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Are consultants just blaggers?

#1 Are consultants just blaggers?
09/01/2008 19:20


I'm beginning to get very disillusioned with business consulting. I work in an advisory practice and it seems to me that the people who are accelerating through the business from Manager level above are not those with any real technical insight or experience but are those who have the best "consulting toolkit". That is, that they are able to draw up a project plan and manage people along it. I can see the value of this but, if I was a client, I'd hire them as project managers. In my opinion, most of the "performance improvement" or "transformation" consultants have no content knowledge!

I see SAP consultants advising on SAP and Psychologists advising on selection/assessment and Accountants advising on financial services and can see value in this. But, the majority of consultants seem to be in a role simply because they are more driven than the client and get through the project plan quicker.

This is all well and good but, where I am, no other skills are recognised.

Just wondered if anyone else has found this and whether you think that this really is THE most important role for consultants?

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#2 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
09/01/2008 20:40

Yes to D (#1)

That was an extremely accurate description of what consultants do nowadays...if you want to progress just do the same..

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#3 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
09/01/2008 20:46

yes to Yes (#2)

Of course. The vast majority of consultants are trading off a very shallow base of skills.

Its not just technical content they lack though. The sector experts make me laugh. Reading the Economist or having an article in the FT does not make you a specialist

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#4 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
09/01/2008 21:33

Twix a Week to yes (#3)

Many are seduced into consulting by the prestige and money. They earn more than most early in their careers but then they experience an epiphany (usually about 4 years in). They realise their peers in industry have caught them up and even shot ahead.

Doctors, Lawyers and Bankers earn more than consultants right from the start.

After 5 years Accountants, Oil & Gas Engineers and Solicitors earn more.

The difference between consulting and all these other professions is that consulting just gives you generalist skills while all the others give you very specific skills. All the other professions could become consultants but it is much harder for consultants to move into the other professions.<br>

So is it all bullsh*t?? Well Mostly.

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#5 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
09/01/2008 21:49

aNon to Twix a Week (#4)

Quick! Put this thread on the top shelf where it belongs. I don't want any grads reading this.

What would we do with no PP monkeys??

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#6 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
09/01/2008 23:04

ZB to aNon (#5)

This is a very salient point. The consulting profession has in effect become so commoditised that in effect all they do is project manage big transformation programme, but ask them anything about the industry they are working in they know nothing. Technically and intellectually most are very poor.

Sector knowledge and thought leadership should insightful, thought provoking and at the forefront of commercial decisions. Most consultant know nothing about this.

As you know i'm not a big fan of ACN SI/SAP/ Project Manager charletons and they are plenty who hog this forum. All those IT technocrats bang on about business process optimisation, operational efficiency but they nothing about this in the context of the environment in which they working: it all apriori type thinking.


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#7 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
10/01/2008 09:10

mac to ZB (#6)

Interesting that people have such insulated self esteem.

Shouldn't you be referring to 'we', rather than 'they'?!

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#8 Are consultants just blaggers?
11/01/2008 16:50

Marco to mac (#7)

I am a 30 years hold Professor/Researcher in a Business School in Paris holding a PhD in HRM/cross-cultural management. I am thinking about working in a company for 5-10 years and then coming back to the academic career. I was wondering where I could learn more in terms of management: in one of the big five or in a large multinational in the industry or services ? What do you think about the value of my PhD in consultancies ? thanks

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#9 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
11/01/2008 17:13

D to ZB (#6)

ZB, before you mock others for being intellectually inferior, I suggest you improve your spelling.

charleton= charlatan

apriori= a priori

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#10 RE: Are consultants just blaggers?
16/01/2008 09:53

grad to D (#9)

well, that's depressing.

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