It actually came up in a board meeting at one of my management consulting companies today.
Someone relatively new asked the question. So he was forgiven.
That’s a simple question for me. No!
I’m really black and white on this one and I explained it like this. As professional and ethical management consultants we need to have our client’s best interests at heart. Always. Without exception. How can we possibly do that if we have software or other ‘products’ to sell them as part of our management consulting services. Every consulting assignment starts to have the same outcome or result. Oh, you need this piece of software. I see it happen all the time. You need this software, this equipment, this piece of real estate. Give me a break please!
If you want to be a ‘professional’ management consultant these things are a clear conflict of interest. No doubt at all, in my mind at least.
Imagine you go to a Doctor and the Doctor prescribes medicine XYZ. You then find out that the Doctor owns the business that makes XYZ. How would you feel? Regardless of whether medicine XYZ was the right drug for you or not. That’s not the issue. Would you have any doubts about the Doctor’s integrity? I would!
So if you plan to sell other ‘products’ and solutions as part of your management consulting business, think about it. Take a long hard look at what you plan to do. Are you a management consulting business, or software salespeople, who provide management consulting services as part of the ‘pre sell’ ?
What’s your view? Please do comment below.