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Era of Long Term Partnerships between Organizations and Parallel Organizations (Consultants)

By Ashwini Walawalkar, Chief Learning Officer, ISS Integrated Facility Services

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Ashwini Walawalkar, Chief Learning Officer, ISS Integrated Facility Services

“Many people are not ready to pay for advice they can use, so the few that do, break boundaries and soar higher.” - Personal Branding Coach, Brand Strategist at BKC Consulting, Bernard Kelvin Clive.

In today’s competitive world, where it is all about breaking barriers, crossing boundaries that have never been crossed before and soaring ahead of your competition, what organizations need is to find the right talent to take them where they want to be. And when we talk of having that kind of talent, it’s not always about getting the talent on board as an employee but also identifying external talent that can help us move towards it faster.

“The times they are a changin” an amazing song of Bob Dylan holds so true today as well. What could have been the best solution yesterday may have become irrelevant today. Gone are those days, of having everything in house, neither is it possible nor affordable to have talent for everything in house, since many things are requirement based, on some interventions and if we need solutions really quick, we need an Expert. We call them experts because they have enough experience and knowledge in the requisite field and in such cases, it’s great to partner with consultants.

Quality they say, is costlier than price. Some people opt for the price, some for quality and that choice makes the difference for the organization. Choosing the right consultant brings expertise in their domain, cost effectiveness. And, when you compare this with hiring a full time resource and expecting that person to deliver the results single handedly doesn’t always sound like a smart choice, does it? They can bring in lots of options – bringing a fresh thought process in the organization. Sometimes the people working in the organization have the culture so deep rooted in them that they find it difficult to think differently or look at a point critically. We can get the best men for the job that is required.

In today’s world of Facebook, WhatsApp, LinkedIn and other similar services, options for everything are becoming so easily available. With technology evolving at such a rapid pace, you can see a lot of it reflect in the consulting space as well. There was a time when we used to have just classroom sessions when we spoke about external intervention but now we talk about a whole lot of stuff. We talk about e-learning, mobile learning, blended learning, gamification, simulation based learning, drama based learning and others. It’s a leap frog from what it was earlier.

ROI – Return on Investment

You invest money as an individual and you want to ensure that you make some money out of it. No one wants to book a loss. Well, that’s the same with the organization. No one wants to invest money in initiatives that cannot have a perceivable business impact. Talking about this, the work that is happening in consulting on ROI of training/learning interventions has come a long way! Consultants have now started talking about end-to-end solutions rather than just off the shelf options. Now that works better, for both!!

What is heartening to see is how organizations outlook has changed. They are ready to invest money in external interventions if they see value. They see this as an investment rather than expense.

Future of consulting – an interesting thing to ponder upon!! The future for consulting is challenging as a lot of competition prevails. The need of the hour will be to constantly evolve and find innovative ways of communicating the message. Organizations are not looking at them as one time Service Providers but as partners, as Solution Providers. One size fits all is something that won’t be an option, the solutions will have to be given taking into consideration, the business of the organization and their goals, finding the gaps between Potential and Capability. How will the training intervention help to bridge the gap and most importantly no solution is worth it till it doesn’t have ROI in it.

Interventions have to have an impact on the business that can be measured. That’s what organizations would expect by default. If we invest we want to see the results as well and the results can be gradual but have to be long lasting. Organizations need new innovative ideas hence innovation will be expected by default.

The time today is an end, end of the old & conservative ways of providing consulting service to organizations. It is also a beginning, beginning of an era of innovativeness, an era of solution based approach, an era of a long term partnership between organizations and parallel organizations (Consultants)!!

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