Buddhist consulting

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“In the beginner’s mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert’s there are few.”

Beginner’s mind is a concept in Buddhism representing openness or lack of preconception. Simplifying the mental state allows for a clearer picture of reality. In many disciplines, we try to “advance” to higher and higher levels of learning, ability, or complexity. In Buddhism, beginner’s mind is a reminder to focus on the basics. The equivalent in a mathematics class would be to meditate on 1+1=2. Forget the Pythagorean theorem or differentials: do you really know 1+1?

The best consultants channel the power of beginner’s mind because they choose:

  • Capacity to learn over veneer of expertise
  • “Basic” experience of the client over “advanced” modelling
  • Simple solutions over complicated engineering

Most importantly, beginner’s mind reminds us to stay humble. Consultants can do great things only by listening and harnessing latent power of their clients. The smartest analysis is useless if it stays on PowerPoint slides, disconnected from execution.

I suspect that successful people in every field draw advantages from spiritual practices. More examples?

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