Over the last several years, due to the rise in competition, introduction of new technologies, changes in the business environment and the growing demand for expertise and skills that are not available, many companies have approached consulting firms in Israel and requested their services. In parallel, we are witnessing many events where, after hiring a consulting firm, companies are left with impractical researches and unused theoretical strategic plans. Assuming that you conducted a professional selection process that includes reviewing the consulting firm work methodology, there is no reason why such an absurd situation should occur. In the following article, we will provide you a better understanding of the role of a consulting firm in Israel and some insight that will help you better utilize the unique capabilities such a firm may offer.
Common factors in ineffective engagement with a consulting firm in Israel
Consulting firms in Israel operate in a complete correlation with other various professionals and employ a qualified workforce. Consulting firms usually specialize in different markets and sectors such as industry, hi-tech, biotech, services, financial institutes, agriculture, defense, government and more. Moreover, consulting firms specializes in different processes and disciplines such as business strategy, operation, business development, marketing and sales, human resources, technology, mergers and acquisitions and more. These different specializations are offered to companies in order to help decision makers handle business challenges and from objective and professional point of view.
The typical consulting process can be divide into three stages:
analyzing stage – during this initial stage, the consulting firm analyzes the market and the operation of the company and diagnoses the company’s challenges and opportunities;
Strategy formulating stage – based on the initial stage, the consulting firm, together with the leaders and managers of the company, prepare strategic recommendations as well as business and operative plans;
implementation stage – this is the most crucial stage, where the consulting firm helps the company with the execution of the recommendations and measure its effectiveness.
It is the combination of the three stages that create the full value of the consulting process to the company. Any partial work will lead to partial results.
Important factors for effective work
Mandate scope and goals
Consulting firms, mainly those with rich experience, hold the knowledge and experience regarding wide range of business challenges and their possible solutions, familiar with the local and global markets and provide an objective perspective regarding managemental and organizational issues. Contacting a consulting firm in order to perform a single activity, such as market research, might lead to insufficient results for the company. Without involving the consulting firm in the broader aspects of the business challenge, the company will miss the full value that consulting firms can provide.
Commitment to execution
Consulting firms do their best to make sure that the relevant stakeholders are involved and that the recommendations are practical and match the company’s execution capabilities. Nevertheless, considering cultural and human factors such as organizational politics and insufficient resources for implementation, sometimes necessary changes are will not implemented.
If you have decided to contract a consulting firm, you should inform all the relevant stakeholders in your organization, get the executives and other employees involved in the process and explain the rationale behind this engagement. Sometimes, employees and managers might feel threatened by a foreign entity that is ‘testing’ their performance. As a result, they might distort reality or not cooperate thus, damage the quality of the process. Preparation will reduce the chance for opposition and will allow a successful cooperation in the future.
Strike while the iron is hot, changes happens by doing. By the end of the consulting process, you will have practical initiatives that can be implemented immediately. Postponing the implementation might result in a negative psychological effect and the process may perceived as a waste of time – especially among those who were involved in the process. In order to proceed effectively to the implementation stage, you should pre-approve a budget that will allow, with the support of the consulting firm, immediate implementation of the recommendations. This step will provide significant value for the organization, will be visible in the near future as well as propel the following steps of the implementation process.
Determining usage of new management tools and know how
In many cases, consulting firms will provide their clients with tools that will be valuable for the long run. Namely, the consulting firm will support handling short term challenges while creating the foundation for proper handling future challenges by implementing effective methods, tools and methodologies.
However, many managers and employees incline to return to old work/thinking patterns, the same patterns that ultimately created the challenges with which the company confronted prior to the consulting process. An effective solution to this phenomenon will be defining a leading manager as change leader / champion, responsible to oversee that the organization is implementing changes and cope with new challenges by using tolls and methods taught by the consulting firm.