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Change Management Consultant experience

by Alex F
(New York, USA)

I have been working as an employee in a senior management position in a large corporation for the last eight years. During this period the organization has been through significant change and upheaval and I have been required to manage business as usual responsibilities alongside the safe delivery of significant change to the area of operations for which I hold responsibility.

I am now contemplating resigning my position and starting a business as a change management consultant. Please can you advise whether I am likely to have sufficient experience and also what qualifications and or methodologies might potential clients expect me to bring.

It sounds like you have plenty of practical experience that will provide a solid foundation for starting business as a change management consultant.

You may find that you would benefit from some coaching or mentoring from someone who has experience of working as an external professional consultant or adviser to clients. In addition you could consolidate this coaching with some training in core consulting skills or you could consider working as employed consultant for a few years prior to starting your own consulting business.

As for qualifications and methodologies, the most important component you already have which is hands on experience. Beyond this you might like to consider qualifications in project management (PRINCE2), programme management (MSP) or risk management (M_o_R).

The Change Management Consultant needs a robust toolkit with which to assess and understand the changes required to the organization and then scope, plan and deliver a controlled start, execution and close to major business change programmes.

It is important to get some qualifications in these areas – the key differentiators for a credible change management consultant are training, qualifications and the basic toolkit that is brought to the client organization.

Many thousands of practitioners badge themselves as Change Management Consultants and the risk is that this discipline can be viewed as a fairly general skill set, whereas in reality the skills and experience required to do this sort of work properly are quite substantial.

Wishing you every success.

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Practical change management experience
by: Frank, Chicago

I agree with the sentiments expressed about the value of practical experience in a senior line management role.

I am an executive in a Fortune 500 business and I buy a lot of consulting services.

All things being equal I would favour a seasoned and well experienced senior line manager to a career consultant who may not have had practical experience of business change in the trenches.

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