What makes a good organizational consultant


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Setting up a consultancy business? looking to find out what is involved in becoming a consultant? or looking for ways to reduce consultancy costs and more, then please take the time and visit me at http://bit.ly/ym3YLX - it is well worth making the effort to do so.

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What makes a good organizational consultant

  1. 1. ==== ====Consultants - This is a great place to find out more:http://bit.ly/ym3YLX==== ====Everywhere I go, I meet management and organizational consultants. Its a field that keepsgrowing and with some very good reasons:1) Its impossible to maintain full time staff, with every possible management skill that might everbe needed. For example, its likely that a small or mid-sized organization will only need to reviewnew hire training procedures once a year, or even less frequently. It would be cost prohibitive tokeep a training consultant on salary all year, when they are only needed for one month out oftwelve.2) Even if there are folks on staff with the skill set needed to address an organizational issue ordesign a new system, etc., they often cannot break away from the work they are already doing, todedicate time to the new urgency. To ask them to take on another project, when workloads areheavy, would be risking employee burnout and its associated emotional and financial costs, whichare likely to be much higher than the costs of contracting with a consultant.3) Since effective consultations are based on objective analyses and recommendations, it can beexceeding difficult to complete this from the "inside". When one is too close to both the playersand the work being evaluated, the analysis can be compromised, often without this beingrecognized. It would be natural for an analysis to be compromised, for example, by the positiveevaluation of the efforts of a dedicated employee, when in reality, his/her efforts have not yieldedthe needed results.Management and organizational consultants hail from many different disciplines and can providean array of services. Some review hiring practices; others address accounting procedures; yetothers assess benefit structures. These are but a few examples. Our group consults on the impactof human behavior on organizational dynamics and productivity. When contracting for the servicesof a consultant, it is crucial to verify that he/she has the specific expertise that is needed. Resumeand references should be checked and not taken for granted. Initial conversations and the initialproject proposal should clearly reflect the persons ability to do the work.While a consultation cannot be successful if the consultant does not have the required expertise,this is only one characteristic of a good organizational consultant. There are others just asimportant, if the job is going to get done:He/she must have excellent organizational and time management skills. The consultants initialproposal should reflect her/his ability to design a plan with clear goals and objectives, and withspecific methodologies that will be utilized to reach them. Time frames in which each phase of theproject are targeted to be completed, should also be part of the proposal.
  2. 2. He/she must have superior communication skills. To be on target, the consultant must be anattentive listener, who takes time the time to understand the intricacies of the problems that will beaddressed. He/she must also be able to utilize feedback effectively, so that as the projectprogresses, necessary adjustments can be made. And, in order for the consultation to haveenduring value, she/he must be able to convey the information and skills to others, that will beneeded for the results of the consultation to be integrated into ongoing processes.The Consultant also must have good professional boundaries. The one you wish you had neverhired arrives on site and needlessly interrupts everyones work; the seasoned consultant is mindfulof organizational processes that should not be interrupted, and works to complete the projectwithout unnecessarily hindering ongoing company operations.Additionally, the consultant must have good personal boundaries. He/she must stay focused onthe work at hand, without excessive socializing during consultation hours. He/she must also avoidforming personal relationships with company personnel, that in any way could compromise theconsultations objectivity or create a conflict of interest.Finally, the Consultant must highly ethical. In the course of his/her work, the consultant will oftenhave access to information about the organization that is confidential. It is highly recommendedthat there be a written confidentiality agreement be established, that prohibits the consultant fromrevealing proprietary information and communications, or trade secrets.The consultant also must see her/himself as a consultant and not as a permanent fixture!Consultants should be ethically committed to completing their work as expeditiously as possible.And if, in the course of a consultation, a separate problem surfaces that needs attention, theorganization should be presented with the option of establishing a new consultation agreementaround that issue.By keeping these parameters in mind, and utilizing them to verify a consultants ability to deliverneeded services, the likelihood of having a positive collaborative experience is greatly increased.And, whenever in doubt of the contribution that a particular consultant can make, keepinterviewing! The investment in time will pay for itself in the end.Roberta Cohen is President of Cohen Associates, P.A., a Crisis Management Practice Group,providingcritical incident stress managment services [http://www.path2solutions.com/] and OrganizationalConsulting services. Please visit: [http://www.path2solutions.com/]Article Source:http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Roberta_Cohen
  3. 3. ==== ====Consultants - This is a great place to find out more:http://bit.ly/ym3YLX==== ====