Advantages of Working with an External Consultant

 

When organisations adopt a collaborative approach to change management, there are many advantages to be gained in engaging an external consultant.  It is important, however, that the  consultant’s role in the organisational development process is negotiated with the management board and the organisation’s leaders.

 

  • An external consultant assists the leaders in the preparation of workshop sessions. In these sessions it is frequently difficult for a leader to be the facilitator of the Vision Setting and Planning sessions.  When a consultant conducts the sessions, the leader is able to contribute his/her ideas as a member of the group, rather than having to focus on controlling the group, keeping it on task, being distracted by the interpersonal interactions or keeping accurate records of the sessions.

 

  • Change processes are on-going and long-term and the consultant's role is to remind staff in the organisation of the stage they are at in the process.The on-going nature of the change process illustrates to the management and staff that organisational development and change are long term, not short term.  The staff are involved in a learning process, and realise that they are working in a learning organisation.  A learning organisation is one in which staff are constantly learning to develop and change with the changing needs of the clients.

 

  • The consultant's involvement helps to ensure the completion of follow-up tasks on agreed deadlines. When staff know that the consultant is returning on a particular date, it is an incentive to complete the tasks within a specified time-frame.  The on-going consultancy ensures the on-going implementation of the change strategies.

 

  • Working with the same consultancy group over an extended period allows for continuity for the management and staff. Since all parties know each other there is little time wasted from workshop to workshop in re-establishing rapport and expectations.

 

  • The external consultant can provide a ‘neutrality’ into the improvement process to ensure all issues are given a fair hearing in an objective manner with a wider industry experience.