ASK TEN PEOPLE TO DEFINE, “CONSULTANT.”
YOU WILL GET TEN DIFFERENT ANSWERS, SOME OF WHICH WILL BE SPRINKLED WITH UNSAVORY LANGUAGE…
Clients rely on Valentine Coaching for its objective, partnership-oriented approach to problem solving.
As the consulting partner Nan Valentine can:
- Conduct a thorough needs analysis with individual interviews, focus groups, surveys and internal company research.
- Facilitate the strategic planning process.
- Develop initiatives for managing change, enhancing communication and reducing workplace stress.
- Valentine Consulting – Consulting Services
The following is a snippet from Nan’s article: Why Use a Consultant?
How do I know whether I need a consultant?
Ask yourself these questions. Your answers will tell you if you should consider searching for someone outside your organization:
- Do I have significant unmet challenges or needs? Note the use of the word, “significant.” If you are going to spend your precious time and money, do so on issues that offer good payback potential.
- Do I have the internal resources I need to address my challenges/needs? Sometimes internal expertise exists, but we may have to search for it. Are there people here who can take on the challenge? Do they have the time and the background preparation to do so?
- Do I need a fresh and unbiased perspective? Sometimes an outsider can offer a unique way of looking at or addressing your issues. Consultants can ask questions that would be considered political suicide for people inside an organization. A good consultant will challenge decision makers to match pending decisions with corporate mission, values, and vision statements, for example. If there is a mismatch, even though it may be unpopular, the consultant will point this out.
How do I find a good consultant once I have decided I need one?
- Be clear about your specific needs. Do you need someone who can facilitate the strategic planning process? Are you looking for someone who has expertise in project design? Or is a thorough needs assessment in order? Look for the particular brand of expertise you need.
- Ask colleagues who have had success with one or more consultants for their recommendations. Sometimes trade associations have lists of member consultants. You can ask other members in the association about their experiences working with those member consultants.
- When interviewing consulting candidates, ask a lot of questions. What experience does the individual have with similar challenges? How would the candidate approach the issue? It is often helpful to ask the person for an outline detailing the partnership steps they recommend.
“Electric Pump is a family-owned, growing company. Nan has helped us navigate through the challenges that are unique to family-owned businesses. I highly recommend her consulting and executive coaching services to others who are looking for that kind of support.”
—Tom Miller, Chief Operating Officer, Electric Pump | www.electricpump.com