The Effective Consultant
The Effective Consultant wont steal your watch and then tell you the time.
One of the main criticisms of Consultants appears to be that they often tell you things you already know. One reason for this is because the Consultant needs to understand objectively the situation, context and delve deeper to understand the root of the problem.
While many people within the Organisation may have already identified the issues; they may not necessarily understand why they exist or the client may want an external perspective to validate their assertions.
When it comes to solutions, again, the client may have already considered the options proposed by the Consultant but they may; (1) have been unsure that the options were really viable or necessary, (2) be reluctant to make a decision, (3) not have the skills to execute the solution or (4) they may be looking for a solution that just doesn't exist.
However, once the Consultant has performed a 360 analysis of the situation they should then progress utilising their experience, insights, skills and expertise. Demonstrating their true worth if they are capable and if you allow them to, here is where the effective Consultant;
Facilitates and guides the best possible option to pursue, taking into the consideration of the available resources, external context, the Organisations capacity, client base, always reinforcing the desired goal.
Breaks steps down into manageable and understandable phases, instilling confidence to those around them.
Knows their strengths and doesn't pretend to be the font of all knowledge, enlisting the help of others.
Is driven by results and client satisfaction.
Rolls up their sleeves and works in the trenches and is resourceful.
To be meaningful, the process needs to be a Partnership and the client willing to take action and be decisive.
To go above and beyond the obvious, an effective Consultant, with real world and business experience can be invaluable, positively impacting the business long after the project has been completed.