Have you heard lately? People in organizations say beware of the consultants. They borrow your watch and tell you the time!
There is a reason for that. From top 5 consulting giant firms, to any Tom-Dick-Harry, everyone is saying they are consultants. From coaches, mentors, palm readers, salespersons and marketers, suppliers, computer geeks, web designers, coders, and anybody that is a solo business owner, they call themselves consultants too!
Well, there are management consultants, technical consultants, executive coaches, psychological counsellors, legal advisors, and many more are plenty around in different professions.
The marketplace is field with consultants of various stripes and colors, peddling different sorts of solutions based on various formula and potions.
Nowadays, there is a bit of cynicism about consultants because not all are good, not all are ethical, and not all could make it in six-figure take home income.
There may be hundred of consultants in one room but there is a huge diversity in application, in background, in skills set, in expertise, in geographical, sectoral experience, and many other essential variables.
It is up to the discerning client or prospective client to figure out the fake from the true ones, filter out the noisy from the substantive elements, and engage those that have actually created real value to comparable organizations in this sector. This is not a daunting task and more and more organization need that extra third party, objective, external validator, verifier, sounding board, advisor to accelerate your growth goals to the next level.
-Check them out. Get recommendations and references from previous clients.
-Know what you really want to achieve in every transaction. Just like any partnership, it should be a win-win proposition.
-Does this person have the credibility, integrity, expertise, and connection that you need? Are there things in your list that are a must or good-to-have?
-Don't go around shopping for the cheapest one. Price is not a predictor of value. Look for quality, value, and undisputed credibility in the field.
Whether you are buying a training material, planning a company retreat, or designing a performance management program, know you needs versus what your want. This will save you lots of time, effort, and troubles.
Take it from me. I am a consultant.
You might have heard 'business is a contact sport.'
No amount of preparation will be enough once you get punched in the face.
Then the rest is up to your training, background, experience, insight, prior knowledge, and correct assessment of the situation.
Using common sense, learning on the fly, being adaptive, flexible, and creative will get you through some of the business challenges that are out there.
When you know that things that are coming and did not prepare, you deserve a kick in the butt.
But some things come from nowhere and will leave you totally unprepared. These types of scenario are the ones that no amount of preparation will be sufficient.
Take heed, learn everything you need to learn, and take counsel from those that have been there and been successful, not the armchair advisors. To mitigate the risks and weather the storm, your present response matters a lot.