There are those consultants with the philosophy that as long as the cheques cashed it’s all good. Where and how do you draw the line in the sand with clients?
Over the last 10+ years I have provided Business Consulting to over 60 businesses and senior leaders. Prior to this I held senior management positions in Finance, Operations and Marketing throughout North America. So I have been on both sides, as a client and as the one providing the consulting services.
Let’s begin with understanding The Consultant’s Dilemma.
- As a consultant do you attempt to put things in the best possible light telling the client what they want to hear or do you tell then what they need to hear?
- As a consultant do you gloss over sensitive business issues to avoid making the customer upset or do you risk being fired because your efforts are viewed as disruptive / uncomfortable to the organization?
- As a consultant do you go along with a poor / or an incomplete plan because that’s what the client wants despite you knowing you’re facilitating failure, or do you openly challenge the clients assumptions and reasoning?
- As a consultant do you continue showing up despite knowing that your client is failing or unwilling to take agreed upon actions necessary to achieve the desired outcomes, or do you terminate the assignment and part ways?
- As a consultant do you perform the responsibilities of others to achieve success or do you identify organization deficiencies for resolution?
These real life situations are not uncommon and represent a significant challenge. The Business Consultants knowing when to invest more time and effort to facilitate a transformation versus knowing when walking away. Its essential consultants accept that change is not made it’s accepted and acted on.