Consulting Excellence: The Implications for Professional Development
Consulting Excellence is the ground-breaking new scheme for the UK’s leading management consulting firms. It is a hallmark of quality that enables clients to make a better choice when buying consulting services and commits firms to the highest standards of ethical behaviour, client service and professionalism.
MCA member firms adopt the Nine Principles of Consulting Excellence that are split into three main tenets: Ethical Behaviour, Client Service and Value and Professional Development.
As an Associate Member of the MCA we are delighted and proud to sign up to and support this new initiative.
Consulting Excellence: The Three Professional Development Principles
Consulting Excellence firms develop the capabilities of their consultants, provide career development opportunities and support the welfare of all their employees. This means:
1. We undertake training and development planning each year.
2. We promote strong core consulting capabilities and specialisms in our consultants and teams.
3. We support our employees’ career progression, professional development and welfare.
What should a Consulting Excellence professional development curriculum look like?
To achieve the three ‘Consulting Excellence’ professional development principles, as well as attaining exceptional analytical and business modelling ‘technical’ skills, consultants need to learn and excel in certain ‘non-technical’ cognitive and behavioural consulting skills.
Throughout a consulting career, consultants are expected to assume certain core responsibilities that can be summarised into four main areas. The shouldering of each responsibility changes as a consulting career progresses:
Consult: Core consulting activities that deliver value, identify opportunities and solve problems for clients
Manage: Lead a consulting team and manage client engagements
Business Development: Develop a stream of business (with new or existing clients) for consultants to deliver
Lead: Grow the business, exemplify the brand, embody the culture and ensure the firm’s legacy and heritage
Achieving Consulting Excellence: A Consulting Curriculum
To fulfil each key responsibility with distinction requires a consultant to apply a variety of behavioural and cognitive skills throughout their career, many of which will not be intuitive. The role of a consulting curriculum should be to ensure that these core behavioural and cognitive skills are identified, learned, practised, developed and refined, either through formal training, self-development or mentoring and coaching.
Having trained management consultants worldwide for over 25 years, we have identified the core abilities and skills relevant to each responsibility below and we believe firms who learn, adopt, share and model these skills among their consultants will be best placed to achieve the ambitions of Consulting Excellence.
Contact us to find out how we might help you to develop these core skills and behaviours within your consulting firm.
Commentators and fans are lauding them for their efforts, and competitors aspire to reach the same levels of success.
Sadly, a large proportion cannot accept that this level of success is possible. Instead they have decided and are happy to decree that Team Sky, and Chris Froome in particular, must be cheating.
In reality, the best firms don’t need to cheat. There is no secret formula. When you look deeper, the reasons for their success are clear.
The best organisations (and sports teams) in the world have a deep-rooted value set that drives all behaviours. Everyone shares the same values and works towards a common objective. Successful firms believe in doing things the right way…
You are a successful professional services organisation and have a proven track record. Why then, would you question your client management?
Maybe your client has started to suffer from ‘consultant fatigue’ having undertaken numerous consultancy projects over the last year and now feels that using more consultants will lead them to be criticised for their management of resources?
Perhaps this scenario sounds familiar to you: Your client has decided to postpone the next phase of a proposal and there are the usual excuses for the postponement – they now plan to go out to tender, next year the budget will not be there, there is no rush. The problem for you is that, if they delay, you know your client will struggle to get continuity of consultants.
What practical steps could you take to stop this standstill and get the best outcome?
PSfPS have created this checklist that you can download to help you benchmark your current practices, processes and procedures of client management against best practice…
The perceived reality in the minds of many clients is that all accountants/lawyers/consultants offer pretty much the same services, in the same markets with the same outputs.
When you see the examples in this article from real proposal documents, it’s easy to see why this view is held.
Importantly, your personal brand also represents the organisation you work for.
These ‘LinkedIn Out Loud” videos put together by production company Joseph & Joseph show a collection of how not to set your personal brand on LinkedIn…
- “I run towards fires”
- “I’m not the boss. There’s only one boss and that’s Mr customer”
- “Welcome to a window into the life of me”
- “I don’t go with the flow – that’s for fish”
- “I’m not racist”
You can watch all the videos here…