A big problem in assessing the value of business consultants, and this also applies to the evaluation of all employees involved in business advancement or even more broadly management and organization of business (influencers), is that these are multidisciplinary branches, and there are many factors and parameters at play that make a great difference between qualities and qualities. What are the main criteria for selecting a consultant, or what is important and necessary for the consultant to have in order to perform the consultancy work in the best possible way?
Of course, a huge number of criteria can be considered because the requirements of a consulting job are very large, but the 4 main criteria that best indicate what kind of consultant you want to hire (or the manager you want to hire) are selected. Those are:
What does it mean for a consultant to have knowledge? In addition to being a consultant who helps clients improve their business, they must also have a specialty. Something he's particularly good at, an area he covers really well. For example, to compare the consulting profession with the doctor's, which is not the happiest comparison, it requires a broader knowledge of, for example, the fields of internal medicine, infectious diseases, ear, throat and the like (and not the specialty of surgeon or anesthetist). The bottom line is that a business consultant must have a broad knowledge of various areas of business as well as small and large organizations in general. After all, knowledge is one of the key factors why a consultant is hired. But like other criteria, knowledge is only: "A necessary but not sufficient condition", and in the opinion of clients is not the most important.
Whenever there is some practical discipline where the result is important, the skill of performing comes to the fore. Consulting, training, facilitation, interactive workshops with employees are a job where people work, and successful work with people is a skill that must be constantly practiced and perfected. Ask professional athletes how many tens of thousands of hours have they invested so far? This is the feature that most distinguishes real consultants from lecturers, "educators". Professor's knowledge is theoretical, static, it is a noun. The consultant is more concerned with understanding, what is dynamic, what is process and what is verb. Knowledge is when a professor teaches a student to fish (someone else's knowledge). Understanding is to teach him to fish, so he catches a fish for himself (his knowledge).
The definition of competence is - the ability to produce a result. Do what you do effectively, with as little effort and expense as possible, but with maximum effect, to be the best possible result. How does one become capable? Competence means that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to do a job, but much more is needed. This term should be related to motivation, so if we say that motivation is the "will to achieve result", then all this together is necessary for one to be capable. Ability is best trusted through results, both early successes and current performance. Through this characteristic, which unites everyone else, the difference between theorists and practitioners is best noticed. For example, did a sports professor ever spend his entire life behind a desk, no matter how many doctorates he had, for a coach at a football club? Also, would you rather let your child be treated by professor who has read and written thousands of books, or a doctor who has successfully cured thousands of patients?
This is a trait that can also be presented as personal morality, respect for ethical norms of behavior in the profession. It can also be presented as a spiritual quality of personality, or as a quality of humanity. Here we go into uncharted waters, because until recently this feature was not discussed. In fact, it was questioned by contacting previous clients and in direct communication with them discovering what it was like to work with that consultant. Interestingly, this feature is actually of the utmost importance to clients. Neither knowledge, nor skill, nor competence for the client are as important as trustworthiness. This means complete honesty and openness and, if necessary, opposition to the client, if it is for his own good. In most companies, especially the larger ones, the bureaucratic hierarchy of self-survival automatism most often favors the superior and is unwilling to say NO when needed. The consultant is there to, if necessary, clearly and loudly say NO and point out hidden problems and irregularities.
Special tip to see through the false influencers:
Recently I saw a tweet from @Shattered_Earth and it says:
‘’When rando ‘’influencers’’ ask me for free merch I always propose my offer.
They can buy what they want and I’ll give them a coupon code for them to post. If the code is used at least 10 times in 30 days I will refund their entire purchase + shipping
No one ever takes me up on it’’