Business Strategy Consulting

Can you implement?

Consulting is more than advice

Each year management consultants in the United States and Australia receive more than $2.5 billion for their services. Much of this money pays for impractical data and poorly implemented recommendations. To reduce this waste, clients need a better understanding of what consulting assignments can accomplish. They need to ask more from such advisers, who in turn must learn to satisfy expanded expectations.

1. Providing information to a client.

2. Solving a client’s problems.

3. Making a diagnosis, which may necessitate redefinition of the problem.

4. Making recommendations based on the diagnosis.

5. Assisting with implementation of recommended solutions.

6. Building a consensus and commitment around corrective action.

7. Facilitating client learning—that is, teaching clients how to resolve similar problems in the future.

8. Permanently improving organizational effectiveness.

  • What information does the client readily accept or resist?


  • What unexpressed motives might there be for seeking our assistance?
  • What kinds of data does this client resist supplying? Why?
  • How willing are members of the organization, individually and together, to work with us on solving these problems and diagnosing this situation?
  • How can we shape the process and influence the relationship to increase the client’s readiness for needed corrective action?
  • Are these executives willing to learn new management methods and practices?
  • Do those at higher levels listen? Will they be influenced by the suggestions of people lower down? If the project increases upward communication, how will top levels of management respond?
  • To what extent will this client regard a contribution to overall organizational effectiveness and adaptability as a legitimate and desirable objective?

What are your concerns?

Managers should not necessarily expect their advisers to ask these questions. But they should expect that consultants will be concerned with issues of this kind during each phase of the engagement.

  • Increasing consensus, commitment, learning
  • Desirable outcomes
  • Human engineering