Welcome back to the Whiteboard!

Last week Ruth gave you a virtual tour of our new website (which we love). This week, I thought I would introduce you to the kind of work we do. We spent the first few weeks in our new adventure telling people what we do. We described ourselves as management consultants, but that was sometimes met with a blank stare. Then we tried business process improvement specialists? Equally blank stares. Finally we settled on – Business Problem Solvers. People got it!

What is a management consultant?

Wikipedia says:

Management consulting refers to the practice of helping organisations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organisational problems and development of plans for improvement. Organisations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants’ specialised expertise.

That’s exactly what we set out to do when we started this company. Years in both the private and public sector gave us a ton of exposure to consultants. Plus we were successful internal management consultants for a number of large organizations. We always knew what we wanted – creative honest THOUGHT LEADERSHIP. So, we thought we’d give you our top 7 tips to hire a management consultant.

How to choose a management consultant?

Here are the Top 7 Criteria you should look for when hiring a management consultant.

  1. Look for an expert. A great consultant will have both tangible business experience in your area paired with accreditation in a methodology.
  2. Keep it simple. Look for a consultant that doesn’t overcomplicate a problem in order to increase their billable hours. Some problems have simple solutions.
  3. Find a guarantee. Consultants can’t always guarantee on-time delivery or 100% project success. But, they should be setting metrics that define success and aim to meet them. Look in your proposal or contract for something that makes sure you as the client are happy.
  4. What can I get for free? Negotiate for some additional training or template materials you can use for their next project. Our strong client relationships are what keeps clients coming back time and time again.
  5. Look for honesty. A consultant should never sugar coat your situation or not speak their mind. They have experience and should speak their mind. offering honest and objective advice every time. That’s what you are paying them for!
  6. Find a unique product offering. What can the consulting firm you select do that other’s don’t offer. Do they offer end-to-end solutions? Do they just write recommendations, or can they successfully implement them for you too?
  7. Look for innovative solutions. Consultants should be setting you up for future success, therefore the solutions they recommend should be forward thinking, applying the most up-to-date (but cost effective) technologies.

All that for the right price. Easy, isn’t it?

Stay tuned next Friday at noon for our next blog posting. We’ll teach you the basics of process improvement and how you can apply them in your own organization – so you can be better, faster, and cheaper. (Enter your email below to subscribe.)

Make sure to follow us on Twitter @whiteboardcons to stay up to date on what we’re up to this week. Have thoughts or ideas? Use #betterfastercheaper to join the conversation!

Until next week,