Sometimes it’s easier to know what you don’t want in a consultant. Like the ones who say, “Implementation will be a breeze!” or “Don’t say anything else about requirements: I know everything I need to.” In the first case, they’re underestimating the work that needs to go into real, substantive change; in the latter, they’re making some wiggle room in case they mess up (“But you didn’t tell me that!”). But let’s turn to what you should look for in a consultant. The right fit can make a world of difference for your business.
Effective managers matter. According to Leigh Branham, author of The 7 Hidden Reasons Employees Leave, 70 percent of employees leave a job for reasons related to factors that are directly controllable by their managers. Gallup surveys report that work groups that are ineffectively managed are 50 percent less productive and 44 percent less profitable. Managers are a conduit between the executives and the operations-level employees; when they are given the tools to achieve maximum efficiency, the results are profound.
In the “Management Practice and Productivity” report, researchers led by Stanford’s Nick Bloom found that “firms across the globe that apply accepted management practices will perform significantly better than those that do not. This suggests that improved management practice is one of the most effective ways for a firm to outperform its peers.” Companies that have strong management practices in place see better productivity, increased growth, and a “sustainable competitive advantage.”
A management effectiveness consultant can help your organization push manager performance to optimal levels. How do you know if you could benefit from this outside help?