All management consultants ultimately offer a service. And as with all services, the difficulty at the beginning is not knowing exactly what the end result will be. It is this uncertainty that worries many executives when it comes to hiring a management consultancy, especially since the usual fee rates often add up to five to six-digit amounts in the end. So what to do? How do you find the right management consultancy for you? We see several possibilities, which we will consider in more detail below.
One of the most common ways you can go is to ask your personal environment for recommendations for good management consulting. In Germany alone there were almost 200,000 consultants working in more than 15,000 consulting firms in 2020 (according to BDU – Bund Deutscher Unternehmensberater in 2020). There is a high probability of finding someone who has already made contact with one or the other consultant.
It is best to ask colleagues who are in a similar position to you or who have already had a comparable task. Describe your project as precisely as possible, because there are corresponding experts for every topic. If you ask people you know, they can also assess whether a consultant fits their own personality or not. A special tip: maybe you know or have had contact with a valued management consultant from the past. Even if this is out of the question for the assignment in question, they usually have a network of colleagues who they can assess well. Last but not least, it is also important to him/her to help you and thus to be commissioned as a consultant again next time.
Use of the big players
A large, well-known management consultancy such as McKinsey or BCG is usually expensive, but a few arguments reduce the risk when making a selection. The number of consultants who work there. If a consultant doesn’t fit, they can usually be changed overnight without having to terminate contracts. In principle, however, it is also the case that the selection process in management consulting for new colleagues is based on certain similarities. While this is not always desirable in terms of divergence, it does allow service delivery to level off at a consistent level. The tools and the thought patterns of the consultants employed in the company are similar. And finally, the large consulting firms also have extensive knowledge and case studies. Many problems have arisen in one of the global consulting units. If, for various reasons, a large management consultancy is not an option for you, but you are looking for independent and freelance management consultants or technical experts, the following two ways are possible alternatives.
Selection via portals
Digital professional networks such as LinkedIn or XING have proven to be suitable for marketing, especially for freelancers and self-employed consultants. Xing also offers its own project postings for freelancers. But how are you supposed to separate the wheat from the chaff here? Well, on the one hand, there are recommendations for certain expert knowledge. Unfortunately, this is only of limited significance. On the one hand, it is usually close contacts who recommend one and on the other hand, “the knowledge” is very different. Also, pure specialist knowledge is not the decisive criterion as to whether someone is a good consultant or not. But what you can definitely do is check if the candidate is connected to someone who is connected to you. In this way, an existing contact can be asked for an honest assessment. The risk remains high, however, because despite flexible contracts, a few days as a consultant quickly accumulate before you can get a real impression of the actual work. The following last option could help here to find experts and consultants via a digital consulting platform and to get an idea of the content in advance without generating large consulting costs.
Contact via a digital consulting platform
A digital consulting platform such as ConWISE.de is breaking new ground when it comes to finding and integrating management consultants.
Accompanying consulting services such as impulses, ideas and practical examples are offered by the platform partly using artificial intelligence (AI). Such a platform also already specifies a step-by-step method sequence and automatically creates reports on the results. This already eliminates or reduces the consultant expenses for administrative and structural tasks and the risk of high consultant costs is significantly reduced. The need for advice is therefore concentrated on technical and company-specific support. In this case, ConWISE, for example, offers the option of contacting a consultant or expert directly and hiring them for limited-time tasks. This can be, for example, a review of the strategy development or the selective moderation of an online workshop. In this way you get to know the skills and personality of a consultant directly and can then conclude further contracts directly with the desired person.
The old adage “Those who have the choice are spoiled for choice” also applies to the selection of a suitable management consultancy. Nevertheless, digitization is creating new opportunities here as well.
The new digital consulting platform ConWISE is a good example of this. On the one hand, it reduces the use of consultants by digitizing consulting processes and enabling your own employees to work out structured concepts and solutions. On the other hand, the digital approach enables consultants to be called in when required and simply at the push of a button. The risk of encountering an unsuitable consultant is minimized and the effort is kept small. If, based on the support provided on the digital platform, you come to the conclusion that the chemistry is right and the expertise is there, then you have found the right management consultant for you. The ConWISE team will be happy to show you exactly how this works in a free demo presentation. Contact us!