As consultants, we are often called in to provide a client with an outside perspective to help them solve a challenging business problem. Because we work with a variety of clients and stay current on the latest leadership thinking, we are able to bring best practices and knowledge of how others have solved similar issues. Probably the biggest value of seeking an external perspective is that this individual is not as emotionally invested in the problem as you are; this person is therefore able to ask questions to get to the real heart of the matter, so you can be sure to address the real source of the issue, not just the symptoms.
There are many ways to find an outside perspective:
- Bring in a consultant and learn from her/his expertise
- Obtain a mentor or executive coach who works for another company
- Attend leadership training courses to find alternate ways to approach your business problems
- Join an industry or professional association and network with fellow members
- Attend educational sessions at trade conferences
Some individuals are able to act as external consultants even within their own companies–a person who is not wrapped up in the politics nor limited by the way you have always done business can take a step back and rationally think through options–to come up with the best ways of solving your business problems. If you have one of these individuals, value and leverage her/his skills to help your organization move forward. If you do not have one of these people, use the techniques above to potentially become this go-to person yourself.