Success Criteria?

Definitions, history and trends.

Key Definitions

In order to agree what is expected of a consultant, it is necessary to pin down some key definitions. This will go a long way to avoiding endless debates about what a consultant does and does not do.

Management Consulting

The provision of independent advice and assistance about the process of management to clients with management responsibilities

Management Consultant

An individual who provides independent advice and assistance about the process of management to clients with management responsibilities

Professional Management Consultant

A management consultant who views management consulting as a profession, who strives for self-improvement in the process of both management and management consulting and who subscribes to the code of ethics of a professional body of management consulting

Certified Management Consultant

A professional management consultant who meets the relevant requirements of character, qualifications, experience, competence and independence established by the professional body issuing certification

Internal Management Consultant

  • Consulting professionals who analyse and evaluate problems, make recommendations and, where appropriate, assist in implementing recommendations. They apply multi-disciplined approaches as well as specialized skills to solve problems.
  • Internal Consultants are professionals who work within the corporate structure to resolve business and technical issues confronting the organization in areas like Quality, Information, Technology, Planning, Organization Development and Reengineering.
  • Internal Consultants are found in government agencies, educational institutions and non-profit organizations as well as in business and industry. Their services are focused on improving the quality, effectiveness and bottom-line performance of their organizations.

History of Consulting

A management trainer once quipped that Aaron, the brother of Moses, was the first management consultant, providing “business” advice to his less articulate sibling.  This would make the profession of management consulting about 4 500 years old!

In more recent history, the profession has been said to have its origins with Frederick W Taylor, whose efficiency studies at Bethlehem steel from 1889 to 1891 led to significant productivity improvements and a very satisfied client.

Modern Day Management Consulting

Modern Day Management Consulting is a relatively young and fast-growing profession.

The candidate for CMC designation should understand clearly the history, scope and related organisations as well as the Code of Professional Conduct or Ethics, for the Profession.

Trends in the past 10 years


  • Globalisation
  • Financial pressure
  • Skills shortage
  • Technology wars/ changes
  • Outsourcing
  • Product specific consulting
  • Pressures on ethics
  • Differing value systems
  • Pressure on fees
  • Cultural Diversity
  • Stress related to charging by the hour
  • Social Networking
  • “Free Services”
  • Recessions
  • Debt Crisis
  • Mobile Explosion
  • Proliferation of knowledge – “Google”
  • Web penetration
  • Cloud Services
  • Insourcing


The above trends affect the expectations of and challenges faced by consultants in the modern business environment. Traditional markets tend to be continuously disrupted (or Uberised) and this places the burden on the professional to remain in touch with the latest developments on a continuous basis. Of course, disruption can also provide opportunities for consultants who are top of their game.

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