Consultants are a valuable asset to their customers, providing a range of services that can improve product quality, expand the business, reduce costs, and retain valuable talent. They create value through two dimensions: technical value and political value. Management consultants strive to leave something of lasting value, not only addressing immediate problems but also teaching customers how to handle future challenges. Consultants can also add value to projects and initiatives by challenging the customer's ideas and established norms.
They ask difficult questions, analyze all the information presented, and encourage customers to consider alternative options and take bold steps forward. Whenever possible, they seek and incorporate new ideas and approaches, as well as improve existing ones. In addition to the approaches described above, consultants can add value to projects and initiatives in other interesting ways, especially through the opportunities that may arise during implementation and the learning moments that arise along the way. They strive to help customers institutionalize more effective management processes, which requires greater emphasis on companies' hiring and staff development policies.
When a customer requests information, the consultant asks how it will be used and what steps have already been taken to obtain it. Reports from authorities such as the World Bank, the Association of Management Consultants, and Harvard Business School offer convincing debates and conclusions about the benefits of using consultancies. Ultimately, only the CEO or other leader of a company can really pull the trigger; at best, the consultant can teach them how to hold the gun and give them targets to aim for. The key to unlocking the full potential of consultants is for clients to understand their role in creating value. Clients should be open to new ideas and approaches that consultants bring to the table.
They should also be willing to invest in their own staff development so that they can better understand how consultants can help them achieve their goals. Finally, clients should be willing to take risks when necessary in order to maximize their return on investment.