Management Consultants facilitate organization improve their business performance and enhance growth by creatively solving critical problems and ingeniously discovering newer methods and much better ways of effectively & efficiently running the organization…wearing multiple hats as the craftsman, the catalysts, the sculptor, the orchestrator, the motivator, the stimulator and setting the agenda and staging newer benchmark for the organization.
“It breaks away from the convention.”
“It makes way to a new path.”
“It takes the organization through a transformative journey.”
It is challenging…
But it is exciting…
It’s my voyage as a Management Consultant.
I’m equally relishing my creative role as a consultant, though here, my blog has been largely skewed in its manifestation toward creative writing and rationalization of digital technology.
It was time to share my wonderful journey as a consultant; it has been my core competency, nevertheless feeding to the basic requirement of my bread and butter. I’ve passionately nurtured the consulting competency over the years. I was merely taking a stock of my consulting engagement; I was pleasantly surprised with the revelation of the number of assignments. I was always driven by quality not quantity, hence never given an importance to the number count.
The number of clients, I did flip back the chapters of my consulting books after years, impetuously discovered I’ve handled over 35 plus small to medium to large organizations as part of my consulting engagement through “Business Transformation” interventions.
Industry & Exposure:
Every client engagement has been special, and each has spanned from a minimum of over a year for few to a multiple years with most clients. These interventions are long-term, as they are transformative in nature. All these multitude of management projects have been across diverse industries and also the extent of intervention has varied based on the exact need of the client. Most of the requirements have revolved around bringing about a fundamental turnaround…the tangible results, the business outcomes only that count in the final countdown of such consulting engagement and which always encompassed the “360 VIEW” of the organization.
The spectrum of industries is as follows;
- Healthcare Services
- Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
- Dairy Processing
- Jewellery Manufacturing
- Jewellery Retailing
- Entertainment & Media
- Real Estate & Construction
- Software Development
- Agri Business Sector
- Information Technology
- Membrane Manufacturing
- Water & Waste Water Management
- Education Management
- Scientific Research & Development
The expectations are clear…the clients want growth, growth in both top-line and bottom-line, and clients want professionalism, consistent performance, higher productivity, business excellence and a culture of creativity & innovation. In effect, they want holistic transformation. No function or any part of the organization can escape the diagnostic dissection or surgical scalpel.
And “transformation” is a BIG word…
And it has multitude of layers stacked around the management philosophy, principle and practices adopted in organization wide transformation. The big four consulting firm (E&Y, KPMG, PWC, Deloitte), and many specialized boutique firms (HR, Marketing, Finance, IT) dominate the consulting landscape. They come with in-depth research reports, best practices and industry expertise or domain specialist to offer best-in-class solutions and services to their clients. Companies especially small and medium-sized cannot simply afford these services, the costs are exorbitantly prohibitive and subsequently the lack of readiness much-needed to embrace a radical cultural shift which is quintessential to the transformation process.
I’m passionately fascinated in working with different types of consulting projects and with different set of clients, and every time it has been equally interesting and deeply intriguing, though the overarching goals and broad objectives stay more or less in the close proximity but the approach, the processes, the methods, the facilitation, the involvement and the intensity varies widely making each one of those intervention broadly challenging and highly exciting.
I’ve thoroughly enjoyed every bit of my rendezvous with these 35 plus special clients over the last decade and half of enriching engagement. I’ve always maintained my highest degree of commitment for the cause of transformation where the degree might have marginally varied from clients to clients. I was merely adding the coefficient of human error.
Credential & Testimony:
The beginning of every such consulting engagement has always been challenging and has taken considerable amount of psychological involvement and physical intensity to get to the bottom of the problem, and to initially get a buy-in from the multiple stakeholders to set the platform for transformation to have a smooth roll out.
Even today, when the project ends and I transit out from the client it becomes an emotional catharsis.
I’ve always taken every client as my own organization and have generously invested every bit of my knowledge and infused every pie of my competency to offer the best possible solutions, hence the association with most of my clients have always gone beyond the stipulated arrangement. And the most defining testimony is that all my new clients have come through reference from old clients and that has given me all the strength that I needed to keep doing what I love to do and do it year after year with expanding vigor and enhanced vitality which is of paramount significance.
Every external transformation process of my clients have triggered in me an internal transformation, and the wealth of experience that I’ve gathered over these years has made me a more evolved person, firstly as a good human being, and than of course as a consultant.
The nuanced dialogues with risk-takers to go-getters leading such wonderful organisation have always checked my pride and curtailed my ego by letting it go.
There has been deep learning and there has been simultaneously rapid unlearning, and both has gone hand in hand to make me competent but more so remain contemporary with development in newer management practices. The world has been on a roller-coaster ride in the last decade and half, business setup cannot stay immune, and such has been the change in the business environment that same methods, same formula, same equations, or same solution to a similar set of problem or situation just cannot fetch the desired result. The DNA of consulting has also undergone a change…
“The demand of consultancy means meeting target.”
“The demand of consultancy means taking complete accountability of outcomes.”
“The demand of consultancy means to constantly come with creative solution.”
“The demand of consultancy means idea and innovation.”
“The demand of consultancy means solving problems.”
Hence, there is an imperative need to keep constantly updated with newer methods and process, new tools and techniques. This comes with attending management workshops, participating in industry seminars to voraciously reading management books to analyzing case studies to writing white papers to building right propositions. The exposure through speaking in different enlightening platforms, reading diverse researched materials and writing extensively on relevant subjects are non-negotiable instruments…the art lies in balancing both learning the subject and doing consulting which is a round the clock job where you have no control on time, it is very little to do with time management and is primarily driven by the contours of the business outcomes and project deadlines.
