<br><br>My view of 'Consultancy' is that the definition HAS been stretched too far. I think the whole area (and wider ?) needs re-defining and that the IMC, or European/International equivalent should take the initiative and manage the debate, via consensus arrive at an 'agreed' range of definitions to help the industry (and suppliers and customers) understand what 'consultants' are and do. (N.B. Try not to be overly influenced by the 'Big 5' and take also the views of academics, forward thinkers, visionary business leaders - who may NOT work for the big firms - James Dyson, Stephanie Shirley, Anita Rodick Trevor Bayliss, and many many more who work against the inertia of 'current' convention.)
<br><br>What I mean by this encapsulates a number of wide and far reaching trends that are now affecting all sectors of business (see Charles Handy's 'The Age of Unreason' and other similar publications):-
<br><br>- the business environment is very fast changing (too fast to cope with ?), the government structures and systems (tax, regulations, red-tape, attitudes, etc.) lag far behind and hinder smooth development.
<br><br>- society has changed and is changing with needs and demands on greater flexibility in work conditions, education/training/development - we need pools of transient skilled, specialist labour which is constantly being up-dated.
<br><br>- we need data/information/analysis/intelligence/knowledge constantly up-dated, instantly available and accurately customerised to MY requirements - to understand customers and their current/future real needs, resources (in the widest sense - money, people, time, etc.), market, technologies, constraints (laws, regulations, etc.) and ethics.
<br><br>- we need to be able to initiate, foster and accelerate the development of information, intelligence and ideas. We need all the people to be ideas generators and we need those ideas to get to the decision makers so that better, informed decisions are made better and quicker across business and society.
<br><br>- we need much more consensus decision making with a new form of leadership to engender the above. We need subsidiarity, good delegation and mutual trust throughout organisaitons.
<br><br>- yes, of course we need technology, efficient production, quality products and services, etc., but these relatively 'hard' aspects of business are well developed (but there is still much more to do) and the relatively 'soft' aspects mentioned above are far more difficult to understand and tackle. Now is the time (in fact 20 years ago was really the time !) to really make an effort.
<br><br>'Consultants' or something like consultants - external advisors, interim managers, contract helpers, subject specialists, change managers, CRMers, etc. - are probably the initiators of all this.
<br><br>I hope some of these ideas help.