Age, experience, hindsight – they are all a funny thing. Back in my youth, I’d have laughed quite hard at businesses that would bring in consultants to tell them facts they already know or even facts that should be blatantly obvious. As I’ve become older, more experienced, perhaps a bit jaded to the insanity I see in the world (well, business) – and certainly greyer and wiser, I have begun to see where consulting is of use to all size businesses…
Me and indeed all of us at Unleashed are an odd bunch. We really have this old fashioned view that IT is a bit of a misnomer, and we should really talk about three things. The Business, the Information it requires and then how the technology is going to make the other things better and more efficient. The three are always one and together, without getting too religious about it.
Information Technology is just as much about information as it is about technology and in a business setting it’s all about delivering the business better management information and better processes. Processes that delight rather than disappoint end customers.
Having the academic smarts is really a good start for a consultant, but unless you’re a US multinational the three magic letters that most reputed consultants have – M.B.A. are pointless. I should know, I have those three magic letters and instead of earning in excess of 100k+ per year for Accenture making giant companies even more inefficient (I need to talk about your TPS Reports!) – I get my kicks by making a difference with SME’s and Mid-Market firms.
The MBA teaching is really there as a guideline, you’re filled with models and frameworks that are great in theory of large multinationals but when implemented in the UK things get a bit more complex. Over 90% of the UK’s businesses are classified as SME’s, so what is taught in a business school has to be taken, distilled and put into context for that type of business. So if your fresh faced consultant with an MBA believes everything in their textbook, then I’d ask them for your watch back right now.
I’m not really going to tell you that my professional consulting approach is novel or different. I have no propriety tools or techniques to wow you – unless I can persuade you that The Unleashing Process is one such tool that you should be in awe of! There is something very straightforward about an effective manager or consultant and they have a few things about them like:
- They are smart and they are creative. They are smart-creatives (probably could work for Google)!
- They’re down to Earth
- They don’t tolerate fools
- They are extremely bright
- They are experts in their field, living and breathing subjects like business or technology
- They adapt their style to their surroundings
- They make you feel good and comfortable with change and add a bit of energy!
- They care – about the business, the people and the success of everyone
But most of all, whilst perhaps not borrowing your watch, they will highlight things that were obvious but you’d forgotten about or even put on the back burner. After-all, the best solutions should be obvious, you may have thought they were too difficult to tackle or your organisation might have just got stuck into the rut of things always having been done that way.
I’ve also seen consultants brought in by frustrated management teams and indeed have been brought in myself, to specifically highlight areas where owners, senior managers and directors have been shying away from making particular decisions. Maybe this is borrowing your watch, but an extra pair of eyes and consulting done properly can galvanise opinions in a company to take necessary and sometimes fundamental changes forward.
As a consultant with a technology discipline, I make a living in highlighting such areas and suggesting how technology could improve that particular process or provide better management information for decision making. However, consultancy, no matter what your discipline should be about seeing areas where the business could do better and working with the client to ensure simple and elegant solutions deliver the maximum impact of improvements.
You may have an idea of something you’d like to change in your business, you may have struggled to get budget or backing to do-so. These are the projects we love! There’s no charge for a chat and you’ll find us an honest friendly bunch – so why not give us a call on 0161 871 8730 and we’ll see if we can get you to dispel the myths of consulting.