During two minutes of a guest lecture Steve Jobs delivered at MIT Sloane, as part of the MIT Sloan Distinguished Speaker Series and after discovering many of the audience were consultants, he explained his views on consulting.
I think that without owning something over an extended period of time, like a few years where one has a chance to take responsibility for one's recommendations, where one has to see one's recommendations through all action stages and accumulate scar tissue for the mistakes and pick oneself up off the ground and dust oneself off, one learns a fraction of what one can.
When you're coming in and making recommendations and not owning the results, not owning the implementation, I think it is a fraction of the of the value and a fraction of the opportunity to learn and get it better.
So what you do is get a broad cut at companies but it's very thin. It's like a picture of... a banana. You might get a very accurate picture but it's only two-dimensional and without the experience of actually doing it you never get three-dimensional.
So you might have a lot of pictures on your walls you can show it off to your friends you can be like "I've worked in bananas. I've worked in peaches, I've worked in grapes" but you never really taste it.
When are you getting two-dimensional when you could be getting three-dimensional?
Where are you learning from people who talk the talk but haven't walked the walk?
How can you own more of the implementation and more of the results?
Here's the clip:
...and here's the full lecture: