Are you spending a fortune on management consultants? Here’s how to kick the habit…


James Cumming

Managing Director

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It seems that every business leader I talk to uses Management Consultancies during their change programmes, but none of them seem happy with the service, the solution they implement or the cost.

Change management has never been so important, companies are having to constantly recalibrate because of market changes, new CEO appointments and disrupters entering established industries.

The big 6 management consultancies still win most of the work as they can quickly come in with the strategy and the resource to get things moving quickly.

They give you access to:

  • A wide range of resources that have been proven to work.
  • Commercially minded leaders, who run the consultancy -which your business can benefit from.
  • A range of case studies, as well as good analytic skills to your business.

Why people get frustrated:

  • Their solution is typically ‘off the shelf’; what works in theory doesn’t always work in practice.
  • Consultants can persuade clients that solutions are overly complex – which means they stay for longer than needed and costs escalate quickly.
  • The senior leaders come in to sell the solutions, then you are left with junior consultants to do the work – who lack experience but are often still charged at significant day rates.

Can interim management be an effective solution to some of these issues?

This is a broad subject, in my (totally biased!) opinion interims can provide a cost-effective solution:

  • They are cost effective – normally half a consultancy cost and with significantly more experience of making things work.
  • They are impartial – they are brought in to do a job and that’s what they focus on. They have no interest in making issues complex or increasing resource levels.
  • They are normally senior and experienced executives -they are strategic but can also roll their sleeves up to do the work.
  • They will remain loyal to your business objectives and not a consultancy’s.

There are challenges when hiring teams of interims, you need to make sure that you hire the right people and that they work together as a team.

The good news is that steps can be taken to significantly reduce that risk, in the form of a robust process specifically tailored for hiring Interim Executives. We’ve written a guide on how to successfully hire Interim Executives.

You can view more about James Cumming our people change and business transformation specialist here and email him on [email protected]

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