What should you look for in a professional consultant?
The professional advisors affiliated with Catalyst offer you and your team outstanding educational credentials, broad and valuable experience, and the highest levels of professionalism. Give us a call today at 1-800-378-9843 to see if our "chemistry" is right for you and your organization.
- Education: Your professional advisors must have the educational credentials, including necessary certifications, to be able to bring learned insight to your particular problems, challenges and issues.
- Experience: Regardless of size, all organizations are complex. And no problem is truly "simple." Every challenge facing you involves the complex interplay of internal and external forces. As much as we would like to be able to isolate our problems (e.g., the issue is simply the poor performance of XYZ department), reality is much more complex. People don't behave as predicted. Organizational "politics" can derail the most well-intentioned solutions. External factors (e.g., competitors, regulators, customers, etc.) are always volatile. And budgets are always tight. Do you really want a 25 year-old, freshly minted MBA trying to navigate the turbulent waters you now face? As well educated as he or she may be, have they "been there and done that" in enough difficult situations to make their consul worthwhile? You should seek advisors who can bring a breadth of professional and personal experience to bear on your issues so that the consul you receive is wise consul.
- Integrity: It should go without saying that anyone you trust to help you with some of the most pressing issues facing you and your enterprise should be trustworthy. Unfortunately, integrity is no longer a given. Take care when sharing sensitive and confidential information with new advisors, and keep an eye out for signs that your consultant may not treat such information with the respect that it is due. Does your consultant, for example, share with you information about his or her other clients in more detail than is appropriate? Remember, what you hear about another client may not bode well for what other clients hear about you.
- Personal Chemistry: Contrary to what many consulting firms would have you believe, not every consultant is "right" for every client or every project. It's not enough for your prospective consulting partner to be well educated, highly experienced and of good character. He or she must also mesh well with your firm's culture and esprit de corp. That is, there must be a good "chemistry" between you and your trusted advisors if any sustainable results are to be realized.
While raising their three daughters, Glen and Cynthia Waisner pursued independent business careers. Glen achieved success in the energy industry, holding a number of executive-level positions (including Vice President of Marketing for a Fortune 200 company), while Cynthia developed a successful independent training, coaching and organization development practice with consulting clients throughout North America. While living in Pittsburgh, PA, Glen left the energy industry (twenty years was enough!) to join a boutique management consulting firm that worked with non-energy clients throughout the world. The opportunity to help an assortment of clients with the critical issues affecting their performance was exciting to Glen (a fact that Cynthia had tried to tip Glen off to for many years), and he thrived in the new role of "consultant."
When working with the executive teams of his primarily manufacturing clients, Glen frequently called upon Cynthia's organization and leadership development expertise to help him solve particularly thorny leadership issues. After subcontracting with Cynthia to help his consulting team address the management dysfunction of one of his client's European business units, it finally occurred to Glen (over a glass of Chablis in Lyon, France) that he and Cynthia should formally join forces and launch their own management consulting firm. Cynthia, of course, had already been silently planning for such a professional partnership for many months, so Catalyst Consulting Partners LLC was finally launched in early-2002.
Catalyst was founded on a simple premise - that clients deserve the best business advice available at the most reasonable costs possible. So Glen and Cynthia vowed to avoid building "overhead" expenses, costs which eventually have to be passed on to clients, by structuring Catalyst as a virtual business. All of our associates work for us on an as-needed basis as independent contractors subject, of course, to our strict oversight and "quality control." This allows us to assign the most appropriate consulting talent to our client's issues without having to absorb the costs of unproductive time ("on the beach" in consultant-speak). No fixed payroll expenses, no mahogany offices (one confession: we did insist on Aeron chairs for our personal offices, but they have long ago been fully amortized!), and no hourly billing. This latter point is especially important to Glen and Cynthia, who had each purchased enough professional services during their careers to have learned to hate dealing with consultants who were always "on the clock." No one wants to get a bill for "a six minute phone consultation" or "miscellaneous emails," so Catalyst works exclusively on a project basis. And to help new clients overcome their natural reluctance to bring in "hired guns" such as Catalyst, Catalyst has always offered a money back guarantee. If we're not successful at solving the problem we were assigned, then you don't pay us. It's that simple.
Glen, Cynthia, and the rest of the Catalyst team, look forward to talking with you about the issues, challenges and barriers facing you and your organization TODAY. Call us at 1-800-378-9843 for a FREE telephone consultation (we won't even track the number of minutes we talk!).