Preparing your organization to use a consultant resource

Looking at my consultant journey with the eyes of a line worker* which I used to be, versus the eyes of a consultant that I am now I realize a few things about organizational maturity in terms of being prepared to use a consultant.

A client who starts the process of procuring a consultant usually does so due to a planned or sudden need. A planned need usually entails a project or organizational transformation that has been approved a few months in advance. Sudden needs usually arise due to colleagues leaving on parental leave, sudden organizational chocks or shifts, and work overload due to a colleague changing jobs.

Independent of if the need is planned or sudden, my experience is that though the person at the engaging client company (i.e. sponsor or economic buyer) sees the need for change, it does not necessarily entail that the rest of the organization is.

I usually suggest to my clients to allow for workshops and 1-2-1 meetings with the affected stakeholders to prepare for whichever change or project I have been engaged to execute. The success of a consultant and the execution of their project hinges not only on the economic buyer or sponsor, but also (and to a large extent) on getting the buy-in of affected stakeholders – especially if we are talking about organizational, strategic or digital transformations.

* A line worker is an employed individual with a clear role (i.e. one described in a job description filed by HR).