As a consultant, your recommendations will commonly initiate periods of change management at the organisations you consult for. During change management scenarios, sweeping change will permeate throughout the company, altering it to its very core.
Therefore, having a robust set of tools to call upon when driving change is essential in ensuring a consistent approach is followed.
Scenario planning builds in flexibility into planning when organisations are making long term strategic plans. With scenario planning, consultants and organisational leadership can deal better with significant alterations to a company’s way of doing things.
It allows organisations and consultants to approach change in a structured manner, and understand the major drivers of change.
It is important to the success of any consultation that you as the consultant/expert present realistic recommendations and set ambitious, but ultimately achievable objectives and goals.
Without your recommendations being properly implemented, change won’t happen in the way you envisaged, and it probably won’t be sustainable if it is indeed somewhat successful.
Operations management or operational delivery is the process of providing advice and guidance as part of a consulting project to improve an organisation’s operational performance.
So that recommendations are implemented to the letter of your plan, you will need to carefully advise on operational delivery or risk an organisation falling back into old habits.
An important part of this process is ensuring key elements in the value chain are focused on by the company. Changes need to become a key part of a company’s culture and become ingrained in the day-to-day functional business processes of the organisation. Otherwise, new policies can be ignored by frontline staff, as they prefer to go back to the old ways of doing things, which they are more comfortable with.
As a consultant proposing new strategic approaches, it is essential to be balanced in your approach and understand the risk level of potential strategies. You need to have clear-cut methods of understanding and portraying the significance of the risks a course of action presents.
Risk analysis models can help conceptualise and communicate risks to clients. Once you have a risk analysis model that you rely on, it’s important to think about the best way to communicate the risks you have determined to your clients.
The way you communicate risks informs the way your clients will react to them. If you’re blasé about risks, your client will tend to be blasé about them too. If you take certain risks too seriously and become crippled by inaction, this attitude will also rub off on your client’s attitude to risk.
It is important to neither underplay nor overplay the significance of the risk to the company. As a consultant, you want to give a balanced and neutral view, and try to avoid making recommendations with high-risk levels, or ensure you highlight where there is risk and make your recommendations clear.
When looking to understand the common factors that lead to business strategy success — understanding these is a major step towards cementing your reputation as a knowledgeable and reliable expert — it is worth considering these common cross-sector scenarios:
In 2020, with the far-reaching impacts of the global pandemic and the worldwide recession that has ensued, it’s more important to look forward than ever before. Navigating change means making smart long-term strategic decisions, and paving the way to a more robust and resilient company that will be able to ride out future storms with ease and confidence
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