How to Solve your Business Problems Through Focused Consulation

By: Jan Springthorpe

Do you go it alone when it comes to important decisions and initiatives in your organisation or do you use the services of a consultant?
What does consultation actually mean to you? It might mean:
&bullcheck with

&bullseek advice from

&bullconfer with

&bullsound out

&bullsolicit opinion

Or, does it mean being charged the earth to find out what you already know?

Many organisations use consultants to help them with a vast range of business issues, problems, strategy development, HR challenges and much more.

Having outside help, bringing along independent observers, working with someone with your best business interests at heart, is a wise move for any organisation.

It's easy to get stuck in the daily grind of the business, facing challenges, beating off the opposition and generating more questions than answers. Choosing a good consultant can take the lid off your way of thinking, bring you a fresh outlook and take you to a new window on your business world. It helps you to look past the obvious, challenge the inevitable and seek out a whole new horizon.

Whatever your business, industry or product, we all know that you can't stand still and expect to gain ground. The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting the same result!

There is an old American Native saying that to know a man, or a woman, you should walk a mile in their shoes. A good consultant will be happy to step into you shoes and not be deterred by the size or the style (or the pong!) of the shoes they step into!

A great consultant will get to know your managers and your organisation,
walk alongside you, step into your shoes, really see what your business is about and understand the issues you face. There is no need to stagger on alone.

The secrets to successful consultation are:

&bullinsightful questions

&bullcareful listening

&bullfocus on the key issues

&bullobjective thinking

&bullclarity of purpose

&bulltrust and openness

It's also important for you to know that the consultants you are dealing with have been there, worn the tee-shirt out, watched the video to death, had all the nasty headaches, done the hard work and, in the end, found the right solutions!

Choose a consultant that has an impressive track record of corporate and people management experience. Find someone who will work in partnership with you, as if they belonged to your organisation, wanting to share in your success.

Make sure that your chosen consultant will look really closely at your problems, listen carefully, push and challenge you, ask the right questions, help you to explore options and face up to reality. They say that a problem shared is a problem halved - with the right consultant working in partnership with you, a problem shared, and fully understood, is a problem solved.

The right consultant for you won't just make recommendations, they will help you to get your creative juices flowing, think things through, have your own "ha ha!" moments and create your own agenda for change. They may make suggestions but it's more important that you become the masters of your own destiny.

Whether you are:

&bullstruggling with performance issues

&bullcoping with great change

&bullfacing challenges

&bullfailing to meet your business objectives

&bulllacking in leadership skills

&bullmuddling along with mediocre management

&bullseeking new ideas,

try working in partnership with a great consultant and watch your business grow and develop.

Human Resources
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