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Human Resource Consulting – Profession and Practice

The book has been designed to serve as an essential insight necessary to understand Human Resource Consulting that especially meets the requirements of T6 MBA students of KTU specializing in Human Resource Management

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Human Resource Consulting – Profession and Practice

  2. 2. Handbook on HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE (HRCPP) Prepared by, Ms. Jaya Shankar ME Computer Science, MBA Assistant Professor SNIT Adoor Business School Ms. Rizaet A. Rahim MBA, PG-DHHM Assistant Professor SNIT Adoor Business School & Ms. Vishnupriya M.G. T6 MBA (2017-2019), SNIT Adoor Business School
  3. 3. About the Book The book has been designed to serve as an essential insight necessary to understand Human Resource Consulting that especially meets the requirements of T6 MBA students of KTU specializing in Human Resource Management.
  4. 4. MODULE SYLLABUS PAGE NO. I Consulting- Firms and Professions: Business consulting; The changing consulting industry, global trends and acceptance of Consultants; Consultants - Types, competencies and Values; Consulting as a profession; HR consultancy – scope, application, effectiveness; Top Consulting Firms in the world – services offered, future of consulting companies; The new business consulting ecosystem – model, drawbacks. 1-32 II The Consulting Process: Consulting Models - models used by consulting firms to analyze clients; The client market - Understanding buyer values, Advertising PR; Client relationship - relationship management, repeated assignments, retainer contracts; Generating and winning consulting assignments – services offering, marketing pitch, consulting services presentations; Proposals - Writing Successful Proposals. 33-47 III Managing consulting projects: Process - From diagnosis to discovery – Diagnostic review; Dealing with internal Resistance; Whole-system discovery; Meetings to understand the complete picture; Workflow and Business process – Business Process definition, Mapping workflow techniques, bottlenecks identification, discovering Gifts, Capacities and possibilities; Findings – presentation of findings and recommendations; Project Management – tools, techniques. 48-75 IV Delivering results and disengagement: Analyzing and framing problems - applying business process reengineering, smoothening the bottlenecks; Preparation of Deliverables, standards and compliance with law of the land, benchmarking; Review of Deliverables – standardization; Meeting for ‘buy-ins’ – presentation of solutions; Implementation of deliverables – training, coaching and mentoring; Interim review and feedback; Knowledge transfer and disengagement. 76-95 V Human Resources in Organization Consulting: Specialty areas of HR consulting; Outsourcing and HR – areas for outsourcing, readiness for outsourcing; HR Consulting firms in India and its future in India; HR Consultant Career graph. 96-102
  5. 5. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 1 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL "What is unique to management is that from the very beginning the consultant played a key role in the development of the practice, the knowledge and the profession of management." Peter Drucker 1. CONSULTING Consultancy is the act of consulting and is the process of seeking the advice of a consultant. According to New Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary ‘to consult’ means ‘to ask advice of’ or ‘to seek the opinion of’ and ‘consultant’ means ‘one who consults or give expert advice’. A consultant is a qualified and independent person who provides professional service to individuals, organisations or business organisations. Consultancy services are the services provided by consultants to identify and investigate the problems concerned with policy, organisation, procedures and methods; recommending appropriate action and helping to implement these recommendations. Even though there are different areas of consultancy, in practice, all these practically originate from management consultancy. Hence it is appropriate to discuss the concept of management consultancy. The Management Consultancy Association of India defines management consulting as "an advisory service contracted for and provided to business, public and other undertakings by specially trained and qualified persons. It is a process of interaction wherein the consultant in an objective and independent manner diagnoses and investigates problems and issues concerned MODULE I Consulting- Firms and Professions: Business consulting; The changing consulting industry, global trends and acceptance of Consultants; Consultants - Types, competencies and Values; Consulting as a profession; HR consultancy – scope, application, effectiveness; Top Consulting Firms in the world – services offered, future of consulting companies; The new business consulting ecosystem – model, drawbacks.
  6. 6. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 2 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL with management practices, analyses these, recommends appropriate action and provides assistance when requested in implementation of recommended solutions" 1.1 BUSINESS CONSULTING Business consulting refers to the practice of, helping organizations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing business problems and development of plans for improvement. They provide management consulting to help organizations to improve performance and its efficiency. Consultancies may also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. A business consultant is a ‘hired gun’ who has both the expertise and experience to advise you what to do and execute your plan into action saving your money, time and grievance.Strategic planning is one of the key services provided by business consultants. Business consultants help clients through analysis, statistics, and strategy and bring in the requisite knowledge and expertise for a business which may be beyond the current expertise of the existing skill of the business. Hence,Business owners should consider hiring business consultants when they need help or perspective on their chosen path or need a catalyst for change in their companies. Business consulting is becoming important in non-business related fields as well. A small business consultant works with clients on strategy, and helps clients develop business skills and knowledge. These topics range from designing abusiness model or marketing plan, to determining which marketing techniques to use and how to use them. Two general categories:  Internal consultant - someone who operates within an organization but is available to be consulted on areas of specialism by other departments or individuals (acting as clients); or  External consultant - someone who is employed externally (either by a firm or some other agency) whose expertise is provided on a temporary basis, usually for a fee.
  7. 7. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 3 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Fig. Consulting Purposes Business Consulting is a five pronged strategic approach: 1. Corporate Strategy - Create and implement strategies to respond effectively to a constantly evolving corporate scenario. They include: Business Enterprise Transformation, Strategic Planning, Growth Strategy. 2. Customer Strategy - Identify and align organization’s customers to their business and manage them efficiently. 3. Operational Strategy - Improvement of day-to-day operations, Benchmarking operational levels, Standardization of operational processes. 4. HR Strategy - HR functions are quickly becoming the key strategic point for every organization irrespective of its size, areas of operations, verticals, whether a startup or an established organization. They include: Aligning HR to Business, Leadership Development, Compensation benchmarking, Rewards and Recognition Strategy, HR Policy framework benchmarking, Competency Mapping and Management. 5. Organizational Strategy–This is an extension to HR strategy. They include: Succession Planning, Organizational structure, Role objectives and responsibilities, Organization Development Interventions, Effective Change Management.
  8. 8. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 4 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL 7C’s of Consulting: 1. Client: Understanding the client’s real and perceived view of what is required from the assignment. 2. Clarify: Understanding the nature of the problem being addressed and the scope of the change being attempted. 3. Create: This helps the consultant needs to develop the plan of action needed. 4. Change: The consultant must try to understand the drivers of the change. 5. Confirm: Once the actions taken, the consultant should follow-up and confirm the change that has taken place. 6. Continue: The consultant ensures that the changes made to continue. 7. Close: They should ensure that the client is fully aware of the final outcomes, added value, the new learning and what may be required in the future. 10 principal ways of consulting Consultants can take part in many different ways. Most of the consulting assistance to management can be done in one or more of the following 10 ways.  Providing information  Providing specialist resources  Establishing business contacts and linkages  Providing expert opinion  Doing diagnostic work  Developing action proposals  Improving system and methods  Planning and managing organizational changes  Training and developing management and staff  Providing personal counselling Business consultant vs Management consultant Business consultants and management consultants are both professional individuals who come along to co-pilot and partner your business with you.
  9. 9. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 5 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Business consultancy Business managers work within an organization and decide how to use resources and employees to best meet their aims and objectives. Every business, big or small, needs managers and your skills will be useful across many sectors. The level of responsibility depends on your seniority and experience. Starting your career in a management role could progress you to be a senior manager in the company, perhaps even make it to board and director level. Management Consultancy The role of management consultants is to work through international consultancies or strategy sections of financial organizations such as accountants. They are approached and contracted by organizations seeking help and advice about management problems. Typical employers include international management consultancy firms; major financial organizations and large accountants and banks; smaller consultancies; but you could be called upon to work anywhere and that includes the clients' own offices for extended periods, possibly overseas. Management consultants need to be bright, flexible, hard-working and able to get on well with other people in different environments. They also need power, practical intelligence, project management and specific skills to suit the context in which they are working. Criteria for selection of a business consultancy  Integrity and professional ethics of the consulting company  Professional competence  Problem solving approach  Capacity to deliver on time  Ability to deploy resources  Consultant’s image and reputation 1.2 CONSULTANTS - TYPES, CHARACTERISTICS, COMPETENCIES AND VALUES Types of consultants  Management and Strategy Consultants: Qualified consultants should have a deep understanding of your particular market and bring the best practices from your industry or
  10. 10. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 6 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL other industries to your company. If you're looking to expand your markets geographically, extend your product portfolio, reorganize your middle market company to promote efficiency and cost-effectiveness, buy out a smaller competitor, or increase your overall capabilities, then hiring an experienced management consultant can make perfect sense. Firms such as McKinsey & Company are famous for helping clients develop and execute better strategies.  Operations Consultants: Want to improve the quality and efficiency of your production processes? An operations consultant such as Accenture can help you create and implement a new way of doing that. Some consultants specialize in business process re-engineering, meaning that they come in and map out your existing processes, analyze opportunities for reducing the number of steps in that process while maintaining quality, and re-engineer your processes in a way that reduces steps and costs. Other consultants are experts in quality control systems and can help you make changes that will reduce defects.  IT Consultants: IT Consultants job is to recommend Computer Hardware, Software and Networks to build high performing systems and workflow. This also provides technical expertise in areas of information systems design, software programming and development. Technology consultants are having specialization in different areas and are also called as information system consultant, system applications consultant, data management consultants and network consultants. As the demands of new technology are impacting middle market companies every day, this is a fast-growing area for consulting. An IT consultant can help whether you need to develop a new system or integrate your old systems so that they work together. IT consultants such as IBM will enhance your capabilities and also make your IT more flexible in meeting the dynamic needs of customers.  Human Resources or HR Consultants: Most of the companies outsource the job of attraction, selection, training, assessment, and rewarding of employees, while also overseeing organizational leadership and culture, and also help for ensuring compliance with employment and labor laws. You need to co-ordinate between candidate and the companies. There are many models in which you can work out with the client. HR nowadays also focuses on strategic initiatives like talent management, mergers and acquisitions, succession planning, industrial and labor relations, diversity and inclusion.
