Whether you aspire to become a consultant or you have been practicing for years, you may find yourself asking, “Do I have what it takes to be a management consultant?” 

Analyzing the Job of a Management Consultant

In Industrial-Organizational (I-O) Psychology, scientists study human behavior in the workplace. Part of this discipline includes studying people’s work through a process called job analysis. Traditional job analysis looks at the tasks that must be performed and the required characteristics one must have to perform those tasks. On another level, competency modeling studies the knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics (such as personality and work preferences) required for effective job performance.

Task Analysis for Work as a Management Consultant

If one looks at O*Net Online, America’s primary database of occupational information, and searches for “management consultant,” one will find that “management analysts” rises to the top as the closest match: https://www.onetonline.org/link/summary/13-1111.00. According to O*Net, from a task-analysis standpoint, one can expect the following things to be done at work as a consultant:

  • Gather and organize information regarding organizational problems and processes
  • Conduct analysis of data collected
  • Document findings
  • Design and evaluate forms and reports
  • Communicate results and recommendations vocally, over the phone, via email, or on other communication channels
  • Work with incumbent employees and management to ensure systems run well
  • Develop solutions based on data analysis
  • Prepare training and development.

Can you perform these and the other tasks found within this analysis purely on a task basis? If so, you might be well on your way to a long-lasting career in management consulting. But, there’s more than just being able to do the work.

Is Management Consulting a Fit for You?

Just because you CAN do something doesn’t mean it fits you. I-O Psychologists, HR Managers, and executives look for KSAOs (knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics) to determine if an employee fits a job description. Play the part of a hiring manager for yourself, and determine if you would make a great candidate for your own practice. 

Management Consulting Knowledge

Consultants have some of the following knowledge centers or can specialize in any of these:

  • Administration and management, including strategic planning, leadership techniques, human resource modeling, and the coordination of people and resources.
  • Sales and marketing
  • IT and computers
  • Economics and accounting
  • Education and training.

Management Consulting Skills

They possess skills in:

  • Problem-solving
  • Critical thinking
  • Reading comprehension
  • Active listening
  • Decision making.

Management Consulting Abilities

Management consultants have a wide array of abilities, including:

  • Problem sensitivity
  • Deductive reasoning
  • Inductive reasoning
  • Technical and business writing
  • Mathematical reasoning
  • Information ordering.

Management Consulting Characteristics

While they may come from a diverse group of individuals with many different personalities, cultural backgrounds, ethnicities, and genders, they tend to value relationships, achievement, and independence. They have strong interests in investigating problems, leveraging enterprising and entrepreneurial tendencies, and working within conventional systems with a high degree of integrity and cooperation.They often serve as volunteers in their profession and within their communities.

Does any of the above paint a portrait of you? If so, explore becoming a consultant or, if you already practice, you may wish to deepen your skills.

Get Management Consulting Training

Professional development can help build Management Consulting knowledge, skills, abilities, and other characteristics to not only perform the tasks of a consultant but also increase one’s self-efficacy and competencies within one’s specific field of consulting practice. IMC USA, which can be found at O*Net as a source of additional information, offers education and training for management consultants, including QuickStart and ISO 20700 courses. 

Become a Certified Management Consultant

Earning the CMC demonstrates a high degree of competence, an understanding of management consulting processes, and a strong sense of ethics to clients around the world. According to O*Net, “The Certified Management Consultant (CMC) mark is awarded by the IMC USA to consultants who have achieved a level of performance that includes professional standards in technical competency and ethics, and global standards in consulting competencies, professional behavior, client and project management, and personal conduct.”

Explore CMC certification by clicking the link below.