Get those management consultants out of here!

After too long as one of those management consultants “to-get-out-of-here”, I was reflecting on the kind of things client teams might say or think about people like us:

“They tell us what we already know!” 

“They don’t understand our organisation!”

“They haven’t changed anything and I’m still having to do all the work!”

“They cost so much money, we could spend that better elsewhere!”

Why would anyone in the public sector reading that, ever want to use management consultants?

Truth is, we can’t blame anyone who has these perceptions of consultants because perceptions are usually born out of some kind of reality. That reality being that there are some consultants who overstay their welcome, over-complicate things and focus on things that aren’t the most important for their clients. This makes the Prederi team all the more focussed on not being that kind of management consultant. We are always challenging ourselves to demonstrate that we provide value for money for our clients and the taxpayer. Here are some ways in which we do that and, why there is a place for people like us:

The process of problem solving

There is usually a delay between identifying a problem and solving a problem. Even if you did find the solution, how often do internal projects achieve the desired outcome on time? The time frame can often be long because you need time to realise there is a problem, think about the problem and get to the root cause of it, identify and gather the right people to design or find a solution, convince other people it’s a good solution, find the right people to take action, carry out implementation and measure the results.

The value people like us should bring is to reduce that time frame, equip you and your people to take action and where possible, find the best solutions – which are ideally a well-trodden path to satisfy even the most risk averse public sector organisations.

Reducing the time required to resolve problems

It is very likely the challenges you face are not new and someone else has gone through your pain. Whilst your organisation and challenges will always have their unique elements, the chances are that people like us have come across similar problems before, enabling us to speed up your process. I hate to admit this but, we are also an ‘extra pair of hands’ to investigate problems and solutions and create head space for thinking things through.

Enabling your staff to take action

Good change management creates the right culture to empower your staff to take action. It is very rare that your business problem can be ‘fixed’ with a simple tool or indeed an expensive tool, and it is also unlikely that a few clever (expensive) management consultants can be your sole solution providers. What people like me do is create a safe environment for your people to get engaged in the process and start to help themselves. Funnily enough, we always notice that your newly engaged workforce are able to find all the right solutions and buy in to implementing them because, they are driven to make their own work life better.

For the government and leaders of public sector organisations…

The reason people like me do what we do is because we want to make people’s lives better – the workforce, the patients, the citizens. I shall leave you with something I heard today that I think is brilliant: “Sick people don’t pay taxes!”. I’d also suggest you qualify your management consultants not just on quality and price of work but their beliefs and culture, too! #CareForYourPeople

Meet the author

Zhiqian Huang

Zhiqian Huang

Qian is an experienced operational and turnaround expert. She is passionate about making sustainable change for her clients and is a strong advocate for incorporating technology enabled solutions. Her operational and 'hands-on' approach allows her to work closely with… Read more »

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