I have seen many businesses engage with an expert who undertakes some form of analysis and tells the business how they can improve in the expert’s particular area and skillset.
Very often, the business will take the recommendations from the expert and add it to the “to-do” list. What is very rare is for the business to fully engage with the expert and seek their help implementing the recommendations.
There are circumstances where not continuing with the expert is appropriate, but I’m not sure that is really what is going on.
Not using the expert is appropriate:
1. If the recommendations are not going to result in sufficient reward
2. If you don’t trust the expert and/or don’t think they really are an expert.
3. If you have the skills in-house to implement the recommendations yourself in a timely manner
I believe many business leaders justify the decision not to continue the experts’ engagement based upon the 3rd reason, but actually. they are kidding themselves.
You almost certainly don’t have the skills in-house. If you do, why did you engage the expert in the first place?
You almost certainly don’t have the time to follow through.
Let’s say that you have some of the skills required, but there will be a learning curve. It will take you and your team much longer to implement than it would the expert.
What’s really going on is that both the expert and the business are missing an opportunity. The expert, when they “pitch” for the first piece of work, are really clear and specific on the costs and the benefits the business will receive.
The business engages the expert on this basis, without thinking of the follow-up work that might be required. The expert doesn’t mention it – they are trying to make the buying decision really easy for the prospect. Talking about follow-up work might put the prospect off.
When you do get to talk about the follow-up, the business only sees the costs. There’s no investment analysis going on. The expert is thinking. “Well, I’ve shown them all the things they need to so – I’m sure they’ll need my help” without recognising that the follow-up needs to go through another round of investment appraisal.
Next time you engage with an expert, make sure you undertake a cost-benefit analysis for each stage of engagement.