WHY USE MANAGEMENT ADVISORS?
© 2013 Usman A. Ghani
Management Advisors are highly professional, untiringly developmental, and distinctly value conscious people. So are also people in management; they have been to similar educational institutions, take on a career approach, and desirous of increasing their effectiveness. Then why use management advisors? There are many reasons for this but before we scan these, let us elaborate a little on the differences in the two types of professionals – management and advisors – who engage in a variety of activities and tasks.
Client leaders and organizations have expectations of management advisors that are different than those of their own employees and experts. These differences are in the nature of relationship, scale and scope of engagement, and the evaluation of outcomes.
NATURE OF RELATIONSHIP
Employees, experts, and internal consulting staff are permanent. They are designated corporate roles that grow along with their remunerations and success record. Management advisors are neither employed by the client nor permanently attached to their organizations in any way. Their affiliation is more limited as to what advisors can and cannot do for client leaders or for their organizations. Advisors are also time bound in their engagements by a project or set of projects with objectives and resources specified at the outset.
SCALE AND SCOPE OF ENGAGEMENT
Organizational members undertake a wide variety of tasks, participate with different budgets, and live to contribute internally, rising to higher levels as they experience a variety of roles in their careers. They have an internal developmental and succession plans to build their careers on. In contrast, the scale and scope of engagement with management advisors is specific and monitored. It is circumscribed to a specific mandate (project scope), a stipulated budget (fee schedule), and a specified timeline (weeks or months). These are defined in contractual agreements between the two; advisors must fully subscribe to these.
EVALUATION OF OUTCOMES
Internal folks have annual development plans and appraisals that reward them and identify steps for their growth over time. They are coached, mentored, trained, and tested in a host of internal organizational initiatives and tasks. Their remunerations are in terms of salaries, benefits, etc. that are adjusted in accordance with their growth in scale of tasks taken on and scope of their future organizational potential. Management advisors commit to metrics of their assessable value to the client leaders and organization. These indicate what ‘meaningful advancement’ for the client is attributed to advisors’ service. Clients are not obligated to develop the advisors they engage with, but their evaluation of advisors goes a long way into the reputation of advisors, and in building relationships with specific advisory service.
|Given our vast experience in advisory service, we have faced several reasons for clients to engaging management advisors. These are mostly due to the disciplined consulting process which provides a way to complement and supplement the activities of management (see A Random Sample of Activities in WHAT MANAGEMENT ADVISORS DO) and bring about a change. This change occurs usually in the improvement of the client’s working methods or the organization’s performance; usually both as these are often mutually linked.On the right is a random listing of reasons we have been hired as management advisors. While not exhaustive, this list provides a sense of what is gained by the client through our advisory service.These reasons can be categorized in various ways, the client and advisors engage in projects:o Expert v. facilitator roleo Knowledge v. discovery sharingo Prescriptive v. emergent stanceo Proprietary method v. public domaino Short-term v. long-term impacto Subject-specific v. process-specific facilitationo Etc.While ConfluentC addresses a variety of advisory needs of client leaders and organizations, we emphasize starting with a range of exploratory questions. These ensure that we are sharing perceptions and nurturing a trusty dialogue. This goes a long way intobuilding a lasting relationship with leaders and organizations, regardless of whether we take on a project or recommend other experts or advisory groups for the specified need. Our aim at ConfluentC is to provide most relevant and whole service that will advance the cause of our client.||
WHY USE MANAGEMENT ADVISORS?
A Random List of Reasons