Consultancy is the way in which clients can benefit from external experience brought in by independent advisers who have the skills to build a relationship to achieve their goals.
It is often said that the consultant will borrow your watch to tell you the time. This is true to a certain extent as a good consultant needs to understand the client’s business and advise on whether current operations are indeed working to achieve the company’s objectives both in the short and long term.
Sometimes the symptoms of the problem obscure its cause which can only be revealed by an unbiased, objective examination carried out by an impartial outsider.
Fresh, innovative ideas or a devil’s advocate approach can stimulate an organisation’s key personnel into thinking in a different way about its business, its operations or the way forward.
The need to employ a consultant may arise because an organisation recognises the existence of a problem but has insufficient resources or specialist and technical skill to resolve it.
The relationship between a client and the consultant should be one of partnership with the consultant assisting the client in identifying the benefits which the business will gain from the assignment.
Clients need to agree the timescale for the work, any constraints on the assignment and the role of staff involved. The consultant should be able to suggest how the consultancy will be carried out. For example, it may comprise workshops with senior management and staff or it may be one to one interviews or separate research resulting in a written report.
In all cases the consultant should be transferring knowledge to the client in order that methodology and skills can be retained in the organisation once the consultant has departed.
In choosing a consultant, it is essential that there is the right ‘chemistry’ as successful consultancy depends on goodwill and communications.
Take up references from the consultant’s previous assignments and ensure that there is regular feedback from the consultant to ensure that he/she is adhering to the terms of reference or changes discussed and agreed with you.
We’ll give fair impartial advice and we may even tell you it’s not worth doing it or how to do it cheaper, you never know if you don’t ask.
Having extensive experience in business means we can coach you through any problems you may need solved.