  11. 11. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 7 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL HR consultants help to improve the overall satisfaction of your employees, recruit top talent, and retain your top performers. HR consultants such as Hay Group specialize in developing compensation strategies that align with your overall business goals, training, and developing your people in areas such as business communication and leadership. They can also help you improve performance-related feedback and evaluation to your team, making your employees work smarter.  Marketing Consultants: Marketing Consultants job is to focus on developing strategies in order to successfully promote, sell and distribute goods and services to targeted consumers. On a larger scale, marketing serves as a viable means of getting a new brand name, service or product into the public and transforming it into a lucrative business. Companies, therefore, seek expertise of marketing consultants in order to discover creative techniques for launching and for sustaining their business. Marketing consultants can help if you need a new logo for your company, a new market position for one of your brands, or a new social media strategy to interact with your customers. Consultants such as The Boston Consulting Group can offer you a creative spark when your own people have run out of ideas, helps you see what other companies have done to attract more customers.  Strategy Consultants: Helping organizations figure out any problem in their operations and work strategy and to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and development of plans for improvement. Otherwise known as management consultative for the company where in you can play a key role in technology implementation and workflow management.  Technology Consultants: Delivering software solutions that improve business performance of the clients and Turning the initiatives into reality – in other words, the strategic know-how and understanding of key technology drivers to plan the adoption, development and integration of advanced technology into client’s business. This helps by providing a scalable architecture and enable the client business to gain competitive advantage over the others.  Public Relations or PR Consultants: Public relations (PR) is the practice of managing the flow of information between an individual or an organization and the public. Your role will be to build reputation or a point of view about the company which you serving in front of
  12. 12. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 8 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL investors, partners, public and employees. In other words, you control what other thinks about company’s leadership, products, or of political decisions  Legal Consultants: This identifies, prevents and solves legal issues facing a company or a client. Its specialization includes legal consultation in employment, banking, contract, corporate, intellectual property, tax, real estate, information technology or trust.  Social Media Consultant: Role of Internet marketing agency or a Social Media Consultant is to help companies to increase traffic to their websites by methods of search engine optimization and content and by social media marketing. Your role will be to build strong online presence of the client and build a brand online, by using various social media platforms like social networks and social media. Keep yourself up to date with new and changed capabilities offered by the web  Financial/Investment Consultants: Financial consultants, also known as financial advisers or financial analysts, are licensed professionals who are trained to help individuals or organizations make intelligent financial decisions. These professionals typically helps to know information about market trends, stock values, taxes and other economic factors to help a client decide if an investment is appropriate or not. Fig: Types of Consultancy Services Characteristics of a good business consultant  Honesty: Honesty works on “do not lie” principle.
  13. 13. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 9 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Good Communication Skills: Good verbal and written communication skills are important for a consultant to be successful. They should be able to understand the needs of their clients and be able to effectively communicate their needs, thoughts and inputs.  Expert Knowledge: Knowledge should be current –can be updated through magazines, training, and networking with other professionals in the industry.  Reputation: Reputation is also extremely important for a consultant.  Analytical: The ability to solve problems based on solid facts and research helps you make good decisions.  Flexible: Because a consultant or freelancer doesn’t have one single employer, they need to be flexible to be able to respond to the needs of multiple clients around the world. They should adapt to diverse situations and demands.  Sociable: The consultant should be sociable.  Professionalism: Professional relationship with their clients is very important for consultants to maintain. Consultants - Competencies and Values Competencies (the ability to do something successfully or efficiently) identify the observable behaviors that successful performers demonstrate on the job. Those behaviors are the result of various skills, knowledge, abilities, motivations, and traits an employee may possess. Core competencies are a specific type of competency. They identify the strengths and key values shared by everyone in the organization, regardless of the job they perform. Supporting those shared core competencies enable an organization to differentiate itself in a competitive marketplace and define the behaviors that support those differentiators. Values (the importance) identifies the beliefs or ideals shared by everyone in the organization whether they are organizational or personal. Our values define the things we believe are important, meaningful, and right. While competencies and values have significant areas of overlap, there’s a key difference between them:
  14. 14. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 10 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Values are intangible. They are based on feelings, preferences, perceptions, and priorities - an internal code that influences how we interpret and experience the world. Competencies are tangible (real, existing). They are based on on-the-job behaviors that can be objectively observed and measured by the people around us. HRSG competency consultant Christine Lamothe explains it this way: “Values are what are important to the organization, and competencies are the tools that support that. Maybe a continuous learning environment is critical for the organization. Maybe it’s client satisfaction or quality of service. Whatever it is, you would look at core competencies to support that. It’s a marriage of the ‘what’ and the ‘how.’, how do your employees demonstrate those values day to day.” Consulting Competencies:  Communication: Verbal  Critical Thinking  Interpersonal skills  Adaptability  Ethical Behavior  Customer Service  Project Management  Decision Making  Tolerance for Ambiguity  Collaboration  Integrity  Problem Solving  Flexibility Consulting Values:  Personal and Professional Integrity - Hold to principles; deliver outstanding work that meets personal and firm standards.  Seek, Accept, and Encourage Responsibility - Be proactive, be a leader; discourage passivity.  Meritocracy (a society governed by people selected according to merit.)  Openness and Cooperation.
  15. 15. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 11 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Continuous Improvement. 1.3 CONSULTING AS A PROFESSION Management consulting is an independent, professional advisory service which assists managers and organizations to achieve organizational purposes and objectives by solving management and business problems, identifying and seizing new opportunities, enhancing learning, and implementing changes. Professional management consultants are contracted by organizations to get objective and independent advice. Advisory services of consulting may include identification and analysis of management problems, developing solutions, and the implementation of proposed solutions. Consulting as a profession Consulting is a profession just like banking or accounting or plant operations with its own set of training, expectations and business models. It can be a very fulfilling profession for those that pursue it. Furthermore, a consultant is usually an expert or an experienced professional in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter, the who provides professional or expert advice in a particular field of business or science to either an individual or organization. Firstly, a consultant provides expertise advice that a client lacks or support that a client is unable to fulfill. The consultant charges a fee in return of their professional services. Secondly, a consultant operates independently from the client, implying that, from the respective consultant, there is no conflict of interests between the client's issue and the services. Thirdly, a consultant operates in a professional manner, which ranges from having the right qualifications which ensures high quality service delivery. Why do clients hire consultants? One of the defining features of a consultant suggests that clients hire consultants because they need a knowledge advantage. In the overlarge majority of cases this is the main reason; a client hires a consulting firm to provide expert advice that should lead to the resolution of an issue within the client's organisation.
