If you advised someone on a strategic new course of action today, you were acting as a consultant. The simplest form of the definition of consultant means to give someone advice. The modern connotation of the word has evolved from a medical term where a consultant was a specialist that could step in and advise a physician when the knowledge required was beyond the scope of a general practitioner. In other context it became a synonym for professional. Asking Thesaurus.com to give me other synonyms came up with advisor, expert, specialist, veteran, authority, counsel, freelancer, guide, master, maven, mentor, and pro. Today you most likely performed one of those roles and were not paid for it.
Professional consultancy means that there is an implied degree of expertise that is beyond the norms of everyday advisory duties. It is also worth the price as the return on investing in a consultant is in the form of raising the performance of others to a new standard. At a Pro-Am golf tournament, the amateurs’ game is elevated due to the presence of the professionals. It was said of Tiger Woods that when he played in a professional tournament, all of the other pros played with an increased intensity. If they bring nothing more to the table than their professional aura there will be a benefit worth the cost.
This week we looked at the entire spectrum of consultants from the professional to the fakers in a series of five articles. Read, share, comment.
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October 7 – Consultants – Part I: Consultancy Defined – The term “consultant” means different things under different circumstances, but it is generally regarded as a person that is considered to be an expert in some field for which they can be regarded as a professional advisor. – more –
October 8 – Consultants – Part 2: When and How To Engage – There is a time and place for everything. Hiring an external consultancy is no exception. By the very nature of being “external” these consultants bring valuable insight into the company and make solutions happen. – more –
October 9 – Consultants – Part 3: Do It Yourself – There is no stone tablet etched with instructions that you must only go outside of the company walls to find consulting expertise. If the primary reason for hiring external consultancy is to augment company staff or to buffer their workload… – more –
October 10 – Consultants – Part 4: When Not To Engage – Hiring external expertise to solve problems means making a major commitment to select and utilize this specialized resource. It is not inexpensive. On the occasions where internal consultancy will work just as well, there is probably a greater need for careful… – more –
- October 11 – Consultants – Part 5: Faux Consulting Alternatives – Many alternatives to getting the job done are performed by professionals that have “borrowed” the term consulting for their business cards or letterhead. Some of these are thinly veiled sales pitches that use the bait of free expert advice along with an expensive product or service. – more –