One can distinguish between strategy and consulting management from their various functions, but they are both organizational functions. While strategic management is more specific with its dealings, consulting management takes on a general role function. Therefore we can say that consulting management concerns general functionality while strategy management deals with specific strategic decisions.
For example, consulting management deals with different affairs and issues that concern an organization. It could be staff welfare, renovation of the building, etc.
A consultant manager comes to the organization, dialogues with the affected parties, and solves the issues. The consultant can take with anyone affected in the issue.
But strategy management concerns only the board of directors or top people that manage the organization. Here, the strategy manager is concerned about boosting the products and services that the organization provides. So, the strategy manager dialogues with people at the hem of affairs in the organization as it does not have to involve all employees. If you are not a part of those who make decisions in the organization, you will not be a part of such meetings.
So, you can see that strategic management is a specialist function while consulting management is a generalist function.
Also, it is safe to say that strategic management is out to solve a problem. For example, it could be that your products and services have a visibility problem, so strategy management sets out to change that issue. The idea here is that they bring up strategies that will make your products and services more visible to their audience.
On the other hand, consulting management comes from the experience angle, giving advice based on what others have done or have been doing. So, if you are experiencing a challenge in any of the departments, a consulting manager advises on what has worked overtime for others. It is like picking from what competitors are doing and improving on it.
So, you may say that they are alike since they are both organizational functions, but they also differ in terms of functions.
Here Is A Table Summarizing Their Functions:
|Comparison||Consulting Management||Strategy Management|
|Objectives||The objective of consulting management is to improve overall effectiveness when running an organization.||The objective of strategic management is to solve a problem and boost products and services.|
|Scope||It covers diverse functions in an organization.||It is more specific in its coverage.|
|People Involved||Everyone in the organization or affected departments is involved in consulting management.||Top management of the organization.|
|Approach||Based on experience.||Based on solving problems.|
So, you may be wondering about the specific benefits of strategic management and consulting management. Therefore, we would highlight them below:
Benefits Of Strategy Management
It Gives A Sense Of Direction: When an organization engages in strategy management, it gives them a sense of direction. Typically, people get a sense of direction when they follow instructions instead of taking the bull approach towards solving problems. So, when the organization has identified some of the challenges it faces concerning products and services, strategies to solve the issues are highlighted, giving them a sense of direction. Now, they will be more relaxed knowing that there are things in place to solve the issues. Thus, the organization can check the strategies and see if it goes with the organizational goals as that is the only way to ensure growth.
It Serves As A Monitoring Yardstick: Sometimes, you may feel like your organization is not growing, and that is where strategic management comes to play. When strategies are highlighted, it goes beyond the ideation stage. Strategy management will not only suggest ideas but will also give directions on how they should be implemented. Thus, you get to use it as a yardstick to monitor success. These strategies will let you get an insight into if the audience is receptive to your products and services. It can also let you know areas where you need to improve and what people expect from your organization.
It Supports Proactiveness: The idea behind strategy management is to ensure that you have ideas on the ground that will boost your products and services, ensuring that your brand outplays competitors. With strategy management, your business does not remain ideal and stagnant. Instead, your industry buyers will see your organization as proactive. In their minds, they will perceive that your organization is one that is always rolling out creative and clever ideas, and they will want to associate with such a brand. Without a doubt, all businesses need to be proactive and cannot afford to slack; else, their competitors will swallow them.
It Leads To Profit: Is there any business that does not have the mindset to make a profit? Of course, every business needs to make a profit as that is the only way to sustain the brand. Luckily, engaging in strategic management leads to profit. After all, the strategies and ideas set out to sell the goods and services of the business. Once these ideas start yielding results, we would see that company’s profit keeps increasing, and the business owner will be happy. We see that many businesses engage in strategic management when they feel they are not doing well financially.
It Leads To A Long-Lasting Life Cycle: We are sure that you have heard or seen many businesses close up, and you do not want that for your organization. One of the biggest fears of any business owner is when they put a lot into the business and still have to shut it down. However, strategy management helps to avoid this as the ideas and strategies will help in boosting the business. Asides from the sales of products and services, your brand will now become a favorite for the target audience, and it stays on the top of their minds. Therefore, increasing the lifespan of your business.
Benefits Of Consulting Management
Expert Solutions: You must have heard that it is always best to get advice from experts, which can happen with consulting management. Once you engage the services of a consulting manager, you are getting advice from their years of experience. The advice they will give you must have proven to work overtime, and the consulting manager is also sure that it will work for your brand. The advantage comes in the fact that they are not doing guesswork. Instead, they are giving you ideas and strategies that have worked.
Objectivity: Typically, you cannot accuse a consulting manager of being biased in their work. Most times, consulting managers work for different firms, and their job is to ensure that they carry out great work. They want their works to speak for them and ensure that all outputs are efficient. So, there is no fear of bias as they are in no way inclined to your organization, so they will not side with any department. Instead, they will come up with a general solution that works for everyone.
Broader Perspective: People get a consulting manager because they want to hear things from a broader perspective. Since the aim of consulting management is to boost the organization’s efficiency, it is best to get ideas from someone who has been in a game for a while. A consulting manager will present you with a broader perspective ensuring that you are not limiting yourself, employees, or even the organization. It usually comes as a blessing in disguise to get a consulting manager.
It Helps All Departments Be In Sync: With consulting management, all departments in the organization will start working together, boosting effectiveness. If departments are always in disagreement, it will affect the output of their work. But with solutions from consulting management, you can get every team to work together and achieve great feats for the business. Now, you will begin to see a change as everyone has their minds geared towards the goals that you set out for the organization.
Below are some of the frequently asked questions:
What’s The Difference Between Consultant And Strategist?
A strategist is tasked with coming up with ideas that are creatively geared towards products and services. However, a consultant is to give expert advice on sectors within the organization for growth.
Is McKinsey A Strategy Or Consulting Management?
McKinsey is a global brand known for its consulting services. They are trusted by many businesses and industries worldwide, and you can engage them for consulting management services.
What Are The Different Types Of Management Consulting?
As earlier mentioned, consulting management is broad and general. It covers different areas of an organization, and you can break it down into different types.
Some types of management consulting are:
1. IT consulting
2. HR consulting
3. Operations consulting, etc.
You can choose to be either a strategy manager or consulting manager. But, it is best to keep in mind that both are organizational functions. However, the difference sets in their functions and scope.
We advise that you always keep in mind that strategic management is specific while consulting management in general.
References: 1 https://www.indeed.com/career-advice/career-development/strategy-consulting-vs-management-consulting#:~:text=The%20purpose%20of%20strategy%20consulting,workplace%20and%20create%20operational%20efficiency.
References: 2 https://blog.hubspot.com/sales/strategy-vs-management-consulting
Last Updated on August 6, 2022 by Ana S. Sutterfield
Magalie D. is a Diploma holder in Public Administration & Management from McGill University of Canada. She shares management tips here in MGTBlog when she has nothing to do and gets some free time after working in a multinational company at Toronto.