What are the main benefits that clients should expect from professional management consulting assist
Updated: Aug 12, 2019
In previous articles we have discussed that management consulting can create a lot of jobs, generate hard-currency revenues, and increase economic growth and knowledge transfer. In another article we discussed the observed barriers that prevent business owners or decision-makers from calling upon consulting firms and how they may be based on erroneous assumptions.
Management consultants provide very high value-added services, because they require a set of complex skills and knowledge. With clients more focused on results, here are few examples of what is expected from management consultants.
1. Acceleration: Faster transformation and maximized growth
Using consulting services will provide an accelerated pace to the sought-after transformation. What can be achieved in one year, consultants can achieve in just a few months. This means higher return on investment and more money for clients. For example, if a company wants to launch new products, it will begin earning revenues faster if management consultants are involved. Alternatively, if a company is going through restructuring, the cost-cutting techniques used by management consultants will save money faster.
2. Achieving transformation: Strong commitment to reaching targets
How frustrating would it be if you were willing to transform your company but failed because of lack of skills, available workload or a clear framework?
Consultants are devoted to reaching the desired transformation. They are organized, structured and dedicated to the transformation without any other agenda. This focus is itself a guarantee of success.
3. Benchmark: Learning about what is happening elsewhere and what are the gaps
It’s certainly better to gain insights and feedback from similar companies and/or markets before deciding. In their area of expertise, management consultants develop a market watch and create extremely useful databases that they can share with their clients during the decision-making process.
Being compared to a benchmark allows management to identify the areas they need to work on the most. This approach contributes to prioritizing goals efficiently to reduce identified gaps.
4. New ideas: to avoid confirmation bias and to challenge existing status quo
Bringing a fresh eye to the company's business is not just helpful; it’s mandatory, particularly for companies with a very small employee turnover. Consultants cover the need for new blood to rejuvenate their clients’ organizations, which in turn boosts innovation.
Remaining in the same circle of opinions develops a dangerous confirmation bias that may lead to erroneous decisions. Management consultants challenge the status quo in order to confirm the soundness of ongoing strategy.
5. Expertise: Benefiting from industry experts’ experience
Consultants need to develop expertise in specific domains or industries using their past professional experience, industry watch and multiple interactions with stakeholders. This expertise gives a higher value to the insights they share with their clients and answers a lot of questions. Asking experts for their opinions on critical decisions can only lead to positive results. For example, the Stratexis founders have extensive experience in financial services in several geographies, which enable them to provide extremely valuable recommendations to their clients.
6. Impactful training: Improving the performance of internal employees
What could be better for raising internal employees’ performance and value than having them work closely with such high profiles as management consultants? Working on solving real problems is much better training than theoretical cases in short training sessions. The improvement of internal resource performance is one of the most regularly observed benefits of management consulting missions.
7. Reach-scale: Providing several growth scenarios and assistance during the transition period The growth of any company is hardly a straight line. At every growth stage, new skills and processes are required to meet growth needs. For example, when a company wants to start exporting, it will need to hire export managers, and learn about their target markets and shipping procedures and regulations. Consultants who have already experienced this transition will walk their clients through the expected growth phases, whether it means starting to export, selling new products/services or buying other companies.
8. Persuasiveness : Supporting management decisions and convincing the board
Logical reasoning and critical thinking are the drivers behind consultants’ powerful argumentative deliverables. It means that consultants use very structured methods to present their recommendations using indisputable arguments, leaving no space for doubt. This is very useful for convincing the board of the company to accept new ideas and decide to implement them. Thanks to their experience, their heavy practice of board committees and convincing insights, consultants can bring change in the best interest of their clients’ organization.
9. Risk mitigation: identifying all potential risks and mitigating them
As a chess player would anticipate all possible scenarios and select the best, consultants carefully study all the potential options, including all associated risks, to propose mitigating action. This approach provides the most secure solutions for clients.
Again, identifying risks and mitigating actions is based on the consultants’ experience. Failing to identify a major risk in the initial framework of a project can have major consequences later.
These thoughts are based on my personal experience, as I spent more than 20 years in Europe, 15 of which advising the management of leading firms in 15 countries.
In the following articles about management consulting, we will discuss:
how to distinguish good from lousy consultants
how to establish a successful client–consultant relationship
the different forms of a consulting engagement
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