  16. 16. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 12 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL o There are however more reasons why consultants are hired: o Consultants are independent and provide an objective view on dilemma's and solutions. o External consultants are less susceptible to internal politics and/or sensitive situations. o Hiring consultants may in certain areas be cheaper than retaining the expertise in-house. o When firms find themselves short in capacity for projects/positions consultants can backfill. o Consultants can easier do the 'dirty work', i.e. Take the decisions no one internally wants to make. Where do consultants work? Consultants can work at a consultancy firm, operate as independent consultant (freelance), or else work as consultant within the company they work for (‘internal consultant’). A good consultant has seen many ways of solving challenges from different clients in different industries. Good consultants take these experiences together with leading practices to truly assist end clients with great business solutions. Good consultants leverage the experiences of their colleagues and the firm by employing past examples of project plans, techniques and deliverables to produce quick, effective and outstanding results for their clients. Finally, good consultants understand the business model with their profession and the firm. They realize that people are the economic engine just like raw material is to a manufacturing company or a network is to a communications company. Many authors and books are available that cover consulting. Business consultants’ job description The business consultant is constantly aligning and evaluating four key business areas: People, Sales, Profit, and Self. They’re also dedicated to preserving the culture, innovation and entrepreneurial spirit that gives your company momentum while maintaining balance and instilling structure for new horizons. The following three points says how a business consultant can help you with and be able to speak to past results:
  17. 17. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 13 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Help You Gain Knowledge: In addition to learning about your industry and understanding more about being a leader, a business consultant helps you learn about your strengths and weaknesses and the strengths and weaknesses of the people you work with.  Help You Reach Out to Others: In addition to investing yourself in your team, a business consultant also helps you look for sharpening relationships where everyone can benefit from hearing each other’s journey.  Help You Open Your World: In addition to helping you venture outside of your own bubble to understand the company as a whole, a business consultant will help you look for opportunities to lead outside of work. Practice is everything. Qualities that sets apart successful business consultants from others  They understand their client A good business consultant understands from where the business is coming from, its mission and objectives in relation to his/her assignment. It is also important for the consultant to understand any important information regarding to the stakeholders and competitors as well. The consultant must see himself as an important part of the business and this helps for a greater understanding of the business for successful execution of every plan.  They are keen listeners If the consultants have to successfully assess, counsel and execute their skills and gained discovery for the client’s benefit, they should be keen listeners. They should not push their ideas down their client’s throat and instead should be seen to consider the client’s ideas and see how they can incorporate the same in their advice.  They have proper connections Business success is all about right connections and this is something that every successful business consultant should be able to bring to the table. In every decision making, the consultants should be able to factor in the important elements of the organizations while explaining the inner workings of the business properly. This will help them to pro-actively connect and engage with the right people who will help them achieve the business objectives.  They know how to deliver
  18. 18. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 14 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL They not only promise to deliver but have previous successes that show of their expertise. They have good skills that will deliver to your satisfaction and this should not be mistaken with flashy resumes and referrals and rightly crafted proposals. Everything should bring good results.  They know how to customize Good business consultants do not adopt a “one size fits all” attitude. Instead, consultants know how to customize processes, communication, solutions and strategies depending with the business they are dealing with.  They create value They must be able to not only lead the people and the process but must rise up to the occasion by demonstrating expertise to create value. They proactively understand the needs of the clients while at the same time acting as trusted advisors who offer the right solutions in a cost-effective and useful way thus succeeding in their deliverables.  They should align properly with the business This is one of the most important factors to consider as not all business advisors will be cross functional. Despite any other qualification, the consultant must be able to fit into the organization quickly and not only so but also be able to work smoothly with the business owner for success. Anything else will only spell doom for the business and the consultant will not be able to carry out their business plans no matter how good they might seem. Six Tools Every Business Consultant Should Know  Benchmarking The process of comparing your company metrics to the metrics of your industry competitors or to those of innovative companies outside the industry is Benchmarking. Common metrics for benchmarking include:  Revenues  Production costs  Employee turnover  Process cycle time  Balanced Scorecard
  19. 19. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 15 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL The balanced scorecard is a framework for tracking important aspects of strategy of company and for facilitating organizational improvement. It measures metrics beyond typical financial metrics to help companies to keep long-term strategic goals in focus and to spot trouble before it appears in the financial statements. The scorecard is a quantitative and comprehensive set of objectives that can be measured over time. Common components include:  Revenues  Earnings  Market share  Quality  Employee morale  Customer satisfaction metrics  Porter’s Five Forces Developed by Michael E. Porter, Bishop William Lawrence University Professor at Harvard Business School, Porter’s five forces is a framework for industry analysis that is used as an input to a strategic plan. The five competitive forces that influence profitability in any industry are outlined in Porter’s model:  Competitor rivalry  The bargaining power of buyers  The bargaining power of suppliers  The threat of new entrants  The threat of substitute offerings  The GE-McKinsey Nine-Box Matrix This matrix was developed by McKinsey & Company in the 1970s to help General Electric prioritize its investments in its business units. It’s widely used to help companies assess the relative merits of various opportunities.
  20. 20. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 16 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Business units or opportunities are categorized as “high,” “medium,” or “low” within the two axes of the matrix, which are “industry attractiveness” and “competitive strength of the business unit.”  The BCG Growth-Share Matrix This quadrant matrix, developed by Boston Consulting Group (BCG), is a tool companies use to assess the relative strength of product lines within their portfolios. Product lines are assigned to one of four quadrants:  Cash cows  Stars  Question marks  Dogs  Core Competencies The process of identifying your company’s core competencies helps you define your company’s positioning and competitive advantage. A core competency is a proficiency in an area that is not easily followed by competitors. It allows your company to deliver unique value to customers, thus giving the company a “leg up” on the competition. One example is how the employees and unique culture of Southwest Airlines allows them to provide faster turnaround times for planes and better customer service. Finding a consultant Finding the right business consultant may be the most difficult part for the management or owner. The consultant should have a passion for their work, a drive for excellence, and an eye for organization and its details. It's important to find a consultant with expertise in your industry or with the kind of problems that your business faces. When hiring a consultant, make sure that they have solid referrals and offer these skills. 1.4 CHANGING CONSULTING INDUSTRY The word is very appropriate for Consultants Industries today, the way they have played an important role in the development of the Indian business sector. In the past several years, the
  21. 21. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 17 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Consultants Industry has not only grown in size, stature and global reach, but it has also gone through several cycles of professionalization, making it one of the most developed fields within the professional services industry. Consultants are more than giving advice; it’s such a highly extensive, multi-sourcing growing field with experts having wide knowledge of a particular subject, which play a crucial role in helping organizations to embark on the path of success. Consultants render services spanning from recommendations for impractical data and poorly implemented processes in the Finance sector to Healthcare consultancy to deliver better value for patients, fuel innovation and reduce the cost and complexity of operating systems. It was in the 90s, that McKinsey first brought the consulting strategy in India, setting up an office in Delhi. The growth was initially quite slow and in a decade, they were only able to bring in 100 odd consultants. However, that escalated very quickly in the next decade and today, in India, Consulting companies are offering services in Strategy/Management, Information Technology, and Process & Operations sectors. Other sectors include, Human Resource Consultants, Public Relations Consultants, Marketing Consultants, Legal Consultants, Financial Consultants, Social Media Consultants, and so on. Today, major players in Consultants Industry in India are McKinsey & Company, The Boston Consulting Group, A.T. Kearney, BAIN &Company. Some home grown big names are Tata Consultancy Services, Oracle Financial Services Software, Wipro Technologies, HCL, etc. Today, Modern era organizations now face intense competition, demanding customers, product proliferation and greater exposure to the volatility of the globally changing economy. In this changing situation, business leaders have to constantly look for new sources of competitive advantage to win in their markets. This change in the market puts tremendous pressure on consultants to bring the best of their field. The need to move ahead in the competitive structure and gain optimum market share in today’s highly competitive markets, has made companies across the world opt for third-party consulting and advisory services. This is making consulting an essential function for companies these days. The success for most companies lies in the fact that, each company provides a differentiating factor in order to achieve a competitive edge over their rivals/competitors. In the Indian market, without the proper knowledge of market trends and behavior, this cannot be attained. Also, this success can be achieved only by implementing the right strategies from time to time and by
  22. 22. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 18 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL taking pertinent decisions considering the market scenarios they cater to have prompted companies to subscribe to the products and services offered by consulting firms. The primary reason behind this need is because consulting firms interact or are involved with all the market participants or industry participants on a regular basis and are very well informed about the market happenings in each of the sectors. 1.5 GLOBAL TRENDS AND ACCEPTANCE OF CONSULTANTS Over the past decades, the global consulting market has grown to become a multi-billion industries. The industry has not only grown in size, stature and international reach, it has also navigated its way through cycles of professionalisation, today making it one of the more developed segments within the professional services industry. An analysis of the past five decades shows that the development of the consultancy industry is closely tied to that of the global economy. In times of flourishing economic conditions, organisations enjoy higher budgets and revenues, a setting which paves the way for higher spending on consultants. Vice versa, economic downturns typically see organisations shrink their spending behaviour, which leads to budget cuts of, among, others, consulting expenditures. Between the 1970s up the 1990s the global consulting market grew every single year, despite the two recession periods (early 1970s and 1973-1975), fueled by high demand for operational management and strategic services. Trends in Consultants Industries  Multi-Sourcing Companies today, are not limited to a single consultant firm. There is a growing trend amongst clients to switch away from the mega-deal with one consultant, and pressure to get multiple firms to collaborate on projects. Clients may feel that, no one firm can handle either the scale or complexity of their large projects, and they may require a partnership with five or six firms. Clients may cut projects into small pieces, which they gave to specialist firms. Clients want consultants to work together. They don’t expect one firm to supply everything. Multi-Sourcing intensifies competitiveness among consultancies, which makes consultancies to offer better services.
