This is the third of our monthly Ask The Consultants blog articles. Your questions will be answered by our core team of ALS Consultants. Submit questions via email at Meg@ALSLeadership.com.
Q: What is the purpose of a business consultant? – Joshua A. Fox via Facebook
A: ALS Consulting is committed to delivering on what matters to you, the client. You have goals and concerns that are unique to you and your organization. Our techniques and methodologies are designed to have you win at whatever game you want to play. Business consultants fill many roles and have equally as many niches. Even at ALS, each core consultant, and each associate, is an expert in certain fields.
Paul Greiner and Doug Hoffman are masters in power and performance, though they have very different approaches. Andreas Svedin is a keen problem solver who thrives when challenged to find solutions. My focus is communication and relationships. I am an expert at seeing how relationships are flowing, what is missing, and the communication that is needed to fill those gaps. ALS Consulting’s team provides an intensely powerful degree of support and service I do not see in other firms. – Meg Buck
A: That depends on the type of consultant and your particular situation, but at minimum it is to provide input/expertise in a given area of business from a neutral perspective. In most (if not all) of my client engagements, I play a number of roles, including credible expert (in matters of performance and communication), trainer, facilitator, accountability partner, sounding board, coach, mediator, etc. MY purpose as a consultant, accomplished by way of those roles, and the agreements we make, is to empower you to fulfill on what really matters to you and to your business. We clarify what matters, design a pathway to fulfilling on it, and remove or otherwise transcend any barriers we encounter on that path. – Paul Greiner
A: Business consultants are hired for many reasons. Over the past 18 years, I have worked with people in the broad field of “consulting” who do work that is as varied as the work of doctors. I am hired to produce dramatic shifts in performance with my clients. That performance may be sales, scalability, efficiency, COGS, EBITA, employee satisfaction, or an acceleration of a move to go public. My focus is performance; that of teams, leaders, and organizations as a whole. – Douglas Hoffman
A: When you are in need of expertise in some area of your business you have a number of choices. You could recruit new people or send some of your staff to training. Both of these are long-term solutions that might be not viable if you have want to take on the challenge now. You could also hire business consultants, and here again are two choices. You could bring a consultant to resolve your specific challenge. This is a short-term solution that might be costly in the long run and also can create a dependence on their external support. However, the best kind of business support (and I am clearly biased here) is from the consultant who guides you through the process of dealing with the challenge yourself. This resolves the current challenge and also trains your people to take on similar challenges in the future: When the consultant leaves, you can do the job yourselves. The purpose of a business consultant is to support organizations in dealing with what is at hand, to take the next great step, and to help create a grand new future for the organization. – Andreas Svedin
Edited by Meg Buck