A CEO realizes a difficult challenge needs external knowledge and experience. The first idea is to hire a consultant that specializes in the area of concern. It is much cheaper than recruiting a specialist to the team full time. The consultant can be used to solve the problem, give direction, and then disappear. Problem solved; or is it? Who is going to help with implementation hurdles as they occur? What if the implementation uncovers issues not surfaced in the beginning? What happens if the problem changes and the plans need to be adjusted? Yikes, we need to call them back.
Peer groups that function at a deep level are not always the first choice for solving business problems. Many people fear transparency and feel like others cannot possibly understand the problems we face. How can someone that is not in my world conceptualize the enormity of what I am facing? Our business is different? Our approach is unique! Is it really?
I am a fan of bringing in expertise to solve problems. It can be a smart and effective method to get better, improve the business, and create growth. Consultants are a very important and a necessary part of the business ecosystem. There are situations when a consultant is the best choice. Should they be the first choice? A trusted group of peers can help you make the best decision faster with more confidence. Following are ten ideas to help you contrast the difference between the two choices:
Bonus: Peer groups are often less expensive than consultants or hiring full time expertise.
Finding a peer group that becomes your tribe can be the best addition to your business. They learn your quirks and hang-ups. They know your fear and insecurities. The right tribe knows your flaws and loves you anyway.