Identifying where improvements can be made is the job of the management consultant. The key could lie in improving staff morale or in re-engineering operational systems. So it's important that management consultants derive pleasure from spotting problems and finding solutions to them. Both David Palmer and Jennifer Bishop, also the principal of a local management consultant firm, agree that: ''You've got to be excited about solving problems, piecing together puzzles, and applying theory to real life situations.'' It's not all about dealing with problems, however. There might be instances where a very successful company enlists the help of a management consultant to capture new growth areas for that business.
When a management consultant is appointed, they will look at the organisation's systems, procedures and relationships to assess how individuals and the organisation can operate with greater efficiency and effectiveness. To do this, they have to gather information relating to the function of each area within the organisation. This might involve interviewing managers or other staff, looking at any relevant, existing data and then identifying the key problem areas. Finding solutions or improvements, which very often have to be outlined in detailed reports, is also part of their role. In some cases, they may also be required to assist in the implementation of any new systems or procedures that they recommend.