Why Use A Consultant?


Views from the Cubicle

In his book, "The Dilbert Principle," Scott Adams provides a view of consultants as seen from the office cubicle:

  • "Consultants have credibility because they are not dumb enough to be regular employees of your company."

  • "Consultants eventually leave, which makes them scapegoats for major management blunders."

  • "Consultants can schedule time on the boss's calendar because they don't have your reputation as a whiney little troublemaker who constantly brings up unsolvable issues."

  • "Consultants will return your boss's calls because it's all billable time."

  • "Consultants work preposterously long hours, thus making the regular employees feel like worthless toads for working only 60 hours a week."

  • And finally, "Consultants will rarely deal with the root cause of your company's problems, since it's probably the person that hired them."



Even though consultants cannot be expected to be as familiar with the organization as the managers, and are generally more expensive for each day of service than most employees,  consultants  provide at least four valuable benefits:

  • An independent viewpoint. Precisely because a consultant is not a member of the organization, he or she brings objectivity and detachment to the problems faced by the organization. Because the consultant is not involved in the internal politics of the informal organization or cliques, the views and opinions of the consultant can be accepted as unbiased.

  • Special qualifications.  An experienced consultant possesses special knowledge, skills and a variety  of personal attributes.  Although success cannot be guaranteed for every engagement, the consultant with the most suitable qualifications should have the greatest probability of providing a satisfactory resolution.

  • Temporary professional services.  Organizations sometimes find themselves short of critical expertise in a given area. Engaging a consultant will probably be less expensive in the long run than hiring new managers or employees.

  • Change Management.  Growing businesses must undergo periodic organizational changes to effectively manage a growing staff.  Consultants such as SBDA can conduct an organizational assessment, recommend changes to the organizational structure, make recommendations to the internal processes to maximize productivity, and help you implement the changes.  

Roles of Consultants

Consultants can take on several other roles in an engagement:

  • Professional advisor and counselor.  A consultant is a subject matter expert with an established body of knowledge and code of ethics. Management advisory and counseling services can assist the owner and top management in the administration of the organization.

  • Qualified resource.  A management consultant is a resource that owners and management can draw on as needed. 

  • Change client.  A consultant is a catalyst for change. In the process of solving problems, the consultant must consider every means of effecting a proper solution. The solution may involve change within the organization. Unless the changes are understood by management and the affected employees, the recommendations of a consultant are of little value.

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Last modified: December 31, 2023 .