The relationship between a client and a consultant is one of transformation. When you embark on a transformative journey, it is natural to experience conflict. There will be times when the consultant does not meet expectations, and times when the client does not perform as expected. I have had some of the most difficult conversations with customers about their team's lack of performance.
Honest dialogue and conversation can only take place when both parties trust each other. Mutual trust allows both parties to bring their best selves to the table, regardless of the situation. It also helps to bridge any gaps in approach or philosophy, ensuring continued success. Michael Johnson, CEO of Bridgepoint, recently shared useful insights in Consulting Magazine on how to foster effective and lasting client-consultant relationships.
A strong client-consultant relationship allows a business leader to feel comfortable calling on the consultant for help with problems that are not related to the current project, as they trust them as a partner. To be an effective consultant and trusted advisor, there must be synergy between the client and consultant. Finally, it is important to note that the give-and-take dynamic between a client and consultant is a choice. As I look back on my career, I can identify moments where a strong relationship between client and consultant enabled me to better serve my clients.
In conclusion, attempting to find the right consultants for the wrong reasons is likely to lead to a failed hire.