The consulting business provides a mix of management consulting and mentoring. What does it take for effective consulting? A combination of business and people skills. The business skills can range from accounting, sales, production, marketing, and the people skills include leadership, communication and team building. Experts are sometimes contracted where the area is specialised.
What is Management Consulting?
“Management consulting is the practice of helping organizations to improve their performance, primarily through the analysis of existing organizational problems and development of plans for improvement. Organizations may draw upon the services of management consultants for a number of reasons, including gaining external (and presumably objective) advice and access to the consultants’ specialised expertise.
As a result of their exposure to and relationships with numerous organizations, consulting firms are also said to be aware of industry “best practices”, although the transferability of such practices from one organization to another may be limited by the specific nature of situation under consideration.
Consultancies may also provide organizational change management assistance, development of coaching skills, technology implementation, strategy development, or operational improvement services. Management consultants often bring their own proprietary methodologies or frameworks to guide the identification of problems, and to serve as the basis for recommendations for more effective or efficient ways of performing work”
What is Mentoring?
Wikipedia says there are a number of definitions, but the one from Bozeman and Feeney 2007 quoted is.
“Mentoring is a process for the informal transmission of knowledge, social capital, and the psychosocial support perceived by the recipient as relevant to work, career, or professional development; mentoring entails informal communication, usually face-to-face and during a sustained period of time, between a person who is perceived to have greater relevant knowledge, wisdom, or experience (the mentor) and a person who is perceived to have less (the protégé)”
Effective consulting often is mix of the two. One can lead people and manage processes and in many businesses, the owners try to manage the people.