Alan Weiss on Certifications and Consulting

I recently had the opportunity to chat with Alan Weiss , a very successful business consultant, speaker, and author of Million Dollar Consulting and Getting Started in Consulting. Here’s what he has to say about business credentials :

I’ve become convinced that the consulting profession is better off with no licensing or national recognition at all.

I understand this is heresy, but it turns out to be pretty smart business. One of the great advantages of consulting is the ease of entry. You don’t need a bushel of credentials, a pile of money, or even an office. You just need your smarts. And those smarts are all that sustained a great many currently top consultants when they began in the business…

I salute any consultant who develops himself or herself by engaging in continual learning, and if that’s done with the help of an organization, conference, collaboration, or any other structure, fine. I think we all also know that any string of initials after our names in this business means zero to potential buyers. What they want to know is how smart you are, who is referring you, what intellectual capital you bring, and what your track record is.

Let’s stop trying to shoot ourselves in the foot by seeking licensing, certifications, approvals, DNA testing, or blood samples. Let’s exploit the wonderful opportunity of this profession by being the best we can, every one of us, by our own terms and by those of our clients.

On a related note, read “Graduate Students Stunned".

You can find Alan’s blog at

Published: May 19, 2007 Last updated: May 19, 2007

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