Advance Updates

Consulting Skills Are Now Essential In Business

Twenty years ago consulting skills were the exclusive domain of professional consultants. Today, consulting skills are the new business 101. They belong to everyone in business and have become essential for getting results in today’s complex web of people, organizations, and business relationships.

Three factors are very much at the heart of this shift:

Flatter Organizations

People working in the traditional consulting skills are the new business 101hierarchical organizations of yesteryear derived their power largely from their positions. Decisions and approvals went up and down the chain and people worked in their departments with their defined authorities. Over the past two decades the need to influence effectively replaced positional power and authority. The world of consultants, who never had positional power or defined authority in the first place, became the world of everybody. 

More Complex Jobs

Changing organizations, new technology, and the trend toward globalization turned up the heat to do things better, faster, and cheaper. (See Thomas Friedman’s “The World is Flat.”) As that happened, transactional jobs, and the transactional business relationships that went with them, were replaced by complex jobs and the need for deeper partnering relationships. Therefore, work became more than just getting it done. How people communicated, interacted, and worked together became paramount. Now we must clearly show value or we’re out – nothing new for consultants.

Shift From Products to Solutions

Clients now demand more focused attention, whether they are internal or external. Similarly, off-the-shelf products have given way to custom solutions, which in turn drives the need for people with divergent skills to collaborate effectively. Again, consultants have always had to blend with and adapt to others, make teams work, and optimize group outcomes.

We All Need to Work Like Consultants

Who could have predicted that in the new world everybody has to be a consultant and would benefit from consulting skills training? Visit our Consulting Skills page to explore options for advancing your team’s consulting skills, including workshops, customization, blended delivery, and Consultant Development Programs. Or, contact us for a no-obligation consultation.

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Topics:Consulting CompetenciesEnterprise of the FutureSoft SkillsTransformational Change