The Consultant as a Problem Solver
Companies have started to recognize their need for transformation in their organizations and are beginning to realize that making these changes is not always going to be easy. To help combat these challenges, many companies look to outside help and turn to a consultant to ease them through the transition and challenges that they are facing.
Consultants should be viewed as the problem solver. They can use an outsider’s perspective and can see what needs to be fixed and what changes can be made to move the business forward into the future.
When looking to solve a company’s problems—whether revenue expansion or an ailing business model—a consultant takes a comprehensive and logical approach. Using a rational approach to solving a problem allows a consultant the ability to address the problem on a larger scale and use strategic planning to help eliminate the issue. The following steps have to be taken to solve the issue:
- Define the problem
- Look at all potential causes for the problem
- Identify ways to resolve the problem
- Create an implementation plan
- Monitor the implementation plan
- Verify the resolution of the problem
When a consultant is brought into a company who has been floundering for some time, this approach allows the consultant to enact a sense of order in an often chaotic and stressful time in the company. While this approach does take time to finish, it allows the problem to be solved and a plan to be put into place to make sure it does not happen again.
As a problem solver, the rational approach might not always be the correct way to develop a plan and move a company forward. It is often believed that a consultant is there to solve the problem and move on to the next company promptly. Taking a more organic approach to solving the company’s problem will allow a consultant to be able to explain the changes that are occurring as they are happening. While this approach is often preferred by some consultants, it provides no clear time frame and no exact plan to show employees where the company is headed. The follow-through can see the consultant’s services used for years after initial contact is made, but is perhaps the most impactful way to proceed in the long term.
Whether a company is bringing on a consultant for a long term fix or a short amount of time, it is important to remember that they are there to solve a problem and help the company move forward in a positive and productive manner. No problem is too big or too small for a consultant and with the right tools and leeway from the company, they will be able to solve any problem thrown at them.