What do the market for management consulting and the black market have in common? Both are intransparent, their performances often doubtful, and their prices high. However now the current disruption in the consulting market leads to constant consulting success and fair prices.

You want to know why some consulting projects are successful, but others fail? If we want to identify and verify the root causes, we need the data of several successful and failed projects. Successful consulting projects transform the enterprise and lead to tangible results, which are directly visible in both income statement and balance sheet. Failure to do so will lead to no results or worse problems. However, neither companies nor management consultants publish necessary data. Therefore, the root causes of consulting success are not verifiable. The market is intransparent. For this reason, the large consulting firms demand day rates of more than € 3000 per consultant. The most expensive brands are well-known all over the world and are therefore rated as good. This is how premium oligopolies work.

Hence we have to live with expressions of opinion, in order at least to get a clue about the root causes of consulting success. For example, Fink had evaluated the survey of 106 managers for 106 cost reduction and growth projects. Almost a third of the projects examined failed due to deficiencies in the target definition, the consultant selection, the timetable, the team, and the consultant management. If targets are not clear or constantly changed, the management consultant has no chance. Not every consultant can do anything, well-known brands are not a success guarantee. The individual consultants make the difference. A thorough project preparation with realistic timetable, subprojects and milestones shows at early stages, where redirection is required. Management has to want and support the project. The project manager needs a strong spine, assertiveness, and empowerment. Predefined coordination and decision-making processes facilitate collaboration between internal and external team members.

Norman Augustine, ex-CEO of Lockheed Martin, summarized his experience with consultants in his law XXXII: Hiring consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of turning problems into gold – your problems into their gold. However, in his point of view consultants are worth their weight in gold when they have four qualities: hands-on experience, constructive doers, independence, engagement. These management consultants are now found on digital platforms such as KLAITON, which provide access to excellent, quality tested management consultants at fair prices.

Lucius Aemilius Paulus, the Roman consul who led the Macedonian war, also had a clear, though somewhat garrulous, opinion on advisors:

I am not one of those who think that commanders ought at no time to receive advice; on the contrary, I should deem that man more proud than wise who regulated every proceeding by the standard of his own single judgement. What then is my opinion? That commanders should be counseled, chiefly, by persons of known talent; by those who have made the art of war their particular study, and whose knowledge is derived from experience; from those who are present at the scene of action, who see the country, who see the enemy; who see the advantages that occasions offer, and who, like people embarked in the same ship, are sharers of the danger. If, therefore, anyone thinks qualified to give advice the war which I am to conduct, which may prove advantageous to the public, let him not refuse his assistance to the state, but let him come with me into Macedonia.

Here we are.