  23. 23. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 19 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Fast Growth The business world is desperate for consulting help. With excess staff being cut down, most organizations lack in the strategic, technical and project management skills to handle the benumbing rate of technological and market change. The consulting industry is trying its level best to accommodate the demand. Big consulting firms are inhaling new employees, consuming smaller firms and merging with peers.  Offshoring In addition to a boom in the number of consulting firms, the size of individual firms is growing in response to the other industry trend: one-stop shopping. Providers that can’t compete on size will still try to offer one-stop shopping by outsourcing a chunk of a client’s project to another firm, while maintaining responsibility for the overall project.  Premium Hiring Top consulting firms such as Bain, BCG and Ernst & Young are hiring fresh engineer graduates like never before, and most of these have almost doubled the number of offers they made in this campus placement season in the country’s top institutes. Lately, many of the consulting firms are getting a lot of work in the engineering space and this is pushing the demand for the engineers at colleges such as IIT’s and NIT’s. 1.6 HR CONSULTANCY –SCOPE & BENEFITS A human resources consultant may hold credentials in the specific area of HR. For the recruitment industry to be effective, HR consultant helps to provide potential staff need to be available in the first place. HR consulting can:  Help in structural reduction of the Human Resource Managing (HRM) cost base, by identifying the non-value adding activities and eliminate the hidden HR operations costs.  Help in identifying the inefficient Human Resources (HR) Administration processes and HR practices.  Help organizations to focus on human resource performance.  Help organizations to serve their employees better, as the people come first.  Help organizations to improve efficiency, productivity, communication & employee morale.
  24. 24. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 20 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL HR Consulting capabilities include:  HR operations improvement  Identify problem areas in HR operations and provide appropriate solutions  Improve existing policies by benchmarking them against industry standards  HR Policies and Procedures Framework  Gather requirements from the client  Understand the specific HR areas to be covered under the framework  Effectively chart out HR Processes and Systems  Benchmark it with the industry  Implement the new framework  Effective Change Management  Anticipate the effect of any new systems and process implementation  Analyze the required strategic shifts for a smooth change management  Effective Talent Management  Conduct surveys to benchmark the employee satisfaction index  Publish Root-Cause-Analysis with recommended action points  Strategize Employee Motivation and Retention program linked to Business  Employee Assessment  Assessment of employees to help identify performers / under-performers  Bring out customized tools for Assessment – Make / Facilitate / Implement Competency Mapping and Skill Benchmarking  Performance & Rewards Management  Defining the performance management and appraisal process  Institutionalizing goal setting and performance feedback  Defining career and succession planning  Developing a reward & recognition strategy linked performance  Training solutions  Identify training needs; develop training strategy and course content  Imparting the training as per the clients’ customized need  Evaluation and reporting of the effectiveness of the training imparted  Exit Analysis
  25. 25. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 21 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Do a thorough study on employee exit.  Recommend pre-emptive steps linked to retention strategy  Value Adds  Human Resource Strategy  Our firm belief that Human Resource function becomes very key in enabling a business to succeed  Organizational strategy and values which will drive people practices Job duties/responsibilities of HR consultants.  Advising management on the administration of human resources policies and procedures  Serving as internal consultants by analyzing a company’s current HR programs and recommending solutions  Developing, revising, and implementing HR policies and procedures  Ensuring HR programs and services are in compliance with established policies and procedures and state/federal laws and regulations  Preparing and maintaining reports related to specific HR projects  Assisting with the development and coordination of recommended changes regarding workflow  Developing methods for compiling and analyzing data for reports and special projects  Conducting audits of HR activities to ensure compliance  Presenting training sessions related to specific HR programs Scope Professional management consultants may be asked to provide objective advice that will help an organization plan, solve business problems or manage change, including business start-up, growth or expansion, renewal, reorganization, diversification, downsizing, disposal of assets, planning, review of operations, launching new corporate initiatives or projects, and/or acquiring and implementing technology Benefits of HR consultancy  Recruitment:
  26. 26. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 22 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL An effective and efficient recruiting and hiring process is a must for companies to remain competitive. Failure to include top talent will hurt your ability to grow as a company. Outsourcing recruiting to an HR consultant will give you a third party perspective when hiring, helping you hire the right people for the job without confusion. HR consultants can also help reduce employee turnover issues and provide strategies to maintain your top talent from leaving.  Honest performance assessment: Often, it’s difficult to see the truth when you are too close to the situation. HR consultants are highly effective at helping companies assess organisation’s performance. They can help you implement systems and offer coaching and training to your employees to help them improve in key areas. Often a quality outside perspective is important to helping companies take performance to the next level.  Reduce stress on management: Having an outside perspective and a third party to confide in can help management make the best decisions possible. HR consultants can work and coach with management to handle a variety of HR issues and help to improve overall daily operations. Fig: Benefits of HR consultancy
  27. 27. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 23 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL 1.7 TOP CONSULTING FIRMS IN THE WORLD – SERVICES OFFERED, FUTURE OF CONSULTING COMPANIES Types of Services Offered  Financial  Information technology  Management  Human Resources  Legal  Hotel and Hospitality industry  Others – Advertising/Marketing/Public relations, Environmental, Energy, Politics and the Public Sector, Real Estate, etc. Significance of consultancy service A client’s need for external assistance relating to business matters arises in several cases. The experience showed that a client organization frequently resorts to consultancy services when it reaches a critical threshold in its development, which is either generated by an unfavorable evolution of the organization or generated by a favorable evolution. The continuous sales decrease, the loss of market share, the difficult macroeconomic context, all of these may bring the organization at a critical level that cannot be done without the help of experienced professionals. Similarly, the uncontrolled development of an organization may lead to a dramatic deterioration of financial indicators, sometimes up to reaching the failure and this is another case in which the organization needs external help. Criteria for selection of a business consultancy  Integrity and professional ethics of the consulting company  Professional competence  Problem solving approach  Capacity to deliver on time  Ability to deploy resources  Consultant’s image and reputation
  28. 28. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 24 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL The Consulting Process  Provide and analyseinformation  Analyse the client’s problems and take on the responsibility of decision making  Solve all the problems and recommend in putting certain solutions into practice  Contribute to establishing co-operation and commitment among the staff in the firm  Faster, as a teacher, the learning process of the client and his/her employees  Improve the efficiency of the organization, rewarding correct actions and discouraging incorrect actions  Listen, offer support and advice to the clients in difficult moments looking after his/her interests at all times. Top Consulting Firms in the World  McKinsey & Company The story McKinsey was founded in Chicago in 1926 by James McKinsey, a professor of accounting at the University of Chicago. The firm started out by offering consulting services on accounting principles as a management tool. McKinsey’s second partner was Andrew Thomas Kearney, who went on to found A.T Kearney. McKinsey grew quickly especially in Europe in the 1940s and 1950s. But in the 1960s, competitors like the Boston Consulting Group and Bain & Company started competing with McKinsey by marketing specific branded products, such as the Growth-Share Matrix, and by selling their industry expertise. In the 1970s the firm therefore shifted its focus to industry specialisation from geographic expansion. Today the firm employs 26.000 staff across 120+ offices and generates $8.8bn in revenues. Many of McKinsey’s alumni went on to be CEOs of major corporations including Morgan Stanley, Google and Boeing.
  29. 29. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 25 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Boston Consulting Group The story Bruce Henderson founded the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) in 1963 after working 18 years for the manufacturing company Westinghouse Corporation. Initially, BCG was a subsidiary of the Boston Company, before becoming independent in 1975. When BCG started, the traditional consulting approach was to look at a company's specific internal issues. But Henderson decided to take another approach and decided to focus on external factors such as markets and competition instead. This approach led to new important business concepts still used today such as the "cash cow," the "experience curve," and “time- based consumption.” Throughout the 1960s, BCG grew and develop overseas. It suffered a slight setback in 1973 when BCG vice-president Bill Bain left the company to found his own consulting firm, Bain & Co. During the 80s it continued to expand, with a radical boost in the mid-90s in growth. The early 2000s because of the economic crisis and rise in technology put BCG under threat. The firm remains one of the most prestigious strategy houses in the world with $5.6bn in revenues and offices all over the world .
