Now for the buyer's perspective.
As management consultants we're usually asked either to
(1) help solve a problem or (2) assess a business
opportunity, sometimes both. Our corporate clients
frequently believe that what's needed for either purpose is
to first develop some credible information that is currently
So far so good. We dutifully craft an approach to identifying exactly what
information is needed, developing it, and painting an accurate picture of the problem
or opportunity of interest. In all modesty, we're very good at this process, having
exercised it successfully many times over two+ decades.
But here's the
funny thing: The ultimate solution to the problem or the valuation of the
business opportunity often rests with the client's internal operations. And
there is always a correlation between the degree of internal change required and the
likelihood that the information we develop will fail to produce the desired result.
Furthermore, the internal dynamics - whether political or simply organizational - are
often clear to us at the start of the process.
I suppose it's just human nature. People have blind spots. They are inevitable.
Folks think they are able and willing to accommodate just about any required change
to achieve business success. But they are usually mistaken. Wishing doesn't make it
so. The real impediments to success - the real problems - often exist inside an
organization, not outside in the marketplace.
So how are we to accommodate human
nature? Quite simply. Always recognize the internal situation while you evaluate an
external opportunity. Don't get too far out ahead of your ability to execute.
We always want to understand the "whys" of any prospective
engagement along with the client's operational strengths and limitations before we
begin. It works for us. It can work for you, too.