New Roles Consultants Play

It's not that clearly defined anymore.

As part of my ongoing research on innovative consulting business models, one of the topics that we're looking at is the role consultants take during projects.

In the past decades, the "role" of a consultant was clearly defined. You would visit clients on a project basis, and offer advisory and/or expert implementation. Now, however, consultants are much more active in other roles.

Consultants can also be coaches, helping clients implement changes to how their team work and communicate. They can be trainers, providing skills on demand to fill gaps and develop the staff. Many consultants are also marketing themselves as interim managers or "fractional" directors.

The role can be even broader if, as some of the most innovative firms are experimenting with, consultants start developing joint business with clients. In this case, the distinction between client and consultant wouldn't even exist. Some might even argue you are not providing consulting services anymore.

What are the roles that you play (or have to play) during projects? How do you see it changing over time?

Feel free to drop me a line if you're interested in participating in the research.

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