consultants are often brought in to a client to implement changes at a client. Consultants should realize that, like the three travelers, they are only facilitators. Consultants rely on the inputs of other fellow consultants, client employees, and other third party stakeholders.

    The knowledge the consultants brings to the table is the result of learning from managers, mentors, authors, and previous client.

    No matter how much impact you feel you have, make sure to remember that there is a team involved that has impact on your impact.

    How have others from your past impacted your impact?

    As always, I welcome your comments and criticisms.

    If you would like to learn more about working in consulting, get Lew’s book Consulting 101: 101 Tips for Success in Consulting at

    Image courtesy of porbital at

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