  30. 30. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 26 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Bain & Company The story Bain & Company was formed in 1973 when Bruce Henderson's protégé Bill Bain left BCG to form his own consulting firm. Bain & Company revolutionised the consulting industry by taking a different approach to client relationship management. When it started, it decided to take only one client per industry and to focus on developing long-term relationships with these clients. This helped Bain to win multiple projects from the clients, it focused on and to maximise value per client. Before then, consulting work was mostly done by project basis on a project, and trying to win multiple projects from single clients was not a common strategy. The company's CEO Bob Beckek has a 99% approval rating on Glassdoor, reflecting how well employees are taken care of. In fact, Bain has won several "Best Employer" awards and has a strong reputation for taking care of its people's work-life balance.
  31. 31. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 27 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Oliver Wyman The story In 2007, three global consultancies (Mercer Delta, Mercer Management Consulting and Mercer Oliver Wyman) combined to form Oliver Wyman. Mercer Oliver Wyman was the oldest of these firms. It was founded as Oliver, Wyman & Company in 1984, and was then acquired by Marsh & McLennan Companies (MMC). MMC also acquired Temple, Barker & Sloane in 1987 and Strategic Planning Associates in 1989. These two companies merged in 1990, becoming Mercer Management Consulting in 1992. MMC also acquired Delta Consulting in 2000. In 2007, MMC merged its subsidiaries under the name Oliver Wyman. Recently, Oliver Wyman has been growing at a rapid rate, largely thanks to a series of acquisitions made in 2008. It also managed to build a very strong reputation for itself in the financial services sector as well as in digital strategy. Currently, the firm holds over 60 offices in 27 countries and boasts 4,500 employees.
  32. 32. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 28 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Other Examples of Consultancies  Deloitte Consulting LLP  PriceWaterhouseCoopers  Accenture  Capgemini  KPMG  Tata Consultancy Services Future of Consulting Industry in India Increased demand for consulting services by domestic and foreign firms sector in India is consistently growing. Today, nearly all industries are undergoing massive change. Rising opportunities due to booming economy and growing demand for consultancy services are main factors for growth. The total market growth might slow down a little, but there will be considerable shifts amongst the market segments. Other changes will occur through new entrants. Attracted by the impressive market growth, many non-consultancies established consultancy-divisions. An entry of sole practitioners and small consultancies is expected. This wave of new entries will have dual effects. An increase in the competition would be evident, leading to mergers and acquisitions or breakdowns. And, since there are no legal regulations as to who can call himself a consultant; in some cases there will be quality problems which could damage the reputation of the whole industry.
  33. 33. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 29 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Future trends  Framing the new global practices that focused on the public and social sector signaled ling term commitment to help leaders drive change beyond corporate boundaries.  Focus on high profile risk on climate change, healthcare, education and economic development.  Emphasis more on new areas of specialization such as;  Machine Learning  Artificial Intelligence  Sharing Economy  Block chain 1.8 THE NEW BUSINESS CONSULTING ECOSYSTEM – MODEL & DRAWBACKS. The most effective and valuable consulting takes place when clients and consultants work together in teams, sharing skills and expertise and focusing on common goals. Clients need to look at how their actions, in procurement, project management and governance, change the way consultants behave. Consultants, on the other hand, must understand the way in which they do (or do not) transfer knowledge to their clients, deliver advice and implementation, and initiate cultural change. In other words, the collaboration that happens in the most successful consulting projects should not just be the standard for all projects, but should become the benchmark for the consulting industry as a whole, dictating the behaviour of firms as well as people. Two trends are becoming increasingly clear:  Individual clients (especially in the public sector, but increasingly elsewhere) are adopting a more rational approach to consulting and exchanging information with each other.  Consulting firms are beginning to take on the characteristics of a maturing and responsible industry after a period of intense structural change. Clients, consultants and their respective industries are part of the same internally dependent system. At the simplest level, consultants exist because there is a demand for their services, driven by pressure in the external marketplace, regulation, the emergence of new technology and
  34. 34. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 30 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL management ideas. But the relationship is a symbiotic one: consultants help to create demand by promoting new technology and by helping to disseminate new ideas. As needs increase in scale and complexity, the classic model of the client–consultant relationship begins to break down: results come from interdependency and diversity; more players become involved; third parties, such as technology vendors and outsourcers, become important. Six key components interact in a systematic way. On the demand side, there are client markets, individual client organisations and client projects; on the supply side, there is the consulting industry, consulting firms and individual consultants. These components and their interplay form a new system, the business consulting ecosystem. This is a system in early formation and turmoil, with great imbalances and shifts of power in very short periods. Widespread mergers, radical rethinking of client procurement methods, the increased role of third parties and huge changes in the human resources market for consultants demonstrate that much more is at stake than changes to the traditional client–consultant relationship. These seven “interaction” themes map out the way the business consulting ecosystem works:  Reputation: Whether consulting firms like it or not, their industryhas a reputation. Many firms choose to believe they are insulated from any problems that may ensue from this. Well- known firms believe their brands will differentiate them; smaller ones think their client relationships and the quality of their work will protect them. In reality, no organisation can entirely escape the way clients view the collective industry.  Isolation: Clients buy consulting in an imperfect market. Although clients believe they are responsible for their choice and use of consultants, they also think their responsibility is compromised where they do not have access to sufficiently reliable information. It is a case of buyer beware, but only if you know what to be wary of. Yet clients rarely share views on consulting performance with each other. This seems ironic in an environment in which consulting firms are falling over each other to publish books, articles and papers on every conceivable client issue. Yet quantity of information is of course no guarantee of quality. Little of the “thought leadership” or “industry practice” material offered helps clients make informed choices.
  35. 35. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 31 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Metamorphosis: Consulting is not a profession: there is no governing body which sets standards and certifies qualified consultants. Qualifications exist, as do trade associations, but participation is entirely voluntary. Would you go to an unqualified doctor? Would you ask an untrained lawyer for his or her opinion? At the moment, clients rely on the brand of aconsulting firm to provide them with the confidence that they are buying a high-quality product, but this focus on individual firms, at the expense of the industry as a whole, is unsustainable.  Relationship: Clients are accustomed to treating consulting projects as discrete and self- contained. But there are three reasons why this is changing: the remit of central procurement departments has, for the first time, been extended to cover professional services; clients are increasingly using several suppliers for projects where before they might have used only one; and new governance rules are being established that seek to make consulting firms keep the promises they make of working “in partnership”.  Portfolio: A corollary to complexity is that clients need to manage their consulting projects not in isolation, but as part of a portfolio. They need to balance costly projects against cheaper ones, and difficult ones focused on long-term benefits against simpler ones designed to produce immediate results. A big component of success in using outsiders is getting things lined up internally too.  Career: Consulting used to be a career. However, as a result of the downturn in the early 2000s, many consultants left their firms, some to join clients, others to become freelance or to find non-consulting jobs. In common with many other industries, consulting never really offered a job for life. Nevertheless, good consulting relies on good experienced consultants.  Life cycle: When it comes to actual consulting projects, clients invest too much time in the preparatory stages and too little in adapting to changes during the course of a project. Time, budgets and quality standards are typically set from the outset and ignore the way in which projects change during the course of their life: governance, management style and mindset need to be adaptable over time, not set in stone. The idea of a client–consultant, mutually dependent ecosystem makes it possible to focus on how the elements of the two worlds of demand and supply interact with each other. It also highlights the interactions as the things that are easiest to change so as to achieve better results. Psychologists will tell you that it is much simpler to change people’s behaviour than their
  36. 36. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 32 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL underlying personalities, and this applies just as much to an industry like consulting. Institutions – consulting firms, client procurement departments, and so on – have processes, people, systems and cultures which make them inflexible. But an interaction is a fulcrum: the point where small changes have disproportional effects, where a little effort can make a big difference. Fig. The business consulting ecosystem
  37. 37. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 33 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL MODULE II “Good counselors lack no clients” Shakespeare “Management consulting is an independent professional advisory service assisting managers and organizations in achieving organizational purposes and objectives by solving management and business problems, identifying and seizing new opportunities, enhancing learning and implementing changes.” – Philip A. Wickham 2. THE CONSULTING PROCESS The consultant and the client undertake a set of activities required for achieving the desired purposes and changes during a typical consulting intervention and the activities are normally known as “the consulting process”. The consulting process has a clear beginning and end. The process can be subdivided into several phases between these points, and which helps the consultant and client to be systematic and methodical, proceeding from phase to phase and from operation to operation. The consulting process can be subdivided in many different ways. Various authors suggest models which includes three to ten phases. From these we have chosen a simple five phase model, which includes entry, diagnosis, action planning, implementation and termination. 1. Entry and Contracting: This phase says about the initial contract with the client about the project. 2. Diagnosis: In this phase the consultant needs to know who is going to be involved in defining the problem, what methods will be used, what kind of data should be collected, and how long will it take. The Consulting Process: Consulting Models – models used by consulting firms to analyze clients; The client market - Understanding buyer values, Advertising PR; Client relationship – relationship management, repeated assignments, retainer contracts; Generating and winning consulting assignments – service offering, marketing pitch, consulting services presentations; Proposals – Writing successful proposals.
