Management consultants are highly trained professionals who provide strategic advice to help organizations improve their financial and operational health. They specialize in a wide range of activities, such as competitive analysis, corporate strategy, operations management, and human resources. To become a certified management consultant, you can obtain a qualification from the Institute of Management Consultants USA. Management consultants can work for consulting firms on a salary basis or be self-employed.
After World War II, several new management consulting firms emerged, bringing an analytical approach to the study of management and strategy. Management consulting is different from executive training and coaching. To build a successful career in the management consulting profession or rise beyond your current consulting role, you need to understand what management consultants actually do. They usually have extensive knowledge of different business strategies and corporate structures, so they often help to gain qualifications in business or economics.
Management consulting work generally requires extensive travel, a lot of time with clients, and even a lot of additional time to process and analyze the work, even when not with clients. Very often the client needs more help in defining the real problem; in fact, some authorities argue that executives who can accurately determine the roots of their problems do not need management consultants at all. In recent years, management consulting firms actively recruit top graduates from Ivy League universities, Rhodes Scholars, and students from top MBA programs. Consultancies provide assistance for organizational change management, training skills development, process analysis , technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services.
Client managers should understand the need for a consultant to explore a problem before starting to resolve it and should realize that the definition of the most important problem may change as the study progresses. The mindset you have for this type of work is fundamental for success in management consulting. While most common management consulting jobs require a degree as a minimum requirement, not all consulting jobs require a college degree. For example, a management consultant in the healthcare industry can find ways to improve patient care levels, while a management consultant working in construction can find ways to improve staff retention levels on construction projects.