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I fully expected to go back into the shipping industry as a General Manager after my MBA, and I never expected to do so well during MBA studies to graduate at or near the top of my year. A number of good professors spoke to me and convinced me to try management consulting after the MBA, for at least 2-3 years - almost as a finishing school for MBAs. I joined one of the top-tier global firms, which matched my work ethos, and learned a lot. I enjoyed the work so much that I am still here, doing the same thing after nearly 19 years.

People ask me: "Why do management need consultants?"

I respond saying that for the same reason that no surgeon can operate on himself or herself (or even on a member of their own family).

A bigger question is always which management consulting firm to use? No doubt that companies who invest time in finding the right external help and creating dynamic teams of internal and external consultants, where the skilled people rather than junior learn-on-the-job high priced consultants work on the projects, can turn around the situation much more easily. After all, if you had a blocked artery, you would want to get it scraped sooner, rather than later. And we would want an experienced surgeon to work on your blocked artery, rather than a big brand hospital, who mostly deploys interns and inexperienced doctors, where seasoned doctors might come in once in a while to guide the junior doctors.

The 5-star approach

It is difficult to summarise an approach developed over tens of massive business transformation projects in multi-billion dollar enterprises, and tested over nearly 400 projects of small large size in five continents. the graphics below may give you a better overview of the approach we have used to keep our 100% success rate.

Today, competitive advantage is not enough. You need to super-specialise and go beyond – to collaborative advantage. This requires a massive shift in thinking and a complate business transformation to your custom built business-to-business network.Typically, the value added is in excess of 10 times the project costs.

An example of a business transformation project

The infographic below is based on a real life case study where we have hidden the company involved’s identity for confidentiality. For more case studies, please head out to Global Supply Chain Group website or contact me directly.