The Heroic Way to Hire Consultants
Embarking on a transformation initiative is similar to setting forth on a hero's journey. As Joseph Campbell outlined, every hero requires guidance at some point along the way. In the corporate realm, this guidance often comes from consultants. But how do you select the right "magic" for your transformative journey?
The Consulting Landscape: A Tapestry of Tales
In the grand narrative of business transformation, consulting is about seeking external wisdom to illuminate the path ahead. While many consultants may offer to be your Gandalf, it's essential to discern who truly understands the invisible forces from those just putting on nice firworks.
1. Clarity of Purpose and Objectives (The Call to Adventure)
Before you heed the call, you want to clarify the framework in which you operate:
Your Quest's End: What's the ultimate transformation you seek? Here many businesses fail and quit because they simply never took the time to create a tangible, specific, clearly defined vision.
Your Current Realm: Where does your organization currently stand in this vast narrative? Where do we come from? Why are we here?
The Path Ahead: Are you equipped with a map of the challenges and milestones?
A consultant can be your guiding star, but the quest's essence must come from the hero. Consultants cannot tell you where to go, but they can show you the way to the treasure you seek.
2. Expertise and Track Record (The Mentor's Wisdom)
Ensure your chosen mentor:
Has previously navigated similar terrains and therefore knows what he or she talks about.
Knows the challenges (and opportunities) that lie ahead on the journey.
Can talk about results created in similar endeavors.
3. Cultural Fit (The Meeting of Minds)
A consultant might possess vast knowledge, but if they're not in harmony with your organization's ethos, the journey could be harder than necessary. Assess their adaptability, communication style, and alignment with your core values.
4. Flexibility and Scalability (The Shape-shifting Ally)
Every hero's journey encounters twists and turns. Your consultant:
Should be adept at adapting to evolving narratives.
Must possess the resources to scale their guidance, be it for a skirmish or a full-blown battle.
5. Cost vs. Value (The Treasure Trove)
While every quest has its price, it's the value of the treasure at the end that matters. Weigh:
The depth of insight and tools the consultant brings against their golden coin demands.
Hidden tolls, like additional time or resources your team might need to commit.
Do the consultants work to show more of their magic on the long run or do the empower you to become a magician yourself.
Crafting Your Saga
In the epic of transformation, consultants can be the wise mentors guiding you through trials and tribulations. With their wisdom, you're not just a wanderer but a hero charting a path to success. Choose your mentors wisely, and your saga will be one for the ages.
Have you embarked on such a quest with a consultant by your side? Did you find enlightenment or face unexpected dragons? Share your chronicles below.
About the author
Marc Breetzke, M.A., M.A., founder of MB INSPIRATIONS is the leading expert on strategic thinking, communication, and leadership. Since 2013, Marc assists companies, organisations, and individuals worldwide to achieve their objectives, increase their performance, and realize their untapped potential. Marc has helped thousands of people in consulting and training projects. Currently, he lives in Stuttgart, Germany.