What I’ve Learned From Buyers of Management Consulting Services

Many blog posts and articles address when to use management consultants versus not. Some argue that using consultants for strategy development intimate incompetence by management (example here). Others argue that consultants should be used in cases when expertise is higher than that of existing employees.

Companies should definitely examine the needs and tradeoffs for using management consultants. Tradeoffs include expertise, background in similar projects, knowledge retention, cash outlay, incentives, organizational dependency issues, etc.

But I’ve learned something entrepreneurial from a number of buyers that deeply understand how to use consultants and how to lead:

Many smart buyers of management consulting services focus on making forward progress. They focus on solving problems. Whether using consultants is the cheapest option or the best discount of future profits that a client has ever seen or anywhere in-between – the choice of whether to use consultants is less relevant than getting things done with a positive return.

As a long-time consultant, I am clearly somewhat biased. But I’ve been on the buyer side for consulting services too. My main point is to encourage folks to spend a balanced amount of time focusing on how to solve a problem as opposed to pointing fingers.

2 thoughts on “What I’ve Learned From Buyers of Management Consulting Services

  1. I’ve often compared a business hiring a consultant to a homeowner hiring services for their home. Some businesses hire consultants for their expertise, much like a homeowner hires a plumber for their knowledge of how to fix a leak. Some businesses have the expertise, but don’t want to use their staff for tasks that they could more strategically hire out, much like a homeowner may hire someone to mow their lawn.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting (www.Consulting101Book.com)

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