What is consultant dependency ?

Have you ever felt like the consultant has become one of the staff? What about every morning meeting the consultant on the stairs?
Have you had the comment made "What does our consultant recommend on this one?"

These are signs of dependency

There has been a large number of business consultants injecting themselves into the business sector during the 1990's as a result of the drastic "middle management cleansing". This was the result of the early days of user pays and flattened management philosophies.

The heady days of rebuilding after the share market crash of the late 1980's made life for consultants very easy. Companies had restructured, downsized or rightsized depending on your conscience. Staffing levels in most cases were below the minimum sustainable level for long term profitability and growth. This allowed a large number of professionals to enter the market. Often with package solutions to corporate problems purchased off the shelf overseas. (Onsold here at great cost). A lot of fingers were burnt. When the package solution market dried up, the consultants the majority of who had little or no academic theory and credentials to fall back on, started to look for ways of staying in business.

These are the ones you met in the corridors and the stairwells. "The Dependants"

Today there are waves of new consultants flowing across the corporate sector some of whom are wet with university enthusiasm, great theoretical understanding but no experience. Others still arrive on the corporate doorstep with packages tried in the 80's and in the 90's but cleverly disguised as the new way to do business. They are easy to spot.

When engaging a consultant you must check credentials, experience, make sure you like the person. A good consultant is a real benefit to your company. They do bring experience usually ideas tried and proven in a wide range of circumstances and company environments. They are cheaper than employing someone full time, you can get rid of them and they don't require employment contracts or agreements.
The most important aspect of engaging a consultant is to have a clear start and finish to the contract. Failure to confine the contract is where dependency starts and your "new staff member" signs on.

" A good consultant should always leave the client skilled and able to deal with the problem should it arise again in the future"

Murray Dixon

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