UPfront What do you think of your consultant?

Do the companies who use them think they’re getting good value from their management consultants or do they feel ripped off?
The Institute of Management Consultants, NZ (IMCNZ) is testing market perceptions of their profession via an online survey launched this month on Management magazine’s website (www.management.co.nz).
They want to know what sort of services consultants are providing, what people are paying for these, whether they think they’re getting their money’s worth, how they choose consultant and what qualification they might look for.
Depending on definition, there may be as many as 5000 management consultants working in New Zealand and even conservative estimates suggest the industry is worth around $1 billion year, according to IMCNZ president Peter Senior.
However, there are few concerns as to whether all live up to appropriate levels of professionalism given there’s no official registration process or monitoring of MC service providers – in theory anyone can hang out shingle and proclaim their expertise, says Senior.
Ensuring consultants maintain high professional standards and deliver quality advice was guiding principle behind the formation of the IMCNZ back in 1971. In 1989, it introduced the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) qualification which is recognised internationally and accredited through the International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMCI).
However in recent times, interest in the Institute has dwindled. more competitive culture has perhaps made practitioners less keen to share ideas and information, suggests Senior. He admits to taking the Institute pretty much for granted – up till the point that it was on the verge of being declared an Australian branch office.
That prospect galvanised opposition and resulted in new group taking control of its direction. It wants to see the IMCNZ taking higher profile in terms of maintaining professional ethics, capability, development and qualifications.
“The CMC is pretty rigorous qualification and we’re tightening it up further. What we’d like to happen is widespread recognition that if you want high standard, capable, ethical management consultant then you’ll want to see IMCNZ membership and CMC qualifications.”
The survey is part of that process, as is recently launched website (imcnz.org.nz) along with changes to the Institute’s membership structure and meeting options.
Both management consultants and those who use their service are encouraged to respond to the survey and results will be featured in future issue of Management.

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