When to Use Strategy Consultants

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Part of a good manager's job is to know when to use a strategy consultant. These consultants can help identify a corporation's strengths and weaknesses, which can in turn, help a company work on a corporate growth strategy while deciding on future plans.

Calling a Strategy Consultant

If the challenges facing a business are simple and require a step-by-step solution, a strategy consultant should be able to help. A consultant can also help with more complicated tasks—they can tailor a one-size-fits-all solution that's been used by others.
There are many reasons for calling a strategy consultant.
New leadership may bring in strategy consultants to help make their transition go more smoothly with more near-term impact. It may also be an opportunity to bring in a new corporate growth strategy or changes to the corporate culture. Use a strategy consultant to introduce innovative measures and strategies.

How to Get the Most Out of a Strategy Consultant

A good strategy consultant will take the time to get to know your business and the inner workings of each department. She should be willing to immerse herself in your brand, corporate culture, and systems. After careful analysis, the consultant will offer a report on her opinions of the optimal solution. A solution based on the opinion of one person may work for simple business challenges that have already been overcome many times before by other businesses but if the corporation faces a unique, complex challenge, there is no way one person or small group of experts can grasp all the aspects of the business and the challenge.
Some complex challenges take a bigger, more specialized team. For example, cutting costs involves trying to balance the deepest savings today versus the corporation's long-term plans. This can be a delicate balance, especially when customer reaction, productivity, and post-cost-cutting employee morale are also taken into account. Moving to a more customer-centric model involves understanding the customer, their experience, and the data the business has already gathered about customer patterns and habits. Moving from a strategy report to actual action is also an area where a strategy consultant may be able to help—turning the corporations plans into a success instead of letting them gather dust.
Strategy consultants certainly bring expertise to the table but they should be a part of a larger team. Instead of funnelling all information into one person or small team of experts, a complex challenge requires a handpicked team of people who are communicating directly—not a coordinator who may slow down the process. This team may include managers, owners, consultants, customers, internal employees and others. By involving different thinking styles, personalities, and approaches, the corporation has a better chance of finding a creative solution that suits its needs and will be supported by its employees.

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