Matching consultants with actual and emerging company needs is the corporate leader`s quest. With a wealth of expertise available via out-sourcing, one can quickly become a "kid in a candy shop," wanting whatever is readily available or craftily packaged.
Too many consultants mis-state and over-represent what they do, stemming from:
Eagerness to get business. Short tenure in consulting, believing that recent corporate experience readily translates to the entrepreneurial marketplace. Unfamiliarity with the actual practice of consulting at the executive level. Lack of understanding about business needs, categories, subtleties and hierarchies. Failure to create service area niches and target clients. Professional rivalry with other consultants, resulting in the "I can do that" syndrome.
Niche consultants place emphasis in the areas where they have training, expertise and staff support for implementation...and will market their services accordingly: An accounting firm may suggest that an economic forecast is a full-scope business plan (which it is not). A trainer may recommend courses for human behavior, believing that these constitute a Visioning process (of which they are a small part). Marketers might contend that the latest advertising campaign is equivalent to re-engineering the client company (though the two concepts are light years apart). Niche consultants believe these things to be true, within their frames of reference. They sell what they need to sell, rather than what the client really needs.
Distinctions must be drawn into three consulting categories (and percentages of their occurrence in the marketplace):
1. Vendors sell products which were produced by others. Those who sell their own multiply produced works are designated as subcontractors. (82.99%)
2. Consultants conduct programs designed by their companies, in repetitive motion.
Their work is off-the-shelf, conforms to an established mode of operation, contains original thought and draws precedents from experience. (17%)
3. High level strategists create all knowledge in their consulting. It is original, customized
to the client and contains creativity and insight not available elsewhere. (.01%)
As one distinguishes past vendors and subcontractors, there are six types within the 17.01% which constitute consultants (with their percentages in the marketplace):
1. Those who still lead in an industry and have specific niche expertise. (13.5%)
2. Those who were downsized, out-placed or decided not to stay in the corporate fold
and evolved into consulting. (28%)
3. Out of work people who hang out consulting shingles in between jobs. (32%)
4. Freelancers and moonlighters, whose consultancy may or may not relate to their day
5. Veteran consultants who were trained for and have a track record in actual consulting. That`s what they have done for most of their careers. (2%)
6. Sadly, there is another category...opportunists who masquerade as consultants,
entrepreneurs who disguise their selling as consulting, people who routinely change
niches as the dollars go. (8.5%)
99.99% of actual management consultants come from five basic career orientations and fit onto one of the five branches of The Business Tree™ :
1. Technical or niche industry orientation.
3. Entrepreneurial, small business management.
4. Academic, research.
5. Human resources management.
The remaining 1/100 of a percent of consultants is a rare breed...a Big Picture strategist, fitting onto Categories 6 and 7 (trunk and roots of The Business Tree™ ). The strategist is an idea person who has run businesses, knows about all other categories, deals in concepts and policies, and possesses sophisticated understanding and insight.
©Copyright Hank Moore - Futurist, Corporate Strategist™ - All Rights Reserved
As the world`s only Corporate Strategist™ , Hank Moore speaks and advises companies about growth strategies, Visioning, Strategic Planning, executive-leadership development, Futurism and the Big Picture issues which profoundly affect the business climate. The Business Tree™ is his trade marked approach to growing, strengthening and evolving business, while mastering change.