The consulting work involves a whole spectrum of things from managing client relationship, conducting data analysis, strategic planning to operational execution, critical problem solving to designing creative solution, team coaching to mentoring the leaders…the transformative exercise just doesn’t leave any part of the organization or make any aspect of the business untouched, this kind of management intervention is all-encompassing.
Here are some of the themes, titles and tags that have emerged during those projects that have become the catch phrase. I’ve creatively framed to leverage the latent aspiration of organization and build the inspiration towards the business transformation.
- Optimize the Output
- Question the Quality
- Optimization of Resources & Systems (OURS)
- Go for Growth
- Catch the Cost
- Together Triple the Turnover in Three Years (TTTT)
- Empower the Employee
- Operational Excellence (OpeX)
- Demand and Double in Two Years (DDT)
- Management Assessment of Performance (MAP)
Glimpse of Caselets:
The company for over a decade delivering good growth, suddenly started slowing down, declining market share…competitors were riding high on the growth trajectory.
“Go for Growth” was the theme adopted, business was redefined into different Strategic Business Units (SBU) giving the team a new lease of empowerment, and a healthy internal competition between units which rallied the organization towards rapid growth.
The company with infusion of fresh capital wanted a quick replication of their units across India. This called for standardization of operation for effective replication.
“Opex” was coined… processes were examined and redefined inline with the new growth strategy…policies, procedures prepared to measure, monitor and manage effectiveness and efficiencies of the processes.
The company was in the hands of traditional management team with a hidden potential for growth, with entry of new stakeholders the requirement was to tap the latent growth potential of the company with new management practices…
The organization was re-defined into 3-tier structure i.e. strategic layer, tactical layer and operation layer with clearly articulated roles, responsibilities and reporting resulting in better accountability and higher productivity…
The company was facing a problem of connecting the strategic goals and objectives with the operational targets and was unable to measure and manage the organization’s performance…
The organizational goals and objectives were broken down into departmental goals and objectives…further it was drilled down to teams and individuals. This brought a strong performance tracking mechanism resulting in proactively resolving the non-performance.
Strategy by itself means nothing unless it is deployed effectively and ensures a significant transformation in business performance. With stiffer competition and dynamic business scenario, the business decisions are being subjected to heightened critical diagnosis. The problem organizations are facing are becoming increasingly challenging and complex. These compelling forces are driving the organizations to undergo a paradigm shift in the way they function. Organizations are moving from strategy to strategic thinking. Organizations are experiencing the new phenomena of ‘Minding’ from ‘Learning’, and in the process are molding to emulate like Organisms.
“The greatest thing in this world is not where we are, but in which direction we are moving”
– Oliver Wendell Holmes
These new trends warrants for building up of a collaborative and interactive environment for the optimization of “Knowledge”, the vital currency for future sustainability. A continuous effective “Management of Knowledge” is going to be the differentiating factor thereby providing the competitive advantage. The driver i.e. human dimension is being handled in a grossly inadequate manner vis-à-vis the enabler i.e. technology dimension. Sturdy in-roads have been made in the digitization and distribution of explicit knowledge i.e. more on the technology front. But much remains to be done in harnessing harmonizing the tacit knowledge in the people’s mind, embedded in the processes and synthesized in the practices.
In the aforementioned backdrop, the future belongs to the organization that effectively deals with the creative knowledge in the people, latent knowledge in the processes and evolving knowledge in the new practices. We as an organization are envisioning making a quantum difference in this domain of consulting.
It focuses and fosters the concept of ‘consulting with creativity’ adopting the principles and practices of Interactive Management and Contextual Management. It is a network of freelance experts and independent management consultants leveraging on the synergy of gamut of experts virtually spread across the global. It offers comprehensive management solutions towards Organization Development and Business Transformation through its vast and valuable network of management experts. To keep the juice of creativity flowing, creative working is promoted and propagated for all the members to nurture the nature of creative talent hidden within all of us.
The core philosophy of consulting is all about the art of creative working and the science of management consulting, framework is a mirror reflection of this very fundamental philosophy.
- ‘3A’ – Consulting is all about common sense, it’s about Articulation, it’s about Abstraction & it’s about Analysis. Consulting is about the art of articulation and the science of abstraction and analysis.
- ‘IPI’ – What is central to consulting… the simple and straightforward answer is “Ideas”. The fundamental role of a consultant is to be “Problem Solver”. What is that differentiates one consultant from another? Primarily stating it’s the “Creativity-Innovation”.
- ‘3C’ – The immaculate Communication clubbed with impeccable presentation ability acts a hot currency in clinching the deal in favorable terms. But communication without Contemplation and Creation is a pipedream. Consulting is about the art of communication and the science of contemplation and creation.
Process is a revolution in thought that leads to changes in business.”
– Pierre Leroy
To ensure that the Processes are aligned with the Purpose, we use a variety of methods including Critical Process Identification, Process Mapping & Re-engineering, Efficiency Measurement and Improvement, Internal and External Benchmarking, Outsource vs. In-source Decisions. These results in creating a set of key processes within the organization that are aligned with the core purpose and avoid deviation from the same.
Finally, a measurement system is put in place to ensure that people at all levels can monitor and track progress of the strategy implementation process and take corrective action where necessary.
Success in business, however, is not one-dimensional transformation but is a result of carefully aligning multiple dimensions i.e. one facet comprises of 3 Ps – Purpose, Process and People.