At the Winnipeg Ostomy Association meeting last night a dietician was the guest speaker. He went beyond the basics to describe the building blocks of the various forms of fuel for the body, some of the common misnomers and falsehoods about certain requirements. As much as there are standard portions for body size there are so many cautions provided because each person is different.
In addition to body size used to determine portion size and inputs for the various fuels, known as calories, (alcohol, sugar, fat and protein), type of surgery (type of ostomy), other disease (cancer) or ailments (diabetes) all became important factors to fine tune one’s diet for optimal input and performance.
As I listened to him talk about guidelines for eating healthy by following the Canada Food Guide I substituted Management Consultant for Dietician.
A great consultant should use a guide such as a standard process or set of diagnostic tools based on the consulting engagement and client needs. However, there is not a one size fits all for any advisory service provided. We need to be cognizant of so many factors, including but not limited to the:
- financial state of company
- strength of the customer base
- direct industry competitors
- indirect competitors for a share of the customer’s wallet
- strength of leadership team
- belief in and living the mission and values of the company on a regular basis
Assessing the importance and impact of each of these factors is necessary to determine what specifically needs to be adjusted to gain performance improvement in the company or with certain individuals. The objective assessment provided by the dietician and the consultant are critical success factors. Self-diagnosis, especially in the Google age where people search for answers to everything, can very often lead to a quick fix that isn’t the right fix and long-term pain or problems ensue.
It makes no sense to identify a huge market opportunity for a company if they can never increase production to meet the new capacity requirements or if they do not have a distribution channel in the new market. A trusted advisor is confident that their outcomes provide the value the client needs across the organization. We do not just say what the client wants to hear.
If we say things are fine, and their corporate health is not, then that is malpractice. Prescription without proper diagnosis is also malpractice. If you are not operating at this level of advisory services then you are not really providing management consulting, you are probably doing contract work on a term basis to assist a client get out of a jam.
And there is nothing wrong with this.
Just as with dieticians who fight people’s own diagnosis, management consultants have to be technically sound and able to provide the level of advice and guidance to help address the problem and correct the causes so the issue is not repeated in the future.
You can get your calories from many sources and some are not as healthy for you in the long run and more and different problems may arise.
Fixing the wrong business problem may look good in the short-term but not provide the sustained growth and improvement in sales, profits and people performance because the real problem still exists.
While it is important to advocate for yourself in a medical setting, and you do know a lot about your business, you cannot read the label from the inside of the bottle in either situation. I will endorse the Certified Management Consultant as the professional to choose because we look across the organization to identify the impacts of certain actions in one area onto the entire company. You wouldn’t go to a “Tim Horton’s Dietician”; you know the person that says “I know exactly what you should do so let me buy you a coffee and I’ll tell you”. No, you want to go to a registered dietician. The same concept holds for consultants. Do you want someone who practices under provincial legislation, has continuing professional development requirements each year and also upholds a Code of Ethics? Of course you do! Hire a CMC. Full disclosure – I am a CMC.
There needs to be a fit with your advisor, whether on the personal medical side or the corporate performance side. You need to trust the advice and take the appropriate steps if you want to improve.
If you don’t want to be healthy then simply maintain that Big Mac and cola diet, or turn a blind eye to poor sales performance and continual client defections.
In both cases you won’t be around much longer. But hey, that’s your choice. There are better options if you want to have better results.
Now, make sure to eat your fruits and veggies.