Management Consulting - Does Management Really Need Consultants?

management consulting

Management consulting is the process of providing third party management services for organizations. It entails doing everything managerial for the client organization but as a consultant not a full-time employee.

Management consultants, as well as leadership consultants, are specialists involved in . . .

  • Management training
  • Leadership and management development
  • Management research
  • Recruitment and
  • Other advisory functions
  • Every organization has its strengths and weaknesses. Most organizations realize that. When there is a perceived weakness in an organization, the organization's leadership seek ways to address the issues and steer the organization and its members in the right direction.

    Steering the organization in the right direction may result in the organization's management inviting management consulting experts to investigate the problems to identify the root causes and recommend ways to address them.

    Consultants are usually management specialists with diverse backgrounds, expertise, and experience. Since they are not involved in the day-to-day running of the organization . . . since they are outsiders to the organization's business . . . they usually come with a fresh perspective.

    They don't think the way the organization's members do. So, they actually come with fresh perspectives. And those perspectives can go a long way to impact on he company's bottom line - profit.

    Unfortunately, not all cases where leadership consultants have been employed have paid off as expected. Some of the recommendations have not delivered the expected results despite huge investments on leadership experts and their proposals.

    This has tended to fuel disbelief in the value of consultants in resolving organizational issues or developing a long-term business strategy.

    Those who argue against the use of management consulting experts base their arguments on the many instances where recommendations from management experts have tended to lead the business astray or cases where management ended up not using the recommendations or proposals of these consultants. In their opinion, this amounts to a waste of business funds.

    Critics of consultants say the recommendations of management experts are often flawed because they often do not fully understand the organization's business, history, and culture before proffering solutions.

    So, it turns out that the basis for use of consulting experts is also the basis used by critics for not using them.

    So, the question is: Do organizations really need these consultants? Are consultants overrated?

    Well, it is clear that every system has its pros and cons, advantages and disadvantages. The use of consultants in organizations is no different.

    Opponents of the process often argue that cases handled by consultants can be better managed by a committee comprising leading executives in the organization.

    But wait.

    Were these same people not in the organization when things went out of control? Why is the organization's leadership searching for consultants in the first place, if executives on ground had it all?

    Obviously, top management see something missing in the organization. And they seek to fill the gap.

    The truth is . . . committees have their place and management consulting experts have their place.

    My advice?

    Engage your people. Use the power of group behavior. Hack into the brain power, experience, and knowledge of your people. Use consultants as and when necessary but do not become overly dependent on consultants otherwise your people may switch off believing you're going to pay consultants to do things they ought to do themselves.

    Balance is the watch word.

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