What Is the Most Important Competence of a Successful Management Consultant?

2002 Words Oct 24th, 2011 9 Pages

The management of a consulting project calls on a variety of skills. This is an actuality that has been stressed throughout the course lectures, seminars and cases as well as throughout the course literature. The fact that consultants must integrate their skills when conducting a consulting project is as clear-cut as it is evident.

But if no skill can be used in isolation from the others, is there such a thing as a most important competence of a successful management consultant?

In order to find an answer to the question stated above, this term paper will draw on the content of course 611 Management Consulting, including lessons learnt from company visits and guest lectures. I will start off by listing the three
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I will then argue that relationship-building skills are what matters, largely due to the fundamental features of the consulting services. Furthermore, I show how relationship-building skills increase in importance as the consultant climbs the career ladder, how these skills increase the consultant’s powerbase within both the client and consultant firm, and how these skills serve as the basis for promotion.

By looking at the recruitment process, one can easily see that the analysis skill is expected to essentially already be in place. By mainly recruiting graduates from business and engineering schools, a self-selection of candidates with analytical skills precedes the consultant firm’s screening. Furthermore, many consulting firms base their choice of candidates on grades, arguing that one cannot have great analytical skills while having low grades in statistics and finance. Supporting the belief that analysis skills are essentially in place when the employees enter the firm is the fact that new recruits initiate their careers as analysts before being promoted to consultants.
Hence, the analysis skill can be thought of as a necessary hygiene-factor, but not as a driver for success.

A similar reasoning is applicable to the project management skills: they are necessary, but not the basis for advancement. These skills are not expected to already be in place, but they are expected to be acquired along

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