Philosophical consulting has been around for a long time in the business world and its popularity is growing. Despite of this, few people understand what philosophical consulting can do for businesses. Let me therefore make a quick summary of the three main types of philosophical consulting.
These days the most known form of philosophy for businesses is ethical consulting. It helps companies and organizations to set up criteria which are to be met to call themselves ethical. For example, help define what kind of shares an ethical fund are able to invest in. Sometimes ethical consulting combines this with other areas such as criteria for how to create an ecologically sustainable company, or even help with gender equality in the work place. Whenever you hear of an ethical company or an ethical fund, there has been a philosopher hard at work.
Another type of philosophical consulting is done on a personal level or in small groups and can best be called philosophical counseling. It works with values and beliefs and help identify, clarify, analyze, and sometimes change them. Philosophical counseling is successful as a means of rational conflict resolution, and is very useful in guiding organizational change. Moreover, the counseling nature makes it very helpful in fulfilling personal and business goals. Philosophical counseling takes proven philosophical methods and apply them in the general fields of counseling, coaching, and change management.
Philosophical business consulting
The third type of philosophical consulting deals with goal and strategy analysis, knowledge management and decision support. Companies like Philosophical Solutions use philosophical methodologies to help business clarify their own business models. It takes ideas into concrete actionable strategy, whether it be business goals, or setting up policies and procedures.
Philosophy that yield concrete results
Applying proven philosophical methods to businesses in general is what philosophical consulting does. Philosophy brings precision and yield concrete results. The most common misunderstanding of the field is the idea that philosophy means wishy-washy, things could not be further from the truth. The advantage of philosophical methods is exactly that it moves away from imprecise ideas, and half formulated premises, into an area of clarity. This clarity helps to better understand what a business is and what a business does. Good philosophical practice yield concrete results that benefit the business.
Although this is a very brief outline of three types of philosophical consulting, I hope it will give a better understanding of the field in general.