People say that consultants solve business problems. That’s not wrong. But it’s way over-simplified. What does it mean to “solve problems”? What specifically do consultants do to do that? How in the world can college graduates solve problems that experienced C-level businessman can’t do?
Think of management consultants, especially entry level ones as “content ambassadors”. They act like the bridge between a complicated client context with various needs, conditions, and attributes and a massive back-end network of knowledge and experts.
This sounds simple but it’s not. There is a lot of slicing and shoveling involved. Let’s look at an example: Person A is in charge of the cement work-stream and the key question was: Should the client close down the plant?
Consultants have a massive network of experts behind them but there’s no way they can answer that question given how little they know about the client and market context. As the consultant in charge, I have to analyze the problem, breaking it into smaller parts.
In order to know if the client should close the plant or not, they need to know if they can turnaround their negative profits and if yes, how long does it take? Then into the first branch, one can explore ways to improve sales and ways to cut costs. Suppose one is studying the costs and realizes that logistics is one of the biggest. Then only at this point would they choose from the network a cement logistics expert to talk to.