The observable (consulting) universe

You might have seen this.

observable consulting universe black hole
Credit: Event Horizon Telescope collaboration et al. via

It’s the first ever image of a black hole.

And it’s a friendly reminder that were such a thing to meander anywhere near Earth, at any moment, everything you’ve ever known would be instantaneously erased from existence at faster than 299,792,458 meters per second.

So that’s nice…

Combine that with the fact that everything we’ve ever observed (including the now 20-year-long, 10,000-scientist, 100-country, particle physics magnum opus worth of work at the Large Hadron Collider) only represents 5% of what’s actually out there…

(Which when asked, the collective astrophysics community responds: “Ya know, it’s like… dark stuff.”)

…we can pretty safely come to the conclusion that we really don’t know much of anything about anything.

I had a conversation a few weeks back about my consulting research project.

Part of that discussion centered around the equivalently “dark” lead generation activities that no doubt are occurring within wildly successful consulting firms, of which we would all be impressed by, without ever logging into a website, social media account, or email service provider.

I’m very curious about this because well… I really know absolutely nothing about it.

For example, from a LinkedIn conversation I had yesterday with a small firm Principal:

“I led a company that grew from 2 million to 80 million in six years, developed my own factoring/management company, participated in the management buyout of a heavy equipment mfr, etc. All referrals.”

I’m sure buried within that admission is something special that’s going on underneath the surface.

Or it’s just luck.

But despite my desire to understand what’s going on in situations like this one, my sense is that if the person at the firm wholly responsible for lead generation doesn’t have much more to articulate about it beyond “referrals” I may find myself at an impasse.

My response to this?

Do what the scientists do.

Shrug, take another swig of coffee, and return to the task at hand of studying what’s visible, availability bias and all.

So that’s my justification for starting with the cohort of firms that I can visibly see.

People who have some digital presence, effective or not.

And from there, hopefully I can identify who these people are and what they’re doing that we can all learn from and start making better marketing decisions.

P.S. Hey, what about your firm?

Think you might have some insight to lend to the discussion?

I’d love to ask you few questions about it.

If you’re willing to be a research subject, grab a time on my calendar here.

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