Managers and Executives face different challenges at different steps of their journey within organizations. No situation is ever similar to another one – they are all unique, in the blend of questions that are raised, the context, the resources, the politics at play. With the uniqueness of problems at hand, and the responsibilities of the managers, comes a fair bit of loneliness.
Executives do not necessarily have all the skills themselves or in their organization to tackle those problems. They therefore need and do seek external help. The help they seek can be provided on a very personal level (hence the rise of “coaching” services), or at the Institutional level – this is where Management Consultants now come to play.
Before we look at the contribution of Management Consulting, let’s examine the key questions or challenges faced by Managers and Executives.
- Soul searching – Who am I? Where am I going (on behalf of the organization)?
- Path searching – How do I get there? How do I take advantage of the external and internal contexts of my organization to reach my goals?
- Form searching – Am I structured properly for that mission? Size, shape or form?
- Performance searching – (once the above is known) – How do I then perform – cutting cost, improving sales – doing more potentially with less?
Management Consulting therefore is about unlocking the bottlenecks that arise from managerial activities and questions, at the institutional level.
Management Consultants do this with a variety of tools and roles that are familiar to managers:
- Problem solving at large
- Business analysis – this is the cornerstone of Management Consulting: fact based analytics, diagnostics of the situation at hand, quantification of potential or of alternatives, design of solutions
- Logic formulation and presentation
- Change management
- Project and team management
- Interim management