Monday, November 30, 2009

Consulting by large firms - one size fits all attitude?

Can advise from large consulting firms do any good to SMBs?

Today, I got to hear another story where a small regional media firm hired a large consulting firm and on changed lot of things too quickly on their advise only to leave its employees and customers confused ....and to invite huge losses for itself

SMBs especially the family manged business have a difficult to change type DNA, and it appears the large consulting firms either ignore this reality or just expect these companies to suddenly behave like "professional" large ones...the consulting firms typically sell the newly foreign educated second or third generation leadership team from these SMBs a big dream, do a brainwash to change their traditional business measurement matrix and give them a lot of aggression for a huge fee ...and SMBs are set for disaster

the problem here is most SMBs were/ are started by entrepreneurs for a "purpose", the mission that goes well beyond growth and profitability and stakeholder most cases, I bet, the the SMB leadership itself has limited cognizance of this "purpose" leave apart the ability to articulate it ...however, its seen in their actions, again not necessarily through policies. This is where the large consulting firms miss the point! Rob or confuse the person of his identity and you set him on the path for self destruction...

The large consulting firms are very quick to dislodge any such "purpose" under the pretext of not mixing emotions with business...and rob the SMBs and founder entrepreneur of their identity. With original identity and purpose devalued the SMB stakeholders find it tough to allign and bring in the same levels of passion for the new matrix focused purely on monetary aspects and thus begins the journey to self-destruction.

But then like of all too, in the end, there is no one left in the game to take the blame ..