First, let's talk about what management consulting is. Essentially, it is a service where a company hires an expert to evaluate its operations, identify opportunities for improvement, and recommend solutions. Sounds simple enough, right? But here is the thing: Most of the advice consultants give can be found in books, articles and online resources. Most of the information consultants provide is not unique or proprietary. Another problem with the industry is the lack of accountability. It is not uncommon for consultants to make grandiose promises about the results they can achieve for a company and then fail to deliver. And because consulting engagements are usually short-lived, companies have little recourse when things do not go as planned.
In addition, many consultants focus on short-term gain, so they recommend quick fixes that are not sustainable in the long run and could even harm the company. Perhaps the biggest problem in the traditional management consulting industry, however, is the exorbitant fees companies pay for these services. It is not uncommon for consulting firms to charge hundreds of thousands of dollars for a few weeks of work. And in many cases, the value companies receive for this investment is questionable at best.
In summary, the traditional business consulting industry is not what it claims to be. While there may be some benefit to hiring a consultant, it is important to make the decision with a healthy dose of skepticism.