In The Sign of the Four, Arthur Conan Doyle writes this exchange between Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson:

I crave for mental exaltation. That is why I have chosen my own particular profession,—or rather created it, for I am the only one in the world.”

“The only unofficial detective?” I said, raising my eyebrows.

“The only unofficial consulting detective,” he answered.

Holmes expands:

I examine the data, as an expert, and pronounce a specialist’s opinion. I claim no credit in such cases. My name figures in no newspaper. The work itself, the pleasure of finding a field for my peculiar powers, is my highest reward.

I substituted “innovator” for “detective” and realized that I had found where I want to be and probably am well on my well to becoming.

I took a trip quick to Google to look for a definition of “consulting innovator.” This morning, my LinkedIn profile was the top result. That’s promising.

As I try to define and evolve what I have in mind, the quotes from Holmes feel about right.

Other descriptions I’ve been working with include:

Discreet advice and guidance with practical and elegant solutions

Astute behind-the-scenes guidance with very high standards

You can see I’ve been playing with the words guidance, discreet, astute, and elegant, which those of you familiar with Sally Hogshead’s work might recognize.

Some people have told me that they think the reference to Sherlock Holmes is a bit too obscure. However, Holmes fans get it immediately. And I think that’s OK for now.

As Holmes would say, “the game is afoot!”

Let me know your reactions.


[Originally posted on DennisKennedy.Blog (]

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