Consultants are an integral part of the corporate world who bring business improvement, management modification, strategies related to information technology (IT) and long-term plans to the table. Consultancy is an umbrella term for a varied range of activities, of which management consultancy is a part.
If you want to become a management consultant, this blog will help you understand what is in store for you.
Who is a management consultant?
Management consultants are professionals who help organisations boost performance, maximise growth and solve issues that may hinder an organisation’s progress. Management consulting involves using business skills to provide objective and problem-solving advice. Management consultants operate by analysing an organisation’s existing problems and developing plans for improvement.
What does a management consultant do?
A management consultant serves as a catalyst for the changes, growth and profits that assist an organisation in moving towards set goals. The job role of a management consulting professional is as follows:
- A business is run with the help of a series of processes, which should be managed effectively and efficiently. These processes are vital to the company’s progress. A management consultant is responsible for facilitating the processes by:
- Solving problems;
- Identifying issues effectively;
- Advising on what actions to be taken;
- Implementing changes to improve performance.
- One of the primary responsibilities of a management consultant is to gather vital information. They are responsible for collating quality data by conducting interviews and surveys. This is an effective way to collect important information, since management consultants hold a neutral position within the organisation and can extract honest responses from internal as well as external stakeholders.
- Organisations are, more often than not, made up of a diverse crowd. It is essential to address the diversity in a way that conflicts are minimal. A management consultant ensures that a firm has a desirable atmosphere for employees to work, hence boosting their productivity.
- Management consulting professionals are also responsible for implementing training activities to improve the skills and efficiency of employees.
- The role of a management consultant includes a wide range of activities such as organisational strategising, operations management, competitive analysis, and human resource management.
How to become a management consultant?
Management consultants play an important role in the smooth functioning of operations in an organisation. This section will help you understand what you need to become a management consultant.
- Undergraduate degree, or equivalent higher education or relevant work experience;
- Common European Framework (CEF) Level B2 or equivalent.
- Skills required:
- Communication skills: this is an essential skill for management consultants as they need to communicate with employees, internal stakeholders as well as external stakeholders for contributing effectively to the organisation’s growth. Developing communication skills can help you enhance your personality and help in professional growth.
- Identifying priorities: management consultants, usually, have a lot on their plate. This is where the ability to prioritise comes in. When burdened with a large pile of tasks, management consultants should be able to decide which task holds precedence and move ahead accordingly.
- Listening skills: a major part of communication is listening; more so, because it is a two-way street. One of the primary responsibilities of a management consultant is to solve any issues that the organisation or clients might encounter. The best way to address an issue is to identify the root cause which can only be achieved by listening to the clients’ problems, asking questions and paying attention to the minute details.
- Judgement skills: a lot depends on the judgement capabilities of management consultants, since they are responsible for drawing strategies, enhancing productivity and ensuring an organisation’s growth. You are halfway there already if you have understood a problem and chosen the right approach to solving it. Here’s where judgement skills become critical to the cause.
- Ability to simplify: as a management consultant, you might encounter problems that are too simple or extremely complex. When addressing complex issues, ensure that you are simplifying the problem into smaller, comprehensible parts. It is important to strategise and approach the issue with a problem-solving outlook.
- Critical thinking skills: they encounter a string of issues, some of which need to be addressed immediately. In the face of a pressing issue, management consultants have to come up with effective solutions within a short period of time. Critical thinking skills help in exercising your problem-solving methods and implementing them efficiently.
- Open to learning: business consultants need to be aware of the various aspects of an organisation, starting from the strategy-building process to resource management techniques. While this knowledge is instrumental, it is not enough to sustain you in an industry. You should be open to learning along the way, as new business techniques are making their way to the front page of business dynamics.
- Discipline: discipline is an essential skill, irrespective of the industry or role. It helps you be organised in your professional life and also ensures that you think clearly in the face of adversity.
- People skills: when dealing with people is a crucial part of your responsibilities, it becomes imperative for you to acquire people skills. Management or strategy consulting professionals must possess impeccable people skills and should use these skills to help employees of an organisation deliver productive work.
- Motivation: there are two types of motivation – internal (self) and external. While internal motivation depends on the employees, external motivation plays a major role in boosting the confidence and productivity of individuals. A business consultant must have exceptional motivation skills as it contributes significantly to the growth of employees and the organisation.
What are the different types of management consulting careers?
Management consulting is a blanket term that is spread across various kinds of consulting. Below are the types of management consulting careers that you can take up:
- Strategy Consulting: strategic management is a crucial section of a firm that deals with churning out strategies that address various aspects. It is a top-level decision-making area of expertise, wherein detailed data analysis and market understanding is used to draw effective strategies and plans.
- Financial Advisory Consulting: financial management is one of the driving forces of an organisation. It contributes significantly to the decision-making process of a business and ensures that the company is constantly thriving to achieve goals.
- Operations Consulting: businesses run on operational activities; in fact, operations are a core part of a company’s functioning. Operations consulting is employed to ensure that operations are running efficiently and producing optimal results.
- Human Resources Consulting: people are the most valuable assets of an organisation; as a result, human resources consulting is becoming an increasingly popular career option. The responsibilities of a human resource consultant is:
- Employee training and development;
- Employee engagement and satisfaction;
- Identifying and retaining talent;
- Conflict resolution.
How much does a management consultant earn?
As advertised on payscale.com, the average annual salary of a management consultant is about £46,864. This may vary depending on your experience and the pay structure of management consulting firms.
If you are keen on making a career out of management consulting, then there are various options available. London School of Business and Finance (LSBF) offers an Online Global MBA (Management Consulting) course that covers topics ranging from strategic management to managerial finance.
This article was written by Meghdeep Patnaik and edited by Anisa Choudhary.
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