You know how important strategy is for your company. No matter the size or scale of your firm, having an effective strategy in place is key to your success, because it allows you to know both where you are and where you’re going.
That’s why you’re considering hiring a consultant. Maybe you’re embarking on your first strategic planning session or maybe you’re reviewing previous efforts. In any situation, you should consider partnering with a third party to get the best strategy consulting possible.
If you opt to keep your consultant in house, serious conflicts of interest could arise. In-house consultants literally depend on your organization to keep them employed, so they may be more willing to go along with groupthink or less willing to put forward ideas that seem to buck the existing corporate culture.
This can cause problems as you look to devise and revise your strategy: Problems may be glossed over and inappropriate solutions may be suggested. A third party, on the other hand, is independent of your organization and will be more willing to suggest solutions that depart from the “norm” or to identify problems others might want to sweep under the rug. A third-party consultant will also likely be viewed as more neutral by others in your organization.
Third parties are often specialized consulting firms. They may work for any number of firms, of many sizes, in many different industries. They’re also competing to hire the best and most talented consultants, which means you can be assured the consultant you hire has been trained in all of the latest techniques and ideas. These professional consultants bring both expertise and fresh new ideas to your firm.
Going hand in hand with expertise, third-party consulting firms are also experienced; they’ve handled strategy for a number of firms in various industries, of various sizes, each with its own unique challenges and opportunities. Chances are the firm you hire has seen something similar to what your firm is experiencing and will know exactly how to handle it.
An Outsider Perspective
Sometimes, the biggest challenge in building a strategy is that it’s difficult for you to see your business for what it is. This can lead to problems that get swept under the rug or it can lead to misidentified opportunities. You might propose solutions that are less effective or outdated, simply because you aren’t aware of a newer technique or technology.
Third-party consultants bring a fresh new perspective to your business. They can look at your firm objectively, which makes them more apt to identify issues and opportunities. They’re also more likely to be up to date on the latest solutions, and they’re also versed in implementing them. A neutral third-party perspective can be the most useful thing a business can bring to the strategy consulting session.
Hiring an in-house consultant can be a long and complicated process, which could jeopardize your timelines or budget for your strategy. Third-party consultants are often more cost effective in that they bring expertise and experience to the table, which means they can more quickly assess your company and help you devise or rework an effective strategy.
They can also help you implement that strategy more seamlessly. The work gets done more quickly and it’s also done right—which saves you time and money.
Get the Expertise You Need
Whether you’re creating your first plan or revising an existing one, a third-party consultant can help your strategy consulting experience be a more productive, fruitful, and useful exercise. With the expertise and experience they bring to the table, third-party consultants should be the first place you look to get effective strategy consulting.