What is occasionally said about consultants may be telling of how others perceive their work and usefulness:

(1)    A consultant is somebody who asks to borrow your watch in order to tell you the time

(2)    A consultant is that somebody who for fixing a machine problem charges 100 euros and a 20 center; 20 cents for knocking and 100 euros for knowing where to knock.

Such and similar sayings imply or suggest that a consultant must be adept at critical thinking, must know how to ask for information to gain useful company knowledge and must possess an array of techniques and tools together with capabilities of using them effectively.

From employing a consultant, a company would expect to have some potent cures to its problems and some worthwhile results. So that this is exemplified, some of the primary reasons for the commonest calls for consultancy services are cited below:

(a)    To identify and solve specific problems facing a business:
Here he is called to use his business acumen, to use well-established methodologies, and to utilize his analytical tools and techniques to uncover the root problems and provide appropriate solutions that best fit the particular client company.

(b)   To provide independent assessment and recommendations:
In some companies, internal politics and group interests would immobilize any improvement initiatives especially when leadership does not want to be seen as harming the interests of anybody. Here the consultant will assume responsibility for new proposals taking the weight on his own shoulders and will act as a vehicle and a catalyst for change.

(c)    To add time and expertize:
Sometimes, everyday pressures along with routine operations overwhelm management and deprive it of the time to deal with the long-term strategic issues. Other times the management team recognizes the need to have a certain type of expertize that is not found within the company. A consultant, by his employment, can add the time needed and, by his expertize, can help management deal with specialized needs and challenges in a fast and efficient way.

Deciding, however, to hire a consultant is not an easy decision even when that appears rational and very attractive. There are legitimate concerns such as:

I.            Can a particular consultant really deliver for the concerned company?

II.            Can he be trusted to get into the company, have access to a number of sensitive data and then walk away with them when later he
will place his services again in open demand?

III.            Will he, by his thoughts and actions, interfere with the culture or disturb the prevailing equilibrium of things in the company?

IV.            Will he raise new or “sleeping” issues that will unsettle the company and its staff?

That’s why to have a consultant or not to have (?) appears as a dilemma for many companies; they want to but at the same time hold back in fear of the new and its consequences.

But for most ailing companies to be as they are, to remain as they were is a prescription for slow steady demise. They need, and sometimes urgently, an expert hand to help them out of their problems and back to growth and prosperity.

So if your business does not want to remain stuck to a bare existence but wants instead to get unstuck and move forward, it is necessary for it to take measures to solve its problems and to this end employing a consultant may prove a well-calculated and a very positive move.

A consultant, leaving aside the people’s common sayings about him, has not a common job but rather a noble cause; to share his expertise and knowledge for making things better for the client company, its people, the society and of course the economy.


For those with further interest in the topic or in other management services: Panikos Sardos is the Managing Director of P&E Sardos Business Solutions Int., a management consulting firm that offers advisory services, coaching and training and can be reached by email: or telephone: +357 99640912, +357 24400884,