The First Step of Consulting

January 03 2016
By: Terry L. Mathis

When most organizations determine a need or opportunity, they assign a person or team to define the issue and scope, and put out a Request for Proposal (RFP) to three or more consultants for bids. This is the WRONG first step for a number of reasons:

  • You may not have accurately defined the problem.
  • You may not have discovered the whole scope of opportunity.
  • You have now limited what the consultant can do to help you.
  • You have prescribed to the problem solver HOW to solve the problem.
  • You have commoditized your issues and each consultant will calculate the least they can do to get your money.
  • Many of the best problem-solving consultants will not complete RFPs so you may have eliminated your best choices.

The first step of consulting should always be to select your best consultant and hire them to define your problem and propose the solution. Remember that consultants are not contractors, and resolving your issue may require mental acuity and not just work.






Terry L. Mathis

Terry Mathis, Founder and CEO of ProAct Safety, has served as a consultant and advisor for top organizations the world over. A respected strategist and thought leader, Terry has authored five books, numerous articles, videos and blogs, and is known for his dynamic and engaging presentations. EHS Today has named him one of the '50 People Who Most Influenced EHS' four consecutive times. Business leaders and safety professionals seek Terry's practical insight and unique ability to introduce new perspectives that lead to real change.