The role of a consultant is an interesting one which leads to involvement in varied and wide ranging work including business strategy and planning, process analysis, change management, leadership development, and improving organisational effectiveness

What kind of thing should you be able to expect from your Consultant though?  How much can they really help?  I’ve been reading through the latest edition of Peter Block’s Flawless Consulting – an incredibly useful for book for self reflection on the approaches available.  Block references the early work of Edgar Schein who identified three roles a consutlant can take … the Expert, the Extra Pair of Hands or the Collaborator… which got me thinking about the role that I tend to play when working with people.

I concluded that actually I do a little of all three with different clients or at different stages of the contract. I can think of one client where I have taken the role of the Expert recently in supporting the development of their identified talent pool, another where given their shortage of resource they’ve asked for some delivery which I am able to help with as an Extra Pair of Hands and another where we are working closely together in a Collaborative style to research, discuss and plan strategy and culture change.  

All three are nice pieces of work where I am able to add value as a result of my skill, experience and knowledge. Pleased to report that variety is indeed the spice of life !! …. and for the cosultants reading this… take a look at Blocks book.. packed full of useful info..