I lately got involved in discussions about the need for consultancies and how that market suffers the first from the financial crisis.
German top-consultant Roland Berger was quoted saying “You cannot push-start a car from the inside”. Which I found valuable. But it reminds me of a major shortcoming of todays managements: I have not needed to push-start a car for decades. The view is rather rare on the streets. But I need to confirm: The job of a consultant in most cases is to have an unbiased look at the company, speak to the people, listen to their advise, organize it and present it to the company. At that level, some creative suggestions on how to solve the identified shortcomings helps to make you a good consultant.
Another cause is the discouraging of creativity by the bean counters. “Do your job, don’t think” is very common in larger companies with strict hierarchies. Mostly these companies are “managed” by bean counters, thinking of staff only as a little wheely in the machine – a “human resource”. Exchangeable, not valuable. In such cases I either can make these managers understand the value of a reevaluation of their values and the advantages of motivation of creativity, but more often I can only help them by voicing what they overheard for too long from their own people.
So the job of a truly good consultant (but they are rare) is to listen. To gain the trust from the people. To qualify, summarize their needs, consider solutions and present the findings to the management. The best ideas on the job are usually not mine. My experience only helps me to qualify them and put them into a structure and present them to management in a way they understand. Being the moderator…
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