In general various approaches to consulting can be thought of as lying somewhere along a continuum, with an 'expert' or prescriptive approach at one end, and a facilitative approach at the other. In the expert approach, the consultant takes the role of expert, and provides expert advice or assistance to the client, with, compared to the facilitative approach, less input from, and fewer collaborations with the client(s). With a facilitative approach, the consultant focuses less on specific or technical expert knowledge, and more on the process of consultation itself. Because of this focus on process, a facilitative approach is also often referred to as 'process consulting,' with Edgar Schein being considered the best-known practitioner. The consulting firms listed above are closer toward the expert approach of this continuum.
Many consulting firms are organized in a matrix structure, where one 'axis' describes a business function or type of consulting: for example, strategy, operations, technology, executive leadership, process improvement, talent management, sales, etc. The second axis is an industry focus: for example, oil and gas, retail, automotive. Together, these form a matrix, with consultants occupying one or more 'cells' in the matrix. For example, one consultant may specialize in operations for the retail industry, and another may focus on process improvement in the downstream oil and gas industry.
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Famous quotes containing the word approaches:
“The Oriental philosophy approaches easily loftier themes than the modern aspires to; and no wonder if it sometimes prattle about them. It only assigns their due rank respectively to Action and Contemplation, or rather does full justice to the latter. Western philosophers have not conceived of the significance of Contemplation in their sense.”
—Henry David Thoreau (18171862)
“These were not men, they were battlefields. And over them, like the sky, arched their sense of harmony, their sense of beauty and rest against which their misery and their struggles were an offence, to which their misery and their struggles were the only approaches they could make, of which their misery and their struggles were an integral part.”
—Rebecca West (18921983)
“A politician is a statesman who approaches every question with an open mouth.”
—Adlai Stevenson (19001965)