Cartegic Group - Strategic Scenarios for Resilient Organizations    

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The 13 Deadly Sins of Consulting...

Practical Strategy
Making Predictions
Breaking Rules
Engineering Knowledge
Consulting 'Sins'
Facilitating Debate

Lets face it: the consulting industry is guilty of a variety of malpractices. You may recognize some of them in the list below.

1) Wasting your time - living on your site to learn your business, hold meetings with each other, and distract your people. A good rule of thumb with "live-in" consultants is soft internal costs at least equal to their fee.

2) Bait and switch - trotting out seaoned senior talent for the sales call and the final presentation... and nothing else. Why not get the time and rapt attention of the seasoned experts you thought you'd paid for?

3) Implying that you're stupid - deploying platoons of freshly-minted, twenty-something MBAs with little actual experience, forcing you to help them by sorting the good from the bad.

4) Inventing an endless stream of "essential" projects - all of which will require substantial additional funding. Sometimes when the project is over the consultants need to go home for awhile.

5) Working at cross purposes - marriages between consulting and accounting or systems integration simply don't work - for the client. If they've got a sister business to 'feed', how can they be truly objective?

6) Using PowerPoint as a crutch - instead of using plain talk, solid research, proven methodology... and common sense.

7) Relying too heavily on the latest trends - not acknowledging the fact that frequently, present trends and hot fads don't continue.

8) Promoting "pie in the sky" visions - selling you on hope and hype without grounding recommendations in basic business sense and the practical realities of implementation trade-offs. See: "dot.com boom".

9) Confusing good ideas with effective change - imposing the consultant's ideas without involving the management team. Too often, it's back to business-as-usual shortly after the consultant is out the door.

10) Assuming one best way - a cookie-cutter 'best-practices' approach assumes that industries are static and that playing catch-up will deliver the returns that shareholders deserve. It won't. It's only the organizations that think beyond these constraints that ever get to lead.

11) Borrowing your watch to tell you what time it is - regurgitating established facts while re-hashing decisions you've already made.

12) Tool du jour - overusing a fashionable analytical method (e.g. BPR, TQM) rather than selecting the approach that's most appropriate. A related malpractice is averaging the results of a half dozen tools at once.

13) Fanning the flames of fear and politics - allowing the consulting process to be hijacked by vocal internal constituencies eager to preserve their fiefdoms, their jobs and their budgets. Substantive, dispassionate well-informed debate is much harder than ordinary bickering.

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Please e -mail us with any thoughts you may have on this list.

Whether you've got an effective consultant you've come to trust or just want a different perspective, we'd be happy to talk with you about an approach that's proven effective over 20 years with 30 of the 'Global 50'.