Hiring a Consultant Won’t Always Fix Your Problem

2 Minutes Read

Why Do Companies Hire Consultants?

Usually, the decision for hiring a consultant starts with a pervasive organizational issue that offers no easy or practical solution. The CEO knows there’s a problem but doesn’t know how to fix it. Fortunately (or so they think), there’s a wealth of high-level business consultants out there who say they have the answer.

Savvy consultants bring a lot to the table. They have experience in addressing problems in specified areas, which means that in the best-case scenario, they’ll get issues resolved much sooner than you might be able to do on your own. A good consultant also comes to the situation with no preconceived ideas or special agenda. Often, their objectivity and expertise enables them to see solutions that might never have occurred to you.

At the same time, there are other factors to consider before hiring a consultant.

They don’t come cheap. Any consultant with a significant amount of skill and experience will charge a lot of money to analyze whatever strategic or operational issues you have, and propose a solution.

They know problems, but they don’t know you. While it’s true that similar problems can plague businesses of different sizes (and in different industries), often the solution an issue must be tailored for a particular organization. What works for business X is by no means a slam-dunk for business Y.

They come and they go. Consultants are hired to fix a problem. They propose a solution and their job is done. They’re not hired to implement the solution, only to provide it. What they leave behind is now in your hands for better or worse.

Turf wars can get in the way. I’m confident that most CEOs and business leaders have experienced internal resistance to an “outsider” hired to identify a problem they’ve struggled with for years. Executives and staff aren’t always welcoming to new ideas that come from beyond the front door. A consultant’s proposed changes—no matter how well-intentioned—can trigger turf wars that end up causing more harm than good.

What’s the Alternative of Hiring a Consultant?

Lead your own change initiative and implementation. My experience leading groups of CEOs suggests that no one is more likely to successfully fix a problem than the CEO and his or her team. I’m a firm believer that genuine implementation happens only when the CEO or business owner gets behind the solution and sees to it that his team makes the desired changes. They’re the ones who know the business inside and out. They know what’s going to work and what isn’t.

Catapult Groups host nationally renowned subject-matter experts who offer fresh perspectives and insights on issues affecting most businesses. But it’s each Catapult Groups CEO member who takes the great knowledge back to their company and oversees the process to implement it. That’s when change truly starts to happen.

Learn more about how Catapult Groups can help you grow your business.

Brad Mishlove