A professional Consultant is one who gives expert advice in specialized fields. A good number of consultants are top-level managers who have been with organizations for years and are able to trouble shoot issues that they have seen numerous times throughout their careers. Though the players are different, the contentions are mostly the same. It is just a matter of manipulating the knowledge that they already possess to benefit all of the parties. Though dispute resolution is the most common reason organizations hire outside assistance from Consultants, there are other situations when their services can be advantageous.
1. Specialized Knowledge – The most successful organizations understand that they must hire in good advice when necessary. If an organization has a special circumstance outside the scope of it’s normal business, it may be necessary to “borrow the brains” of a Consultant. It is not rational to think that a decision maker has all of the answers. It is neither cost-effective nor efficient for members of an organization to learn a subject that a Consultant has already mastered.
2. Disinterested Perspective – Consultants can serve as mediators or facilitators in outside and in-house disputes where bias would only divide the interested parties. Whether it be internal personnel issues or outside distrust, Consultants can concentrate the factions away from any encumberances that impede resolution.
3. Fresh Perspective – Over time, some companies get caught up in the same line of thinking. Employee initiative gets stagnant and original solutions can be few and far between. Consultants have the benefit of visiting the same issues from many different organizational perspectives. Since they are continually solving the same general problems, Consultants have a vast arsenal of information with which to attack. For a short time, organizations can utilize this perspective to galvanize their work forces.
4. Bad Guy – Businesses are often called upon to make difficult decisions. For some organizations, it is better that the delivery not come from within. For instance, a resistant board of directors may determine that an outside Consultant’s opinion to increase expenditures is more valuable than an employee’s opinion. At the end of the day, or assignment, the Consultant not only has the advantage of higher, more specialized knowledge, but can leave the organization with no lasting repercussions.
Professional Consultants can be an extremely effective tool for businesses in need of expertise. Whether for brain power, a new angle, as an impartial facilitator, or scapegoat, they can be thought of as a temporary means to a lasting solution.