To Hire or not to Hire
Organizations undergoing change can
often make irrevocable mistakes that could have been avoided by hiring management
consultants with specialist knowledge and objective guidance.
They choose to forgo external
help for a number of reasons. The motivation of cost saving is often the
primary determinant in deciding whether or not to hire a consultancy, but management
may also underestimate the effort and impact of change initiatives, and believe
that internal expertise and resources can independently handle these projects.
Even though there is a cost associated
to hiring an external consultancy, this investment can be well worthwhile when
compared to the detrimental impact on cost, time and employee morale that poorly
planned decisions can have.
To ensure that planned change effectively
achieves its desired outcomes, it is important to recognize the situations in
which obtaining the help of a management consultancy can provide substantial
benefits and be worth the effort.
Organizations must carefully assess
goals behind planned initiatives and objectively determine their internal ability
to carry them through independently without the need for outsourced expertise. To
do this, the following considerations should be made.
a management consultancy can make all the difference in the success of planned initiatives
that deal with major change, such as restructuring or modifying core business
processes. While initiatives such as market development or product development can
also be considerable undertakings, critical initiatives such as altering
business strategy or optimizing business performance are more effectively
handled with the guidance of experts on the subject, since even minor flaws can
ultimately result in the downfall of the business.
main reason why management consultants are often brought on board is their
expertise. Just as when other business activities are outsourced, companies
often lack the time and resources to obtain desired goals. It is more efficient
in these cases to hire a consultancy to propose appropriate plans and solutions.
The basic question that should be addressed in this case is whether an organization
has the expertise and resources to deliver the solution required within an
established time frame.
though project scope may seem like a straightforward aspect, it can often be misleading.
Project scope is often defined by the number of employees that will be directly
affected by an initiative, but this can be an inaccurate estimation of its
magnitude. To properly assess scope, it is important to consider all
stakeholders that will be affected directly or indirectly. If more than 30% of
the organizations stakeholders (including shareholders, suppliers, customers
and employees) are affected, then it is safe to classify the initiative as a major
change and one that is better handled with the aid of a specialized party.
4. Principal versus marginal
more closely the initiative is linked to the organization's core offering, the more critical it is to get it right, so it vital to understand how the
initiative will affect the essence of the business. A design firm may shrug
off the idea of training its customer service personnel, but a utility provider
can go out of business with poorly trained customer service representatives.
The closer the initiative to the main line of business, the more important it
is to have it effectively planned and designed.
5. in-house and external knowledge
companies may believe that only their internal staff understand how to maintain
their competitive edge. While in-house knowledge and expertise is extremely valuable,
it can also be complemented by objective assessment and a broader outlook. An organization's management and employees can become complacent, narrow-minded or too set in their
ways. They can become too inward-looking and forget about both the opportunities
and threats that come with operating in an ever changing market. Barriers to entry can be overcome by new players and unique advantages can be copied or beaten. When faced
with these circumstances, hiring external experts can provide objective
assessment, specialist knowledge and a fresh perspective on things.
at these parameters can help business managers determine when their organizations
are well equipped to undergo their change journey alone, and when it is beneficial
to partner with a management consultancy for more effective outcomes.