There’s hope for consulting

From the comments at Overcoming Bias:

As a consultant with one of the leading strategy consultancies, I take serious issue with that – well except the part about spending your day drawing slides, that sound way too familiar. In fairness, slides are a good reality check, if you cannot put it on one or two of them, it is probably not synthesized enough.

Furthermore, I have seen some serious analytical firepower (maybe not always with quite the rigor of an academic paper but for sure at several orders of magnitude the pace those are developed at) being thrown at what originally seemed like simple problems – generally things turn out to be neither simple nor elegant in the end. The art of the trade is to come up with a coherent story in light of that.

And while there might occasionally be the client who does not really know what they want, it is part of a consultants mission to find out.

And I have never fit an analysis to what the client expected. If anything, the opposite rings more true – painting darker scenarios than what the client expects (even then, within what I could honestly believe)

Let me make a hypothesis: For those that hire consultants, the real reason for hiring one is often so that they can avoid responsibility for any negative consequences that come from making a specific decision.

I fear there is a lot of truth to that. But it honestly reflects more on them than on the consultants.

Liked what you read? I am available for hire.

One thought on “There’s hope for consulting

  1. Sasi

    Here’s a perspective I heard recently; Consulting firms provide high power auxiliary staff that the firm doesn’t need full time. The auxiliary staff only come in when there are issues at the firm that it is no one’s job description to deal with.

    e.g There is no manager/vp in charge of finding out how best to enter China. If there is a strategy officer, he does not have a full time team helping him because the company needs these questions answered only sporadically and it doesn’t make financial sense for them to keep 10 Wharton grads on their payroll all the time.

    Reply

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