Business Management Consulting 2.0
More than anything else, what differentiates people who live up to their potential from those who don’t is a willingness to look at themselves and others objectively.
– Ray Dalio
Traditional business management consulting has come a long way since the early years where companies like McKinsey and Booz Allen Hamilton focused on helping industry and governments with technical research, strategy, and organizational structure.
These two companies still have a strong foothold in the industry, but as we shift forward into an era that has drastically been impacted by technology and the widespread distribution of knowledge. Many other companies and leaders equipped with the tools, resources, and expertise required to function in the modern business environment are beginning to emerge in the business management consulting space.
What does it take to be a great management consultant today? More importantly, what should businesses actively thinking about hiring a business management consultant to develop out their business for growth and cultural impact consider?
These are the questions we seek to answer. If only to refine our approach to how we deliver business and brand development services. However, our goal is to equip businesses with the information right information to choose a business management consultant wisely. Depending on their needs.
- Relationship Building
- Strategic Planning
- Business Analysis
- Technological Proficiency
This article dives head first into each of these categories to better understand how the landscape is shifting for the modern business management consultant, and what prospective customers should expect.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0: RELATIONSHIP BUILDING
In our experience, businesses are not conditioned to accept much advice from business management consultants that haven’t taken the adequate time to fully understand a company’s measurable goals, current strengths and weaknesses, and business model.
As a business, it’s essential to invest in the process of educating management consultants on the nature of your business with a holistic perspective. We’ve had clients come to us that only want to reveal part of their challenges. While we have succeeded in developing a strategy that drives results, we quickly run into a new set of problems based on undisclosed information.
With our best client relationships, where a client understands our commitment to confidence and full disclosure. We begin tackling challenges with a holistic mindset that preemptively addresses some of the company’s most significant issues.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0: LISTENING
Relationships can be won or lost on based on listening. Being a good listener is more important to being a good management consultant, than having exceptional analytical skills, creative thinking processes, and all the knowledge in the world.
Businesses are like people, working towards a goal. Until we as management consultants listen carefully enough to understand where we can apply our expertise, there isn’t much point in giving direction.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0: STRATEGIC PLANNING
Lately, we have been studying the concepts Ray Dalio (Bridgewater Founder and CIO) lives by. When it comes to planning, it is important to establish healthy open discussions about the best strategies and tactics to leverage to achieve goals. In addition to stress testing our ideas to ensure we are on the right path. Data will tell the ultimate truth!
The shift from “knowing we are right,” to “how do we know are right?” is an essential process that businesses and Management consultants undergo.
Excellent business management consultants utilize different frameworks to look at challenges.
For businesses just getting started with a management consultant, we recommend diving into our One Page Strategic Plan.Simply articulate company goals, values, key performance indicators, while identifying strengths and weaknesses. This is an excellent start to discovering your foundation.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0: BUSINESS ANALYSIS
Building the right strategy often requires diving into the numbers and even the culture to ensure a good fit. Implementing new ideas are like getting a liver transplant. The environment needs to be receptive to achieve success.
This may require opening up financial statements, giving access to corporate meetings, allowing consultants to engage in corporate retreats and other business functions that provides genuine insight into the challenges a company faces.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0: TECHNOLOGICALLY SAVVY
This is one of the most significant shifts in the management consulting space. Every month, more and more businesses leverage the power of technology. From the tools, companies utilize running their business, to digital marketing and navigating the eco-system that exists online.
It pays to invest in management consultants that have a strong background and understanding of what happens inside the black boxes that are slowly governing how we do business. This can hedge your investments in a big way if they have first-hand knowledge of how technology functions at a fundamental level.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0 CREATIVITY
I’ve been reading Tim Ferriss’ latest book “Tools of Titans,” and one exciting lesson jumped out from the director Robert Rodriguez. He attributed a lot of his success in Hollywood to having faith, creativity and the willingness to begin.
This is very important for business management consultants to bring to the table. Often business challenges do not have clearly defined answers; especially when you take the whole business machine is into consideration. There are people involved, which often complicate things on a level by themselves.
Why are these three things important?
Faith in one’s ability to find answers to questions that aren’t readily available is an important skill many of the world’s most successful individuals exude.
From Steve Jobs & Bill Gates who set out to make computers a household item to John D. Rockefeller, who built an oil empire. Even Albert Einstein who developed his ideas about general relativity that have impacted our worldview in a way that many people still have yet to grasp.
Creativity is the ability to look outside and inside ourselves, our companies, and come up with unique approaches to overcoming our challenges. Some ideas are not great, but usually, they are stumbling blocks on our path to figuring out the idea that will fit the situation.
A willingness to begin. Many businesses and even people are plagued with analysis paralysis. They know what is best for them, but they are not sure on how everything will unfold, so they don’t take action.
This is where a good management consultant comes in. Pay them to do this thinking and take those steps that are initially hard to embark on. As they begin to develop momentum, you will feel more comfortable joining in the process and experience the results.
BUSINESS MANAGEMENT CONSULTING 2.0: FLEXIBILITY
As new information becomes available, our tactics may need to adapt. This isn’t to say our goals have changed, but our means to which we achieve them does.
This is where a good listener comes in. As business owners, need to surround ourselves with people who know when it is time to stay the course and can encourage to pivot when it is time right. A great business management consultant does just that!