What is a consultant?
Consultants are everywhere. You can find them for travel, decorating, business, and even plumbing.
Within the broad field of business consulting, there are myriad specialties such as IP, IT, marketing, and HR, as well as broader terms such as international business consultants and financial consultants.
While there are many programs designed for those who would like to be consultants such as courses in risk management, accounting, and the well-known MBA, what a consultant really needs is good communication skills, experience, and the ability to analyze the various situations they encounter.
A consultant is somebody you talk with to help you assess your current situation and decide how to move forward. A consultant is not somebody who has all the answers. In fact, quite often, good consultants will help you find the right questions.
What is a strategy?
“A plan of action designed to achieve a goal”
A strategy is a way to get from point A to point B. There are often many possible strategies (routes) each with their pros and cons.
What is a strategy consultant?
The solutions to most problems can be thought of as routes on a map. The strategy consultant will help you plan the best route.
In order to use a map, the two pieces of information that are essential are your current location (point A) and your destination (point B).
It is often the case that you’re not really where you think you are, and even more often the case that the place where you think you would like to be isn’t really the solution to your current problem.
Locating point A
The strategy consultant will listen to your concerns, analyze the issues you’re facing, and work together with you to determine where you really are.
Deciding point B
Once you have established your current location, you need to decide to where you would like to move. The strategy consultant will work with you to discuss your short- and long-term goals, and help you decide exactly where you want to be or, at least, the direction in which you want to go.
Planning the route (strategy)
Strategies for businesses, as with routes on maps, involve many options and, therefore, decisions. Each decision will affect the available options for the next. On a map, we have rivers, mountains, and other hurdles which mean that a straight line is not always the best path. In fact, it rarely is. The same is true for business plans.
The strategy consultant will compare the pros and cons of each possible route. He (or she) will also consider the available resources such as money, skills, time, and personnel.
Consultants are able to see things from a different angle (perspective) to those who are responsible for the everyday business operations. They are able to offer insight gained from their experience from prior projects.
After clarifying the objectives, ruling out the bad choices, and listing the possible routes/methods/strategies, the consultant will propose the best overall strategy.
Businesses are run by the CEO and the Board of Directors or executive committee. The role of the strategic consultant is to help guide these people to the best possible path for the business based on direction from the client and the experience of the consultant. With an understanding CEO and department heads working with a good strategic consultant, they are worth more, and are far more effective, than the sum of their parts. They can create a synergy that contributes to the business.
Borderless uses its extensive experience in both the public and private sectors to assist companies to achieve their full potential. It is more than a pure-play consultancy as it is able to advise and assist with the execution of the strategy once it is agreed upon.
The best strategy will be different for every company and situation and will rarely be a straight line.
J.R.R. Tolkien, The Fellowship of the Ring