Harnessing the Power of Collaboration with Consulting Firms

Matt Matson
Matt Matson
Robert “Matt” Matson, Jr. is Vice President of Consulting at Hunter Business Gro
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Harnessing the Power of Collaboration with Consulting Firms

Companies often hire consulting firms because of their functional expertise and knowledge.  But client companies have deep industry experience.  With collaboration, that experience can be leveraged with consulting firms’ expertise and knowledge to produce exceptional solutions.  When shopping for a partner that can offer you that break through solution, consider consulting firms that embrace a collaborative approach to producing results.  While top consulting firms will tell you they have that deep industry experience to offer, they may miss disruptive solutions that the power of collaboration unleashes.  A focus on “the answer” to a four box paradigm does not necessarily produce new creative thinking that today’s companies need in order to thrive.

Here are a few ways to help your consulting firm help you when they use a collaborative approach to building solutions:

1)      Empower them to keep you on schedule.  Project and cost management are important skills that consulting firms bring to the table.  Let them manage the schedule and make sure that you deliver on the commitments that you make to keep it on schedule.
 
2)      Work in your workshops.  Consulting firms that embrace a workshop approach to collaboration on solutions expect your participants to be fully present.  Make sure that your workshop participants know they have been chosen for their expertise or contributions and that “multi-tasking” is a poor use of their talents in a workshop.  Check the laptops, smart phones and tablets at the door!

3)      Give them the data!  All too often only part of the data is communicated so a lot more time and effort is wasted in trying to piece meal together required information.  That’s time your consulting firm could be using to analyze your situation and develop some great new strategies to work on with you.

4)      Make sure they have appropriate executive sponsorship and access.  Don’t expect stellar results if the only time your consulting firm meets with executive management is at the project kick-off and final deliverable report out.  Milestones and “touch points” should be scheduled into the engagement so that early results can be checked against management experience and “straw man” solutions can be developed and tested along the way.

While some consulting just requires “answers,” more companies are expecting consulting firms to have facilitation skills to work collaboratively with their in-house teams.  Actively participating in the project with your consulting firm will produce a more robust solution that won’t sit on the shelf collecting dust.

What do you think?  Do you have any experiences where a collaborative approach with your consulting firm produced disruptive solutions?  

About the author

Matt Matson

Robert “Matt” Matson, Jr. is Vice President of Consulting at Hunter Business Group.  Matt is responsible for key client relationships, business development and client program management.  Matt’s experience includes over 25 years in engineering, sales management, business development, consulting and strategic marketing both in domestic and global markets.

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Guest
One Federal Solution Monday, 07 May 2018 · Edit

Very well explained, Thanks for sharing this knowledge. Good job.

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Guest Monday, 24 February 2020