Fake Work

Lets say you want someone to dig a hole for you in your garden.  A normal person would take a shovel and get it done within an hour.  A consultant will use teaspoons to dig.  And get three analysts to dig it for you – getting it done in a week.

Why?  Because we all work on incentives.  Everyone is driven by what pays their bills.  As consultants charge out their time – its in their interest to take as long as possible and use as many people as possible.  A simple 5 minute conversation would solve your problem?  Too bad – you will get a 147 page PowerPoint presentation with the perfect font and pictures.

Or a government worker that has to look busy so they create extra processes and procedures for you to go through so they keep themselves in a job.

Clients have to start to become smarter.  Realize that they want things done quicker and simpler.  Pay for simplicity not pretty looking documents that don’t get to the point.

If you employ anyone – figure out their incentives.  If you are paying for time – than expect things to take a bit longer and be more complex than are necessary.  If I was getting paid to write by the word, this post would have been much longer.

About the Author

Amir Anzur


  1. Jason Bates

    Don’t most consultancies want long term relationships now? Which means they are incentivized by pleasing the client?

    In my limited experience, clients subconsciously like volume as it implies value. They like pretty graphs as it implies thought. They like seeing lots of people in their offices ‘busy’ as it implies they are getting something for their money.

    In the end I suspect that that consultancies have evolved to deliver what emotionally satisfies clients, rather than what they rationally need?

    Which I guess means that I agree that people do more of what they have been rewarded for in the past.

    Great blog Amir… interesting posts! keep it up!


  2. Hi Jason,

    you are exactly right. If you walk into a client turn up for a couple of hours a day and leave them with a one pager which solves all their issues they will think they got screwed-over.

    They forget the hours you spent reading, building yourself up and getting experience to come to the conclusion. Seeing big piles of paper is easier to justify to the boss of where the client’s money was spent!


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