People hire consultants because they sense that they need help in an area that lacks expertise. At times, this will lead to an unhealthy form of client dependency (i.e., a client becomes overly dependent upon the services of a consultant). Although this produces steady business for a consultant, I don’t believe that dependency should be one of the primary outcomes of client engagement.
I believe that empowering the client to make informed decisions by educating them on best practices and viable options is far more effective than simply telling them what to do. I will always choose long-term organizational health over quick fixes without proper understanding. Placing the client’s interest over my need to retain them is important to me. A retainer relationship is a great by-product of my work, but it’s a terrible goal.