Intellectual honesty, a core concern at N&C

When you’re a consultant, you’re by nature in a permanent conflict of interest.

Our main tasks are to clearly define the problem, identify malfunctions and their root causes, and suggest ways of improving.

However, it can be argued that we have every interest in exaggerating the problems, demonstrating by A+B that it is time-consuming and costly to correct them, in order to propose solutions that the customer will of course not be able to implement on his own, in order to prolong the work and inflate the bill. This in itself may be a conflict of interest.

It would be futile and imprudent to try and avoid this reality. But relationships based on trust, the reputation of a consultancy and the discussions that take place prior to any assignment can help to limit the risks. And as we have done at N&C, placing intellectual honesty at the top of our list of corporate values is an even greater commitment and obligation.

We refuse assignments if we don't feel comfortable

We are even proud to announce to our customers, when the opportunity arises, the few cases where we have lost or refused an assignment, or even advised our principals not to carry out a particular project when it seemed to us that we were not at the heart of the problem. Worse still, we refuse assignments that we feel will destroy value for our customers.

What’s more, since it’s a small world, we are delighted to reap the rewards years later when these same clients, having changed companies, call on us again, this time for good.

We don't always have a fixed opinion

Intellectual honesty can also mean saying « I don’t know, I don’t have an opinion ». Not necessarily in our primary area of expertise, of course, where it is extremely rare not to have an opinion, but on related questions that a customer may ask us. This can be disconcerting for the customer, but he respects it because he readily admits that it gives more weight to our recommendations when we feel it is appropriate to make them.

« An expert knows almost everything about almost nothing. A consultant knows almost nothing about almost everything ».

It’s a funny joke, but there’s some truth to it. That’s why we see ourselves more as RM experts than consultants.

So let’s put our customers’ interests first, with pride and without sycophancy, and make conflicts of interest a non-issue. We’ve experienced it time and time again: sooner or later, it’s a winning bet.

Keywords: Intellectual honesty, Conflict of interest, Value, Revenue Manager, Consultant, Revenue Management, Hotel