Should You Seek Input or Help From a Third Party?

People should view this post as a “food for thought” post. The idea for this post was triggered by things I have been increasingly seeing in companies as the recession bottoms out. The managerial situations are similar pre-recession, but anecdotally the occurrence seems more numerous as managers raise their heads-up to reassess their vantage point.

What if your intent as a leader within a company is to (any of the following):

  • invest in a new effort (hard to run company while changing direction or building a new capability)
  • get a new perspective
  • get perspectives on other companies and/or industry trends
  • work with (versus against in the short-run) biases that indicate greater reception to consultants versus internal ideas (e.g., see “consultation paradox” on slide 12)
  • change the DNA and culture of an organization
  • leverage resources from within the company but from another area to plug a gap
  • mediate or facilitate a program or business initiative requiring new cross-functional activities
  • signal substantive actions and investment to outside world or other areas of company
  • get functional expertise not in-house or that was lost
  • audit current project or process (see a customer point of view here)
  • complement team
  • outsource ultimate responsibility for core area (warning flag)
  • welcome new input and ideas into the company
  • fill a management gap (e.g., interim management)
  • analyze common trends across multiple industries (see here for some consulting industry history)
  • address low, organizational morale (with recession I sense a larger percentage of situations with organizations exploring business improvisation & experiential learning solutions – disclosure: client of mine here)
  • recover and retry a failed effort (flip-side warning to consultants here with bullet #3)

Should you seek input from a third party? A third-party could be another person within the firm (organizationally close or distant), an advisor, outside management consultant, services or product vendor, etc.

Feel free to share your experiences and thoughts. If you have a specific situation you’d like to talk through, please feel free to contact me directly, and I’d be happy to share perspectives. Thanks!

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