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  • Writer's pictureImad Choucair

How business consulting is transforming?

Updated: Sep 5, 2022

In the past, reputed consulting companies may have exclusive access to proprietary information. Now information is everywhere.

With their distinguished difference, business consulting and management consulting are frequently criticized for being generic, inapplicable, irrelevant, or providing zero or negative business benefits. Consultants are known for writing down what they are told during meetings with their clients and then sending that back as their assessments recommendations. If you come across such an experience, you would not be alone.

There is a general saying that business consultants do not tell you what is good for your business but what you want to hear. In many cases, the language used by consultants cannot be proven right or wrong. I saw many business consulting reports from well-reputed management consulting firms remain intact even if you change the client's name to another company. Even worse, in some cases, we may find another company's name left by mistake on a client's report as evidence of the reuse of documentation from one client to another; until they mastered the use of the find-replace feature.

The above are a few examples explaining why the deliverables of many consulting projects stay inside drawers or computer storage disks. Studies show that many consulting projects claimed to be successful are, in fact, not. Clients may claim their consulting projects are successful because of the empressement of the wasting of the organization's valuable time and money. Other cases are those projects driven by clients' desire to take away the responsibility of making specific business decisions and shift that to an external consultant. What may seem like the dark side of consulting business is not general but is very common.

Top five reasons why business consulting is not meeting clients' expectations?

Well, answering the above question deserves an entire research project on its own, but evidence supports the following five associations:

1. There is a strong association between consultant competencies and the project's outcome. Consultants' real industry-relevant experience, business knowledge, and leadership abilities driving client engagement are perhaps the strongest determinants of the successful deliverables of projects.

2. The latest technological development has disrupted business or management consulting practice. Consulting firms, especially the top ones, used to enjoy exclusive access to information and insights and use those as their primary tools in front of customers. That is not the case anymore, as data and insights are everywhere.

3. As clients' expectations are too high, consultants may stay general and avoid getting involved with sensitive issues inside the organizations as consulting companies need their money in the end.

4. Clients do not provide enough cooperation due to internal politics, are unwilling to change, or are even unclear on the fundamental role. — Client may assume they know better.

5. Lack of proper organizational development or change management methodology— clear objectives and success criteria.

The three critical factors to successful consulting engagements

The vital elements for successful engagements may look simple, but such simplicity is deceptive. Let's focus on the top three success factors.

1. Clients need to understand that the discipline of management consulting has changed. Clients should not expect consultants to make business decisions on their behalf. The engagement has to be collaborative based on partnership and trust, and its catalyst is the consultant's knowledge, experience, and leadership abilities.

2. Consultants need to understand that the discipline of business consulting has been transformed, and the actual value they need to show to their clients should be based on insights rather than data and information.

3. The consultant's responsibility is to follow a proven engagement methodology during the pre-sales and after-sales parts.

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