Consultants often hired to legitimise actions
Loved the article on management consultants, but you missed one very important aspect.
In my experience, a substantial amount of management consultant time is hired by companies to legitimise actions that one or more of the senior staff were already wanting or planning.
Common examples are the shipping department who hire consultants to tell the company that they should be worrying about logistics in the entire supply chain, or new CEOs who want the cost saving of a 30 per cent reduction in staff but want to survive the process themselves ("You all realise that it wasn't what I wanted but it was recommended by the highly paid experts").
Such consultant assignments can be staffed by people straight out of school. Their role is to bless a "plan". They provide the name of the consulting house, not knowledge, experience or even intelligence (the last could be dangerous as it might get in the way).
In this scenario it is critical to pay too much for the advice. That offers further proof that the patient is in a critical condition and the medicine must be taken without argument.
Of course, if you were a management consultant you would not fight this system by proposing meaningful, original ideas to a management team that already knows what answer they want.
Jim Reynolds, Reading