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Importantly, our consulting advice is underpinned by our leading-edge research.
Two types of consultants: formula-based versus evidence-based
Following is an excerpt from a chapter written by Dr John Mitchell and entitled “Maximising your doctorate in consultancy work” in Denholm, C. and Evans, T, 2009, Beyond Doctorates Downunder, ACER Press, Melbourne. The excerpt explains the difference between a consultant who uses pre-determined frameworks and a consultant like John who uses original research:
“I sometimes say to clients, if it is appropriate, that there are two extreme groups of consultants, those that have preconceived solutions no matter what the problem, and those who are research or evidence-based. I quickly declare that I am firmly in the second group. I lampoon the former group as prone to using pre-existing templates for topics such as strategic planning or change management, without being able to populate their explanations with examples based on their own or others’ experiences or the literature on the topic. The former group is unable to conduct research or to customize their pre-existing solutions to suit the client’s unique context.
“When I say to a client that I am firmly in that group of consultants who are research-trained and evidence-based, I add that I don’t expect to provide him or her with an easy solution or simple formula for moving forward. What I do expect to provide for the client is assistance with clarifying the issues, diagnosing possible forces at work, collecting and analysing information, identifying alternatives, assisting with the selection of preferred options and suggesting implementation strategies. I then add that while this is a longer process than others might provide, my approach is more likely to provide a robust and sustainable approach in the future. I hasten to add that many of my assignments require me to use a truncated version of this ideal approach.”