Companies planning to hire strategic planning consultants need to understand how they can get the best value or ROI during the strategic planning process. Management always wants consultants that are thorough, candid and who will be able to carry out a critical evaluation of the position of the business and make recommendations for the organization. They will help in planning and implementing change. Even the most ardent conservative managers rarely want consultants who will simply be agreeable and rubber stamp the status quo. They want to be told the truth on the position of the organization and where the organization needs to go.
During the strategic planning process, the consultants will work with the management in obtaining and also analyzing information in order to make smart business decisions that will give the organization a competitive edge. To do that requires developing a very deep understanding of the business including its processes, organizational culture, leadership, strengths and weaknesses, the market position of the organization and opportunities that could be exploited in order to drive its vision forward. There are plenty of things that you could expect from a strategic planning consultant. These include the following:
Providing a Process
The strategic planning consultant should provide the organization with proven and effective processes for analyzing and understanding the organization and its competitive position. They must also provide a method for developing solutions for the organization.
They Should Ask Challenging Questions
One of the reasons why organizations hire strategic consultants is that they want a rational and objective look at the systems, processes and market position. Strategic planning should never be a token process. It should be a process with a lot of integrity weaved into it. A good consultant will ask the management some of the tough and probing questions about the organization. It is these questions which will shed light on the organization’s current performance and help in formulating a strategic plan. The key issues for the organization should be exposed during the strategic planning process.