It has long been said that doctors make the worst patients; they know too much; they self-diagnose; they are impatient; they self-prescribe; they don’t heed their own advice; they don’t listen….

Turns out, consultants are the doctors of business.

We go to see doctors when something is ailing us, and we need an expert to diagnose the problem and prescribe the best treatment. In the same way, business leaders rely on consultants to examine and prescribe ways to make their businesses healthier. 

Since there are all kinds of business problems, the consulting industry has all kinds of business doctors: strategy doctors, sales doctors, innovation doctors, technology doctors…. There is virtually a doctor/consultant for every area of business.

A consulting company just finished an engagement working for a respected consulting firm. This is the second time they made the mistake of accepting an assignment from another consulting firm. It was a mistake because the projects were the consulting industry’s version of doctors trying to treat other doctors. Although they were hired because the company is considered leading experts in a capability that our clients wanted to build, neither engagement went well.

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