Does Management Consulting Actually Work?
By Graham Onak
What is management consulting?
Management consulting is the business equivalent of life coaching. Rather than helping someone maximize their own personal potential, management consultants help clients develop better skills in their areas of management weakness. Life coaches are hired by their individual clients, management consultants are hired by the company the manager works for. A career in management consulting can be profitable but there are lot of consultants out there to compete with.
What does a management consultant do?
Management consultants evaluate a wide range of managerial criteria to determine where a manager is falling short and then help them develop in their areas of weakness. For example, an individual might have come to the attention of a C-Suite executive because of their can-do attitude and stellar performance. Once they are promoted into management, however, they may find themselves overwhelmed by trying to do everything themselves and not delegating. In other cases, a person with great relational and people skills that has a reputation for building solid, high functioning teams can have a difficult time understanding departmental budgets, scheduling software or other data driven tasks.
Why do businesses hire management consultants?
Every person has a range of strengths and weaknesses. Not only are there no perfect managers, there are few, if any, individuals that excel at all areas of management the second they are given the position. Most individuals will shine brilliantly in one area and bomb in another. Most savvy C-Suite executives promote people with certain important skill sets, and then get them help to develop in their less-than-stellar areas.
Does it work or how does one measure that it works?
Whether management consulting works or not depends on several factors, such as:
- How open the manager is to being coached: Sometimes, managers think they have it all together and the real problem is the employees. If the manager doesn’t feel they have a problem or that they have any areas of weakness, they will most likely fight against any attempts to help them grow or develop. In that case, consulting will generally fail.
- Whether the firm hiring the consultant is identifying the right problem: Sometimes a firm will hire a consultant to come in and figure out what the problem is with a certain department or manager and sometimes they will feel they already know. Sometimes they may be right and sometimes they may be wrong. If they try and hire a consultant to fix a problem that doesn’t actually exist, while ignoring the one that does, consulting will generally fail.
- Whether the area of expertise Go to the full article.