  38. 38. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 34 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL 3. Action Planning: The action should be planned in this phase. The job here is to take the set of collected information and to reduce it so that it can be managed and understood. This phase is also known as planning phase and includes setting the goals for the project and selecting the best action steps. A consultant must also decide how the client is involved in the process of analyzing the information. 4. Implementation: This step helps in taking everything that has been decided previously and implementing the solution decided upon. 5. Termination: In this phase a decision can be taken whether to extend the process to a larger segment of the organization. But in some cases the process recycles and a new contract needs to be discussed. Fig. Phases of the consulting process 1. Entry 2. Diagnosis 3. Action Planning 4. Implementation 5. Termination  Evaluation  Final report  Settling commitments  Plans and follow – up  Withdrawal  Free contacts with clients  Preliminary problem diagnosis  Assignment planning  Assignment proposals to client  Consulting contract  Purpose analysis  Problem analysis  Fact finding  Fact analysis and synthesis  Feedback to client  Developing solutions  Evaluating alternatives  Proposals to client  Planning for implementation  Assigning with implementation  Adjusting proposals  Training
  39. 39. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 35 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL 2.1 CONSULTING MODELS – MODELS USED BY CONSULTING FIRMS TO ANALYZE CLIENTS Bloomberg’s Data – Based Consulting Model Digitization rotates first and foremost around data. Bloomberg has entered the consulting market by communications, brand consulting advice and marketing strategy. Their model is the coupling of a number of business models including advertising spending, media and consulting. McKinsey’s Productized Approach This approach says about whether the firm was getting the most out of their intellectual property. This solution offers a range of software and technology based tools for data analytics. This also helps for data driven decision-making in various functions and industries. This offers a process which is independent of the individual consultants and is structured, repeatable and standard. This model helps for close and long term relationships with the customers with the help of business development team. Key activities are recruiting, business development and client projects. Eden McCallum’s Consulting meets the Gig Economy This is a European based management consultancy which does not hire any consultants, but has built a network of highly experienced independent senior consultants. This model helps to find the best match between client and consultant. In this consultants can focus on delivering successful projects and are not pressured to sell new projects. In this a good consultant relationship is managed through a consultant management team and helps to maintain a long standing and close relationships with both clients and consultants. Key activities include business development, customer relationship management, project management and consultant selection and management. This model allows support at a much lower rate. Consultants can deliver successful results by working more closely with clients. GLG Introduces the As-A-Service Rather than large scale projects as-a-service model might involve long-term smaller volume projects for consultants. We have not seen many top consulting firms doing as-a-service model, some more niche firms are exploring these possibilities. Gerson Lehrman Group (GLG) a professional services company offers one example. On-demand professional learning services to
  40. 40. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 36 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL clients in a wide variety of industry sectors are provided by GLG. The subscription based service grants clients access to experts through GLG’s network of independent professionals and thought – leaders. 2.2 ADVERTISING PR The two important tools for promoting products and services offered by the company are Advertising and Public Relations. Advertising suggests to a form of communication, which a firm uses to initiate prospective customers to choose the product offered by the company, over other products. A public relation can help your business extremely and it doesn’t have to be expensive. Two choices are there for a PR campaign: you can either do it yourself or hire a public relations agency. There are a number of benefits from getting PR consulting from a well – respected PR agency. A PR consultant is the one who works as an intermediary between public and an organization or business and hence is a communication specialist. PR consultants write press releases about issues of a company and events and put them into the hands of the media professionals to publish or broadcast. These include:  Credibility (the quality of being trusted and believed in): In a communication suite, PR holds a powerful position. Media relations, which assists in achieving editorial coverage is one of the main impacts of PR.  Cost Effectiveness: Even if an organization hires an external PR agency it is less expensive.  Exposure: PR specialists know which media to target for which message, what content the media want , when to pitch them which story and what is the best way to deliver your message. Media coverage with the help of PR consulting is likely to be more extensive than that which one would achieve through advertising, for a similar budget.  Flexibility: PR has the benefits of being flexible in message content and being responsive to news.
  41. 41. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 37 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Fig: Advertising PR 2.3 CLIENT RELATIONSHIP - RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT, REPEATED ASSIGNMENTS, RETAINER CONTRACTS 2.3.1 CLIENT RELATIONSHIP – RELATIONSHIP MANAGEMENT Client: A client is a person or an organization which uses the services of a lawyer or other professional person or company. Consultant: A consultant is a person who provides expert advice professionally in a specific field and has a wide knowledge of the subject matter. Areas of issues in Client – Consultant relationship  Entry and Contracting o OD (organizational development) consulting contract can occur in various ways. o The clients and consultants begin to seek out what group should do in order to start a logical OD intervention. o When both the parties agree, this becomes the overall psychological contract.  Defining the Client system o A consultant can be referred as singular or as teams.  The trust issue o People will be encouraged to criticize their superiors.
  42. 42. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 38 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL o Subordinates may be concerned that they will be manipulated toward their superiors goals with little attention given to their own.  The nature of consultant expertise o It is possible and desirable for the OD consultant to be an expert. o OD consultant should be prepared to describe in broad outline what the organization might look like. o The OD consultant also needs to resist the temptation of playing the content expert.  Diagnosis and appropriate interventions o Temptation to apply a particular intervention technique. o Appropriate interventions with intensive look at the data.  On being absorbed by the culture o Consultant let himself indulge into joining the culture of the client organization.  The consultant as a model o Consultant should give out clear messages. o Consultant should practice what he/she preaches.  Consultant team as a microcosm o Team should have an effective interpersonal relationship. o Consultants should also focus on continuous growth and process renewal. o Team must set an example of an effective unit to enhance its credibility.  OD process and action research o For the research and process simple questionnaires or interviews could be helpful.  Client dependency and terminating the relationship Relationship between client and consultants depends on: o Consultant competence: The relationship will last longer if the consultant is able to provide innovative and productive intervention. o Client resourcefulness and capabilities in OD.  Ethical standards in OD LouisWhite & KevinWooten says about the following five categories of ethical dilemmas. These are:  Misrepresentation and collusion  Misuse of data
  43. 43. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 39 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Manipulation and coercion  Value and goal conflicts  Technical ineptness Values lying Ethical OD practices  Honesty  Openness  Voluntarism  Integrity  Confidentiality  The development of people  The development of consultant expertise  High standards & self - awareness  Implication of OD for the client o To enlarge the database for making management decisions o To expand the influence process o To capitalize the strengths of formal system o To become more responsive o To legitimize conflicts o To examine its own leadership style o To encourage collaborative management Recommendations for Consultant Client relationship  Be transparent  Under commit-over deliver  Don’t be afraid to tell the client that you have a difference of opinion  Socialize  Offer knowledge transfer in the form of coaching and mentoring All good relationships are based on trust. Consultants need to understand what are the client’s expectations and then they have to understand how best to work with the client to meet those expectations. A best consultant should know that the client is not one individual, but can include many people within the organization. Clients should help the consultants to
  44. 44. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 40 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL understand the working environment, but many are too busy and don’t take enough time during the early stages of an assignment to discuss these issues. The client consultant relationships are built on an individual level and there are two factors: the cognitive and the emotional. The cognitive says How good the consultant is and What is their reputation in the market. The emotional says whether the relationship is emotional or not. Another strength of an effective relationship is the ability to deliver bad news. As a business leader, it’s important to engage with the consultant consistently. 2.3.2 REPEATED ASSIGNMENTS The assignment process is split up logically into several stages from consultation to successful placement.  Consultation: The success of an assignment depends on an informative discussion with the client at the outset ideally face to face. It is important that the consultant should gain the full understanding of client background and history, business offering, culture and vacancy background.  Candidate and Talent sourcing: For search assignments we undertake careful research into the appropriate market sector, identify appropriate market organizations and identify suitable potential talent. Research manager of an organization supervises this part of the process under the guidance of the consultant and will make the initial approach, discreetly, to the individual to access suitability and interest in the role. We draft advertising copy based on the brief and utilize appropriate generalist and/or specific industry specific print and online media channels in the relevant regional, national, international media to attract suitable applicants for advertised assignments. We interrogate our extensive in house database, established over a number of years for database assignments. For all assignments we utilize social media channels and online networking to source suitable candidates as well calling upon the extensive personal business networks of our consultants.  Assessment and Initial interview: Suitable candidates are then formally interviewed by the consultant face to face, by video conference or telephone as appropriate depending on
  45. 45. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 41 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL location and availability. This happens after initial email exchanges and telephone calls to clarify questions on both sides.  Long and short Listing: We usually provide clients with a long list of candidates a within a four week period and aim to shortlist and present three to six relevant candidates between four and six weeks following the initial briefing. We provide the client with a shortlist of candidates including original, not standardized or amended CV’s, together with interview notes and appraisal including key strengths and any development needs against agreed key competencies for each candidate. Repeat Clients Keeps Your Career Going Many writers are so busy supporting new clients that they forget to be friend their previous ones. Forward thinking tells that new clients can become repeat clients in time. #1: Identify the people who can give you repeat business Record past clients and editors who had hired you for assignments and projects or list them down by name, contact information, and type of project so that they can be easily identified. #2: Send them an e-mail or voice mail The next step is to initiate communication. Instead of sending random messages saying you’re just dropping by to say hello, say something more definite. #3: Leave your new contact information, too Because changes happen, contact information gets lost and people lose touch. Thus, it’s practical to inform clients if your contact information has changed or if it is still the same. #4: Re-establish communication It’s easy to reconnect whenever you extend your regards on special occasions and yearly holidays. Call or email to let them know you’re out there, still writing for a living and keep the relationships going. #5: Inquire about a repeat assignment or a reference If they can’t be your repeat business, they can possibly be your reference.
