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Consultants in Capes – the Batman Inspiration

Some years ago, I started collecting comics, partially for simple enjoyment and partially to improve my creditability as a fan of popular culture. Having already read some Batman comics, I decided to build a collection.

In the early months of collecting and reading, I was enthusiastic about learning and experiencing more of the characters of Batman and Bruce Wayne. The duality and co-dependence of these identities was compelling and interesting to explore. Balancing the high-society obligations of Bruce Wayne – attending charity fundraisers, with the responsibilities of Batman – to prevent violence from erupting into the streets, led to tense and engrossing stories.

At Fenwick we’re not all Batmans or Bruce Waynes, but we do have competing interests that need to be addressed for the company to run successfully, like finding ways to ensure quality client service while providing professional development opportunities for our younger consultants; balancing the immediate needs of multiple different clients at the same time; balancing the effort spent on new business development with the investment in our current clients. These decisions aren’t as glamorous as choosing between a tuxedo and the Bat-suit, or a limousine and the Bat-mobile, but are arguably more difficult.

The relationship between Batman and Bruce Wayne is made more complicated by recognising their interdependence. Batman obviously relies on Bruce Wayne for financial support but this is far from their most important connection. Without the humanising effect of Bruce Wayne, Batman would be a brutally efficient vigilante without mercy or compassion. He would barely be better than the villains he supposedly protects the city from. At the same time, Bruce Wayne needs Batman to deal with the survivor’s guilt from his parents being murdered in front of him. Batman is how Bruce Wayne deals with the injustices of the world without succumbing to depression.

At Fenwick, our issues are interdependent as well. We have many different people, all with different strengths. The firm’s success comes from doing its best to help team members to recognise both their own strengths and the strengths of others, and investing in both the professional and personal development of all team members.

All clients, large or small, need to have their issues handled efficiently and in a timely manner. An appropriate balance needs to be found to maintain current client relationships while ensuring future continuity and growth through new business development. While these challenges are somewhat less emotionally traumatic as Bruce Wayne’s motivations, they are nonetheless important.

Although Batman comics are traditionally not considered relevant to professional services, I’ve found they have several demonstrable comparisons. Fortunately, unless we pick our clients particularly poorly, we will never need to deal with a homicidal clown.

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