Unlocking Real Value Blog

The Value of a Consultant – Part 2 – The Truth, The Whole Truth ….

As we talked about a few weeks ago, in order for a consultant to truly add value, he or she must be able to:

  1. Provide an in-depth assessment and analysis of the business area(s) in question; AND
  2. Be able to provide not only a roadmap to solve the problems, but also be able to help implement the  solutions.

It is this second point where many consultants fall short. Top consultants are able to formulate a solutions roadmap that includes other solutions providers as appropriate and necessary. The larger the network of experts that a consultant has working relationships with, the better off clients typically are (recall the mention in our earlier post of the faculty of our partner firm Consult P3).

There is, however, another very important attribute that makes a consultant valuable. He/she must be willing to tell you the truth – to be brutally honest – whether or not you as the client are ready to hear it. There is a shared burden in this respect. As a client, you should only be willing to hire a consultant if you are receptive to getting an honest assessment and be willing to take constructive criticism. One of the most disheartening things you can ever do for your employees is hire a consultant, solicit feedback, get people excited that change is on the way, and then do nothing.

Likewise, if you are prepared to hear the good the bad and the ugly, you need to make sure that the consultant you hire is willing to do that. The best consultants know that their analyses might so infuriate the client to the point that there will be no future business. If a consultant is willing to be that truthful – to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth – then they may be the right consultant for you.

The consultant should of course be tactful as well – but you see the point. Hire a consultant only if you are ready and willing to hear the truth and make the necessary changes to improve your business.


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