While the title itself maybe a contradictory concept to any business minded entrepreneur, it is hardly a new concept. In many cases in spite of the expertise and efforts of management consultants; or for this matter most professional consultant, the clients tend to be unruly.
Let’s define unruly for the purposes of this discussion. Unruly would be defined as a particular behavior which would be contradictory to an “actors” self interest. Granted that such definition maybe excessively broad to pin point particular characteristics, however, it is not beyond norms of generalization.

Essentially, the unruly corporate client as a vital actor within the business economy should be defined by their actions which are harmful in the long run. Let’s look at a particular theorized example:

Imagine client X has achieved most of its intended online marketing. As a part of vertical penetration in untapped or underserved markets, the clients plan a great PPC campaign. Here is where the problem starts: imagine the client being resistant to appropriate implementation of PPC campaign because of potential cost.

This is where the ethical issues of management consulting firms and consultants in general will begin.  The most pressing issues and questions can be formulated as below:

  • Is it the consultant duty to proceed regardless of the consequences?
  • Is it the responsibility of a consultant to resist actions that are short lived?
  • Is it the viable to do whatever it is asked of a consultant as long as it is legal?

Though such questions are hypothetical in nature, it is easy to see that everyday actions of clients can greatly influence the interaction and final outcome of external efforts.

We have seen and heard of entities that have found solutions that work for them. Some of the actions and measures that have been observed include:

  • Creating regular third / fourth party verification and evaluation of strategy and execution
  • Constant ( … and at times excessive ) reporting
  • Constant ( … and most of the time excessive ) communication
  • … and on the rather extreme end of scale :
  1. Decline unruly clients from the get go based either on past experiences OR their general reputation
  2. Share and maintain a list of experiences with colleges in the industry
  3. Publishing the past experiences in online and offline venues

None of the above mentioned measures, in combination nor individually can remedy such a problem .

In the coming days and week we will discuss some of the measures that have historically proven to  work .

Brought to you by :

Management Consulting and Management Consulting Blog