Last April the Professional Consultant’s Association of Central New York had a presentation on the topic of ethics presented by Arnie Poltensen, and it was a pretty powerful conversation. On the surface, everyone seems to have the same personal ethics, and yet once the discussions began, we started to realize that based on background and history and experiences not everyone sees those ethics in the same way.

At the November meeting for the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York, the topic was using technology to schedule and plan one’s time by using things such as Microsoft Outlook. That’s because it’s a program that allows not only email but the ability to do all sorts of planning, note taking, creating folders and then colorize things so that you can identify priorities by sight quickly. Of course not everyone uses Outlook, which is why process is more important than whatever tool one uses.

There are a lot of great things that can be said about consultants. But something that has to be said about them in a group is that they can make a major mess of things sometimes.

I don’t mean that you won’t get good advice. What I mean is that consultants all believe that they’re correct almost all of the time. It’s an occupational hazard because one doesn’t stay a consultant by being wrong too often. Sure, consultants can make mistakes, but they’re almost always informed mistakes as opposed to not knowing what they’re doing.

It’s hard for us “old timers” (or “long timers”, if you prefer) to believe that the Professional Consultants Association of Central New York is celebrating its twentieth year in 2012. That’s a long time for any organization to survive — especially for one whose members are so commitedly independent.

We’ve all been to some kind of presentation that talks about trying to figure out what you’re worth to your clients. And yet, many of us still struggle with this issue for whatever reason.