What is Management Consulting, Anyway?

Ok, I have been in the ‘Management Consulting’ business for many years and with several companies.  I have suffered for years at various family picnics and outings as my in-laws, as well as family members, still don’t quite know what I do.  This also happens with many people and companies I talk to in a given week.

The following are my explanations in both hard and easy terms.  The hard explanation is not good for Search Engine Optimization (SEO), I am told! My easier explanation should help, so here goes:

Easy explanation:
You know when you are not feeling well and can’t quite figure out what is wrong?  You make your appointment with your primary care doctor, the nurse asks you a few questions (or gives the dreaded clip board to fill out for the 100th time), the doctor sees you and then starts to ask you a few questions (same ones you told the nurse sometime), he/she types on the computer to come up with some possible ideas, runs a few tests (blood work, x-ray, etc.), analyzes the results, recommends some treatment plans (prescriptions, more exercise, physical therapy, surgery), recommends a specialist and finally sets up checkup points a few weeks/months out to make sure you are better/fixed.

Consultants are the doctors in business, though they typically don’t have as much school loan debt.

Hard explanation:
Management consulting is the practice of helping diagnose business issues or challenges, develop ideas for fixing the issues, assist with implementing the fixes and then following up to make sure the results are achieved.  Examples of management consulting include (here come the big words SEO):

    • Growth consulting
    • Business strategy development
    • Program and project management
    • Process improvement
    • Operational execution

Each of these examples require skill sets such as:

    • Experiences across multiple companies and industries
    • Education – formal and informal
    • Use of methodologies and templates
    • Project management – formal and informal methods typically based on Program Management Institute (PMI) standards
    • Process improvement – formal and informal techniques typically based on Six Sigma, for example
    • Business acumen – financial, operational, sales and marketing
    • Organization change management and strong communications skills
    • High Emotional Intelligence (EQ) and strong teamwork skills

So there you have it – a great description of Management Consulting – not quite an ‘elevator pitch’ though.  Check out our web site and view a few bios of top notch consultants that are part of the Core Catalysts team to see what I mean.  Also check out the success stories that bring the business results we achieve to life.

Jim Wadella, Owner – Founder