MCA responds to FT ‘On Management’ article

Consultancies are willing to be judged on value for money

Published: February 18 2011 00:45 | Last updated: February 18 2011 00:45


From Mr Alan Leaman.


Consultancies deliver expertise, knowledge and skills.


Alan Leaman has written to the Financial Times about the role of management consultancies.





Deep in Andrew Hill’s On Management column “A doctor’s note for virulent consultants” (Business Life, February 15) is the recognition that consultancies should and can be judged by the value they deliver for their clients.


Recent research suggests that, on average, this is currently equivalent to a return of about £6 for every £1 that is spent. Astute business leaders – used to getting the best from their suppliers – frequently speak of the competitive advantage they gain through their use of consultancy.


Management Consultancies Association member companies are happy to be assessed on this basis. Many routinely offer to put their own rewards at risk by making them contingent on achieving or exceeding the goals of their assignments. This is one distinction between consultancy and the work of interim managers or other contractors that could be carried out by full-time employees.


This example of how consultancies are adapting to meet the needs of their clients and the business environment suggests that Mr Hill’s worries about the industry are largely misplaced.


Consultancies exist for very good business reasons. They depend on their ability to anticipate and change. And the best thrive precisely because they deliver expertise, knowledge and skills (and objectivity) that clients could not afford to recruit for themselves.


Alan Leaman,

Chief Executive,

Management Consultancies Association,

London WC2, UK