When consultants and clients clash?

The consulting team that the Statler Group sent Kellogg to, apart from skills or lack of them, is not sufficiently staffed to carry out its work. Royce Kellogg, the executive director, has described the situation to consultants in a way that his field interviews reveal is not accurate. And as Ludwig hurriedly took the consultants out of his office, Barlow had the feeling that his distracted promise to answer any other question at a more convenient time was just a way to get rid of them. The success of re-entry depends entirely on demonstrating to a very skeptical Kellogg that Statler has first-level consultants at all levels.

Kellogg has several valid complaints about consultants, but unless you're willing to fire them right away, there's no point in insisting on criticism. Then I had to ease the doubts of Greg Masters, who wanted to know why he hadn't been consulted about mythical changes in the organization chart. This fictional case study explores the issues surrounding the relationships between consultants and their clients, as well as the dynamics of a newly merged organization. He also remembered the flash of irritation he felt when he realized that he wouldn't hire the Statler consultants he had originally met.

Charles Fombrun is professor of management and director of the Stern Management Consulting Program at New York University's Stern School of Business. I have the impression that the original proposal prepared by the Statler Group was a one-dimensional document that listed the tasks that the consultants would perform and the products they would offer. I also suggest that Kellogg explain to his management team why he launched the initial consulting task and that he ask them for help to change their approach. And while he had never approached a merger before, six years of successful consulting experience told him that the task would consist mainly of comparing two sets of policies in detail and then contacting the relevant managers.

Jim Roussos, a junior consultant with two years at Statler, would work with her, as he learned in that initial telephone conversation. But it's unforgivable that their outside consultants have accepted such a poorly thought out task.

Léo Poitevin
Léo Poitevin

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