What it takes to be a Good Consultant

I was recently asked what it took to get from being a good consultant to being a great one.  A simple question, but as I described in an earlier post a tough one to answer. I think I have a pretty good handle on what makes a good consultant and described the good consultant’s qualities as someone who:

  • Knows their stuff
  • Quickly builds an effective working relationship with their clients
  • Has, and adheres to a clear and consistent method of working with their clients
  • Has a wide repertoire of consulting tools and frameworks they use appropriately and with confidence
  • Invests time to listen, gather data, understand the broader context of the presenting problem
  • Engages in a structured process of diagnosis and root cause analysis to get to the heart of the issue to be resolved and develops solutions that address these root causes rather than the surface / presenting problems
  • Taps in to their deep body of technical know-how to shape and develop practical and pragmatic solutions
  • Understands the fundamentals of change management and in particular the necessity for key stakeholders to be engaged and involved in the change process
  • Is disciplined and structured in the way they plan change and implementation – and remain disciplined and vigilant in the delivery of those action plans
  • Is collaborative in their approach to working both with consulting colleagues when working in consulting teams, and collaborative in their work with their clients
  • Is concerned to ensure that their clients are active participants in the change process
  • Recognises that benefits realisation is key to the success of the project and that benefits are both tangible and intangible, organisation wide and also personal to their clients and sponsors
  • Is flexible in their approach and methodology – not a slave to their methodology
  • Is inquisitive and open to new learning
  • Is business savvy
  • Is aware of and sensitive to the ‘dynamics’ of change processes – interplay

If you can help me improve this list do let me know.

My descriptions of the Beyond Good Consultant and the Great Consultant follow in the next blogs.

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