  46. 46. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 42 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL #6: Utilize search engines and optimize on websites This generates more clients, particularly new clients. Launching a new website also helps. #7: Market your skills actively! Continue to advertise your skills through good quality works. #8: Resell your services! Update clients on new services that you are offering. #9: Schedule your tasks To Use scheduling software like Microsoft Outlook or mobile gadgets like organizers and calendars. These tools will help you to manage your schedule and attend to all your clients. #10: Always follow up Do follow up on your message and do follow through on alternate means of communication like phone or email. 2.3.3 RETAINER CONTRACTS Retainer contracts are written agreements that exist between an organization and a consultant or an independent contractor. Normally, work is paid for after the completion of a project. However, when a retainer is in place, an organization pays the contractor before the work goes ahead. This is beneficial for organizations, as it allows them to work with a specific consultant or freelancer for a long period of time. A retainer agreement is a task for hire contract. It may be full-time or part-time process. Before pitching a retainer agreement to clients, understand that some people have a negative association with it. Some clients may not have had good experiences with consultants in the past who did not work the hours agreed upon and cost them money. That is why it is so important to work on long-term agreements exclusively with clients you have worked for before. That helps to build a level of trust in your abilities, integrity, and productivity and will make them more likely to approve a retainer agreement with you rather than someone new. Many clients will
  47. 47. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 43 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL assume there will be a discount for signing a retainer agreement upfront, but as a consultant, that isn't fair to you. You still deserve to be compensated for the hours worked, so it's recommended that you don't offer a discount but offer a package of hours at your normal rate. Instead, focus on the benefit to the client.  Advantages of a Retainer Contract  Retainer contracts are also beneficial for individual contractors, because they receive payment prior to starting the work. This makes it easier to allocate finances and time for the duration of that project.  A retainer contract is a pay which is guaranteed and is something that consultants and freelancers should strive to achieve.  Well-planned retainer agreements with important clients will enable you to organize your work.  Retainers also reduce the unpredictability surrounding income and will allow you to work with other clients as you fit.  Signing a retainer contract is highly beneficial, and you can begin by working with your current clients. Select the clients that you like and clients with businesses that have remained stable.  A retainer is an important step to financial freedom.  Your overall aim should to work with a client for income stability and to provide security for your client. 2.4 GENERATING AND WINNING CONSULTING ASSIGNMENTS - SERVICES OFFERING, MARKETING PITCH, CONSULTING SERVICES PRESENTATIONS 2.4.1 SERVICES OFFERING  Customer experience enhancement  Business operations transformation  Business analysis  Business analytics  Revenue assurance consulting
  48. 48. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 44 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Program management  Social media consulting  Business improvement diagnostics 2.4.2 MARKETING PITCH In selling technique, a sales pitch or sales presentation attempts to motivate someone or something, with a planned sales presentation strategy of a product or service designed to initiate and close a sale of the product or service. Here the product is consulting service. The different ways of marketing consulting services are:  Direct mail Direct mail is a powerful way to drum up new business because it's targeted to exactly the audience you want to reach. Here are some tips for creating attention-getting direct mail:  Personalize your sales message. Use mail merge method and address each envelope to the recipient by name. In the same way, your sales letter inside the envelope should be directed by name to that recipient.  Put a compelling message on the outside of the envelope. "Free," "Limited time offer," and "Act now" are all powerful attention-getters that can induce the recipient to open the envelope.  Stress the benefits of your offer, and give all the pertinent details in your sales letter. Then make it easy to respond or request information. Give your phone number, e-mail address and website URL and include a postage-paid postcard or envelope, too, so it's impossible not to get back to you if the interest is there.  Cold calls Another way to reach out to prospective clients is through cold calling. This is the process of contacting prospects who weren't expecting a sales call from you and trying to sell them on your services.  Advertising Because traditional advertising can be expensive, it's important to spend your advertising dollars wisely. Depending on the type of services you offer, it may be necessary to advertise in specialized trade magazines or journals. In addition to placing ads in the full print run of a
  49. 49. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 45 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL publication, you also should consider advertising in any specialty sections that might include a "Consultants Directory" or "Directory of Consulting Services."  Newsletters Newsletters can be an effective tool when it comes to rounding up clients for your consulting business. Through newsletters, you can present news of interest to potential clients and remind former clients that you're still alive and kicking and available if they need help again. A typical newsletter published by a consultant will include: o News of importance to the industry. o Editorials and opinions. o Tips for success.  Referrals This often-overlooked method of finding new clients is an easy marketing activity. All you have to do is wait until you've finished your consulting assignment, confirm that your client is completely satisfied, then ask for a referral. Rather than putting your client on the spot, send a short letter or note thanking them for their business and asking for the names of any colleagues, friends or business associates who might be good prospects for your services. 2.4.3 CONSULTING SERVICES PRESENTATIONS  Presentations are important for many reasons  Simplified way to show complex things  Forces you to put your thoughts in order  Makes easier to find gaps in your approach  Widely recognized and accepted way of conveying ideas  Concrete tangible products  Can be re-used  They build slowly but surely your knowledge base
  50. 50. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 46 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Fig. Phases of presentation 2.5 PROPOSALS - WRITING SUCCESSFUL PROPOSALS A consulting proposal is a document sent from a consultant to a prospective client describing a job they wish to take on and the conditions under which they will do so.  Don’t Count on Your Proposal The proposal isn’t meant to win the business but should have already been won before sending the proposal.  Focus on the Buyer, Not on Your Business The proposal needs to be focused on your buyer and their business, not yours. Don’t tell them how long you’ve been in business and that you have this and that. Instead, use the opening of your proposal to re-establish the challenge and opportunity that you previously discussed with the buyer.  Don’t Include New Information You don’t want to introduce any new information in the proposal. Keep the content focus on the discussion that you had with the buyer.
  51. 51. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 47 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL  Structure it for Success Structure should include: o Summary o Goals o Project Details o Responsibilities o Investment o Terms  Keep Your Proposal Short If your proposals are going over three pages you need to take a close look at what you’re including in them.  Include the ROI at the Front Show the clients how their investment will provide them with a significant return.  In vs Out: Show What They’ll Get, Not What You’ll Do Clearly establish what your client is going to get. What can they expect, How will it benefit their business and so on.
  52. 52. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 48 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL “The greatest trust between man and man is the trust of giving counsel” Francis Bacon Management consultancy is the creation of value for organizations, through the application of techniques, knowledge, and assets, for performance improvement. This is achieved through providing objective advice and/or the implementation of business solutions. Many factors may affect the success of management consulting projects. These factors are composed of three major sets of variables: characteristics of the client organization such as top management support for consulting, the commitment of client team members, and the presence of a client/sponsor; the competence of a consultant; and the consultation mode such as clearly defined goals, methodological compatibility, standardization of procedures, and clients' participation. Consulting Process can be summarized as follows:  Discovery meeting  Investment plan meeting  Manual commitment meeting  The 45 day follow up meeting  Client portal  Regular Progress meetings MODULE III Managing consulting projects: Process - From diagnosis to discovery – Diagnostic review; Dealing with internal Resistance; Whole-system discovery; Meetings to understand the complete picture; Workflow and Business process – Business Process definition, Mapping workflow techniques, bottlenecks identification, discovering Gifts, Capacities and possibilities; Findings - presentation of findings and recommendations; Project Management – tools, techniques.
