What It Takes to Become a Management Consultant A problem is a difference or gap between an actual and a desired situation. Problems arise when our goals (desired outcomes) are not being met (actual situation). So carefully consider what your goal or desired outcome is in order to define the problem appropriately. In turn, problem solving is a systematic process of closing these gaps. You are asked to apply your knowledge of problem solving to an analysis of the dynamic job of management consulting Read the case below and answer the questions that follow. Management consultants work to help a client obtain information and implement practices which lead to lasting solutions of a problem. In other words, consultants are professional problem solvers. And ultimately, consulting firms are just a cultivation of human and intellectual capital (loosely categorized as potential). So, how do consultants sell something as intangible as potential?
Many firms encounter a difference between an actual and a desired situation, known as a problem, but they don’t know how to go about systematically solving these problems. Consultants begin the problem solving process by defining the problem and identifying the root cause of the problem. They then identify what qualifies as success in solving the problem and form an understanding of the problem and the environment surrounding the problem. Consultants may understand the problem by utilizing various tools, including a SWOT analysis (which lists the company or situation’s strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats), and Porter’s Five Forces (which determines where the power in a situation lies – supplier power, customer power, threat of substitution, ease of new entry, and competitive rivalry). They then generate a list of solutions, analyze the risks and benefits of each solution and choose the best solution for the problem presented. These steps may seem so straightforward that anyone could successfully solve even the most complicated problems experienced by businesses, but consultants are taught and encouraged to think about a problem differently than the average manager. Often companies seek out consultants because their own managers and executives have implemented ideas and solutions that are not working. One key point that consultants must keep in mind is that every client is different and every problem that each client has is different. The best course of action depends entirely on each individual situation.
4a. Consultants use a approach when con… Consultants use a approach when considering solutions to a problem.
O behavioral O theory O hindsight contingency ( ) values
4b. Which of the following is an examp… Which of the following is an example of a consultant utilizing soft skills?
O identifying the root cause of the problem understanding the problem O performing a SWOT analysis O identifying a high threat of substitution as a problem O discussing possible solutions with a client
4c. If someone decides to quit their job as a consultant becau… If someone decides to quit their job as a consultant because they feel that they do not have the skills necessary to complete the job adequately, they quit because of
O group/team level conflicts. O organizational level conflicts. O environmental characteristics. O individual level change. O person factors.
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