Is Your Consultant Accountable, Objective and Shooting Straight? Five Hard Questions to Ask

By Andrew J. Birol, President, Birol Growth Consulting, Inc.

Consultants are often accused of regurgitating existing company knowledge and then providing top management with only the news they want to hear. While this occurs often enough to make most jokes about consultants both true and funny, what is a consultant’s ultimate duty to:

  • Tell the truth?
  • Deliver unpleasant news?
  • Be accountable for results?
  • Resign instead of going along for a lucrative but ineffective ride?

Superior clients know that the following questions are the right ones to ask and agree on with a consultant. Do you want the consultant to serve you or the company? When does objectivity become intolerable?

  1. Are you taking his or her advice?
  2. Is too much of his or her income derived from your account?
  3. Is the same consultant who previously recommended a program now responsible for providing or procuring goods or services required in the implementation phase?
  4. Does your consultant receive a commission from the vendors he recommends to you?
  5. Does he or she have a professional, emotional or financial stake in your firm’s success?

There is growing concern over the issue of accountability in the largely unregulated consulting industry. Self-policing is always preferable and works best when its a two-way street. If we all ask and answer the right questions truthfully, everyone will be better off in the long run.

Articles by Birol Growth Consulting are © copyrighted and all rights are reserved. However, articles may be reprinted with prior written consent if attribution is included as follows:

© Copyrighted by Andrew J. Birol, President of Birol Growth Consulting, who helps owners grow their businesses by growing their Best and Highest Use ®. Andy can be reached at (412) 973-2080, by email at abirol@andybirol.com, or on the web at www.andybirol.com.


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