Is a universal or multi tool as good at performing as individual specialist tools? Convenient yes, a long term solution… no
It is true that no man is an island. When starting out in business as well as running and growing your business, quite simply you cannot do it on your own. You need trusted business advisers. But there is a problem. No one is truly “independent” no matter what their beliefs of education.
Once a banker… always a banker
Some years ago when I was working as a specialist adviser for business link, I was in wonderment at some of the advisers and their breadth. It seemed that no matter what the sector, or what the area of business problem they could help. But when speaking to them on a one-to-one basis, it was clear that they were not “all rounders”, but focused on their discipline. Then it hit me. Whatever their background, that is where they would eventually work with the client:
- The marketing person would find marketing issues
- The financial expert would find finance problems
- The HR person would find people problems
- The IT people would find systems problems
- The salesman would find sales process problems
even when the ROOT of the issue was somewhere else! There seems to be an inbuilt “solution” that to resolve the issue “their” expertise in xxx is what is needed – or is it that their own expertise is an easier sell?? The simple reality is that we all have our “comfort zone” and what is human is to return to that zone, and often its the one where we have had the most education or experience. OR sometimes where we associate ourselves as a professional, but almost always in a niche area.
from politics – maybe (assuming no funding is available) from other discipline influence – maybe. If you have a marketing problem, then yes a marketing professional may help, IT, HR, finance etc.
It’s all in the needs analysis or diagnostics
To reduce the impact of this inbuilt bias, the best consultants use diagnostic processes not written by them or their specialism providers, but tools which seek to provide a holistic overview of an organisations strengths and weaknesses in an unbiased way. So the next time you trust your business in the hands of an “adviser”, and its not about a niche parts of your business but the whole thing, make sure they use an independent tool to help YOU identify the priority areas for your business to develop. Just beware of the “all round expert”. footnote – in recent months we seem to have seen a change from “business adviser” to mentor – the same still applies! originally published August 2012 – reviewed July 2014