Not as exciting as Batman v Superman, but still an important differentiator.

Collaborative consulting is a partnership where the consultant works with the client throughout the planning, change management, and implementation stages of an engagement.

Authoritative consulting is a relationship where the client hires the consultant to come in and provide direction and control over a project, without any “boots-on-the-ground” work.

Otters, just because.

Otters hold hands while sleeping!

Both types of consulting have their place. For example, auditing should maintain the distance inherent in authoritative consulting, and the early parts of many engagements have elements of authoritative consulting. But in case you wondered, Yockey Jones works almost wholly in the COLLABORATIVE space. Here are some elements of collaborative consulting.

  • The consultant and the client SHARE RESPONSIBILITY for all planning, implementation, and results.
  • Decision making is characterized by respect and exchange. 
  • All data collection and analysis becomes a joint discovery process.
  • Disagreement is celebrated and used for negotiation and discovery of new ideas.
  • Communication must be two-way. 

Collaborative consulting is compared to holding hands. There is an exchange of information, but neither party loses their identity in that interchange.  The differentiation between the consultant’s area of expertise versus the collaboration between parties is relatively straightforward. If a client comes to me with a need to better serve their existing customer base, we will work together to identify the perceived pain points, and then perhaps I will design and administer a survey to delve deeper into the customers’ opinions. My client doesn’t know how to do that, and by working together, I don’t give up that expertise or authority, but we do collaborate together to determine both the need for that survey, and discuss what data will be useful to us as we move forward with our discovery and strategic changes.