  53. 53. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 49 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL 3.1 DEALING WITH INTERNAL RESISTANCE People use the phrase “overcoming resistance” as though resistance or defensiveness were an adversary to be wrestled to the ground and subdued. “Overcoming resistance” would have you get clever and logical to win the point and convince the client. But there is no way you can talk clients out of their resistance because resistance is an emotional process. Behind the resistance are certain feelings, and you cannot discuss about how they are feeling. There are some specific steps a consultant can take to help a client get past the resistance and get on with solving the problem. The basic strategy is to help the resistance blow itself out, like a storm. Feelings pass and change when they are expressed directly. The skill for the consultant is to ask clients to put directly into words what the client is experiencing and to ask the client to be authentic. An important skill for you to have as an organizational consultant is to effectively recognize and address the resistance from clients. This is true for both external or internal consultant. Resistance in a consulting project is when a person or a group in the organization reacts against recommendations from you or against changes in the organization that seem threatening to them. Resistance is common in consulting projects that focus on changing a significant part or process in the organization. Three steps for handling resistance  Pick Up the Cues Developing skill in dealing with resistance requires knowing what form the resistance is taking, but the first step is simply to notice what is happening. Here are some ways to pick up the cues. o Trust What You See More Than What You Hear o Listen to Yourself o Listen for Repetition and Telltale Phrases  Name the Resistance When you become aware of resistance, the next step is to name it using neutral, everyday language. The skill is to describe the form of the resistance in a way that encourages the client to make a more direct statement of the reservation he or she is experiencing.
  54. 54. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 50 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Here are some examples of resistance and neutral language describing the form of resistance: When the Resistance Takes This Form Name It by Making This Statement  Client is avoiding responsibility for the problem or the solution  Flooding you with detail  One-word answers  Changing the subject  “You don’t see yourself as part of the problem.”  “You are giving me more detail than I need.”  You are giving me very short answers.”  “The subject keeps shifting.” Some examples of naming statements for some other forms of resistance:  Methodology: “You are asking a lot of questions about my methods. Do you have any doubts about the credibility of the results?”  Intellectualizing: “Each time we get close to deciding what to do, you go back to developing theories to understand what is happening.”  Confusion: “You seem very confused about what we are discussing. Are you confused about the problem or just not sure what to do about it?”  Low energy or inattention: “You look as if you have other things on your mind and have low energy for this project.”  Be quiet. After naming the resistance, we have a tendency to keep talking. We keep talking to reduce the tension we feel when we confront the client. Don’t keep talking. Live with the tension. Make the statement about resistance and remain silent. Resistance can be Conscious or Unconscious. Conscious Resistance - There are a number of general reasons why people do not like the idea of change:  They don’t like what’s happening  They don’t like the way it’s being done  They don’t like the fact that they are not the ones doing it  They are afraid of the outcome  They side with the vast gray army of those who don’t see why anything should change
  55. 55. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 51 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Unconscious Resistance  Denial: the belief or hope that there is no real intent to change. Information about the change is ignored or rejected. No steps are taken to prepare for the change.  Anger: frustration that no one seems to be listening to the other side of the argument. This can lead to irrational blocking actions.  Pessimism: feeling of losing control. This can lead to disengagement from current activities.  Despair: recognition that the change will happen. Paradoxically, although this is at the lowest point of the curve, it can mark the beginning of the recovery.  Testing: bargaining to get something positive out of the change. This leads to a more optimistic view and re-engagement.  Acceptance: a realistic view of the change. Although the negative feelings remain, people start to “get on with it.”  Informed optimism: looking to the future. People start to experience the benefits. 3.2 FROM DIAGNOSIS TO DISCOVERY When the contract is clear and you are ready to deal with resistance, attention turns to the discovery phase. There are two primary purposes for discovery phase: to develop a fresh and independent way of looking at what is going on and to create a process that leads to client commitment, action and ownership. This means that the goal of discovery is not to be right but to be powerful and effective. There are two distinct ways of thinking about this part of the work. The traditional way is to consider it a diagnosis, following the medical model of diagnosing the problem, coming up with a prognosis, and then offering a prescription. This is the expectation of most clients. They have a problem, want a solution, and want you to give it to them. As common as this expectation is, it has the limitations of being strictly problem focused, and it has the consultant doing the bulk of the discovery. In recent years, a way of thinking different from diagnosis has emerged - one that focuses more on possibilities than problems. Instead of looking at what is wrong, at deficiencies, we look at what is working, what the strengths and gifts are, and seek to deepen and take advantage of those assets. This is variously called an asset-based approach or a strength-based approach.
  56. 56. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 52 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Diagnosis is to be done before contracting and after.  Preliminary Problem diagnosis(PPD): o Why do you think the organisation needs my help? o What ideas have been suggested already but not supported? o Who should I see or what questions should I ask? o What would you recommend in my position (dangerous!!!) The PPD is a proposal and the content demonstrates:  Understanding of the problem and its importance?  How the proposed approach addresses this problem?  How the unique characteristics of your consultancy can deliver the solution?  How the work will be done: staff, skills timescales and outline plan?  How the assignment will be financed?  What additional opportunities or benefits brought by the proposal?  Diagnosis after Contract o Data Diagnosis Fig: Diagnosis Diagnosis is to be done in  Material  Machines  Methods  People
  57. 57. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 53 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Diagnosis is to be done in Casual relationships too  The relationship between problems and symptoms  The relationship between symptoms and outcomes  Watch for options posed as problems Fig. Example Following things are to be done in discovery phase:  Ask questions about the client’s personal role in causing or maintaining the presenting or target problem.  Ask questions about what others in the organization are doing to cause or maintain the presenting or target problem.  Involve your client in interpreting the data collected.  Recognize the similarity between how the client manages you and how they manage their own organization.  Condense the data into a limited number of issues.  Use language that people outside your area of expertise will understand.  Distinguish between the presenting problem and the underlying problem.  Elicit and describe both the technical problem and how it is being managed 3.3 WHOLE-SYSTEM DISCOVERY Most of the discussion on discovery so far has been written from the perspective of a third-party approach. The third party being the engineer, consultant, IT specialist, or support person who is doing the data collection, data analysis, and feedback. Although this is the most typical
  58. 58. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 54 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL expectation clients have when using support people, and is also the way we have traditionally seen the consultant role, there is an alternative. This approach involves the whole client system much more directly in redefining the problem, naming a desired future, outlining alternative actions, and deciding how to proceed. This is a first-party or whole-system strategy, and the methodology has come a long way in the past two decades. Many consultants and support people have adopted the whole-system approach and redefined their role to be one of convening people to collectively develop a change strategy. What is significant about this is that the people doing the discovery and making the recommendations are the same people who will implement the change. In other words, people from the whole system are involved early in the process and are active at every step. A Whole-System Approach is that it looks at the entire system, not its parts. It means that at least a large sample of those who will be acting on the recommendations is going to play a major part in creating them. This makes the change effort more self-managing than a third-party approach. It can involve a cross-section of people that approximates a whole system much more directly and earlier than a third-party approach. Strengths of Whole system approach:  No need to sell actions to anyone  Involvement of the entire organization  Greater local knowledge  Collective knowledge, purpose and commitment Weaknesses of Whole system approach:  Complicated process  Time constraints  Technical issues are easily solved using the third party stance.  Solutions does not have an “outsiders viewpoint”.
  59. 59. HUMAN RESOURCE CONSULTING – PROFESSION AND PRACTICE 55 SNIT ADOOR BUSINESS SCHOOL Third-Party Consulting The most traditional third-party process involves the lone consultant who studies the situation and makes recommendations for improvement. The consultant may come from inside the organization or be an outsider. Sometimes the third party is a team of people from inside the organization that is given the charge of coming up with recommendations. Often called design teams, these groups may number ten to fifty people, and they have six months, more or less, to work on the project, after which they are expected to return with recommended actions that management can endorse and implement. Although the design team involves more people than the traditional lone consultant arrangement and members are taken from the organization itself, it still represents a third-party strategy:  Whenever some individual or group develops a solution for another, it is taking a third-party stance.  The rationale for employing a third-party approach is that consultants, and design teams, have special expertise and are positioned outside the specific system in question, even if only temporarily. This is supposed to lead to a certain objectivity and a willingness to confront difficult issues that people inside the system may be unable or unwilling to face. In addition, third parties may be aware of possibilities that people closer to the problem may miss. The idea of combining a design team with an outside consultant has the added advantage of applying local, intimate knowledge of the problem. The belief is that given adequate time for analysis and reflection, the partnership of consultant and design team, composed of organization members who know the work well, can make more practical and actionable recommendations than a consultant alone might offer. Third Party Consulting Vs Whole System Consulting Third Party Consulting  Neutral observer. No stake in the answer  Broader view.  Has seen many organizations and ways to approach the problem.  Has specialized expertise that does not reside in the unit.