Consultants can perform a number of tasks that can vary considerably depending on the industry. In a nutshell, consultants provide expert opinions, analyses and recommendations to organizations or individuals, based on their own experience. Consultants can gather information by interviewing industry experts and customers. They can gather information from customers by organizing focus groups or conducting surveys.
Consultants also conduct secondary research and read market and industry reports. They can also request data from their customers for analysis. With strong customer participation throughout the process, there will be plenty of opportunities to help members identify learning needs. Often, a consultant can suggest or help design opportunities to learn about work planning methods, work group assignments, goal-setting processes, etc.
While the effective professional is concerned with executive learning throughout the hiring process, it would be wise not to cite it as an explicit objective. Managers may not like the idea of being “taught to manage”. Talking too much about customer learning seems presumptuous, and it is. It is also due to my experience supervising beginning consultants and to the many conversations and partnerships I have had with consultants and clients in the United States and abroad.
During this time, consultants work on the project in a specialized consulting team that usually consists of two to six people, including a project manager and several associates or analysts. The main management consulting firms are McKinsey, BCG and Bain, which are collectively known as MBB or Big Three Consulting. These purposes have received more attention in the literature on organizational development and in the writings of behavioral consultants than in the field of management consulting. The largest technology and IT consulting firm is Accenture, although they also do other types of consulting.
In addition, some consulting firms allow consultants to stay in the city for the weekend or travel to another city instead of flying back home. When the task requires a method outside the professional's area of expertise, he or she may recommend other consultants or educational programs. For example, Clearview Health Partners, ZS Associates, Huron Consulting Group, and Putnam Associates focus on life science consulting. As managers understand the wider range of purposes that excellent consulting can help achieve, they will select consultants more intelligently and expect more value from them.
This allows other consultants to consult this work as an aid in future consulting projects in the same industry or on a similar topic. On the other hand, a consultant who too quickly rejects this way of describing the problem will end a potentially useful consulting process before it begins. The increase in consensus, commitment, learning and future effectiveness are not intended as a substitute for the most common purposes of management consulting, but as desirable results of any truly effective consulting process. The idea that the success of consulting depends solely on analytical experience and the ability to present convincing reports is losing ground, in part because there are now more people in organizations with the necessary analytical techniques than in the boom years of “strategic consulting”.
In general, several partners are involved in each project, and consulting teams are often supported by expert consultants who are specialists in the relevant industry or function...