The dreaded “consultant” title

Not unlike the prejudice regarding conference pricing that I discussed in this post, I just got dissed by DCI for using the title “consultant”.

I had a call from DCI this morning, but I was a bit distracted with real work and thought that this was a sales call, so I wasn’t paying a lot of attention. I just wanted to get through to the part where he would say “would you like any more information”, I would say no and get off the phone. Instead, he said something like “Our business networks are vendor- and consultant-neutral, so judging by your title we don’t think that’s it’s appropriate for you to join. Do you require any other information about us?” I was completely in the dark about what he was talking about, so I said no and hung up.

A few minutes later, I started wondering what this was about, searched through my browser history for DCI, and realized that I had applied to join their Business Process Management business network, about which they claim:

The Business Process Management Network provides a forum for you to learn and share best practices, challenges and solutions. Learn how to effectively identify, analyze and design processes to improve the overall flow of information within your organization.

Members of the Business Process Management Network are involved in the strategy, implementation, execution and management of all functions across the enterprise. They are the individuals who work together to identify, define, streamline and improve processes through business and IT solutions — to meet the needs of the organization, on time and within budget. Members include:

  • Business Analysts
  • Systems Analysts
  • Business Managers
  • Business Process Owners
  • Change Agents
  • Directors / VPs responsible for Enterprise Management
  • Financial and Compliance Professionals
  • Process Analysts and Designers
  • Project and Program Managers
  • Quality Assurance Professionals
  • Strategic Planners

Okay, count me in. I have lots of best practices experiences to share. I’m involved in strategy and implementation. I identify, define, streamline and improve processes. I take on the role of business analyst, system analyst, change agent, process analyst and designer, and strategic planner.

However, since I used the word “consultant” in my title as a sort of shorthand for what I do, they turned me down. Is this some sort of weird discrimination? Are there so many unqualified people using the term “consultant” that I have to abandon it for all time in order to not appear incompetent by (word) association? Or does DCI feel that having a “consultant” in their midst might detract from their own educational programs?

Luckily, since I run the show, I can take on whatever title that I want, so it’s time to go for something that won’t get me banned from the nice places. Or even from DCI.

2 thoughts on “The dreaded “consultant” title

    1. I’m not sure if you’re asking a legal/accounting question here, which I’m not qualified to answer since I’m neither a lawyer nor an accountant, and have no idea what country you’re in. I suspect you can put just about anything you want on your card, it’s not a legal document.

      Aside from the legalities, you’d look like a bit of an idiot calling yourself VP (or CEO or President) when you’re the only person in the company.

Leave a Reply