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Between 2005 and 2011, IMC published Daily Tips every weekday on consulting ethics, marketing, service delivery and practice management. You may search more than 800 tips on this website using keywords in "Search all posts" or clicking on a tag in the Top Tags list to return all tips with that specific tag. Comment on individual tips (members and registered guests) or use the Contact Us form above to contact Mark Haas CMC, FIMC, Daily Tips author/editor. Daily Tips are being compiled into several volumes and will be available through IMC USA and Mark Haas.


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#552: Be Aware of A New Type of Corporation: The B Corp

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Tuesday, April 26, 2011
Updated: Tuesday, April 26, 2011
I have heard about the new B Corporation (benefit corporation) but am unsure how this relates to consultants or their clients.

Many companies, consumers and consultants prefer to work with socially and environmentally responsible companies. However, there is little other than a company's own assertion that they are a "good" company on which to make a decision to purchase, partner or invest. A B Corporation is a values-driven company that is certified by its mission, legal structure and actions to be organized and operated by its commitment to the triple bottom line of people. planet and profit. It embeds social and environmental responsibility into its structure, processes and culture.

Benefit corporations were established to supplement the traditional C Corp, S Corp and Limited Liability Corporation. Maryland was the first state to establish legal status for B Corps in 2010 and other states are in process, with the intent to provide incentives and tax breaks for socially productive companies. Given that investors and consumers increasingly demand hard evidence of socially responsible operations, there are now certification and audit standards and processes to assure that a company commits to stakeholders as well as shareholders. As of January 2011 there were about 400 B Corporations.

How is this important to consultants? Other than being aware of this form of organization and sharing this with your clients, as appropriate, consider two possibilities. First, this is a potentially new area of consulting in helping companies move toward certification and passing their audits. Second, B Corps may be interesting targets to whom you can consult if you provide sustainability, customer service or other stakeholder-centric services.

Tip: The B Corp legally recognizes that customers increasingly mandate environmental and socially responsible investing and purchasing. Consultants should be well ahead of their clients and communities in this area.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  certification  legal  trends 

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#285: Experience is Not the Same as Skill

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Friday, April 16, 2010
Updated: Friday, April 16, 2010
I get concerned when I hear people say, "After I retire, I think I'll do a little consulting." They seem to think that just because they have years of experience in a technology or industry, this somehow qualifies them to just wake up one day and start advising management. Am I wrong in feeling this way?

Management consulting is an unlicensed occupation, thus has low barriers to entry. However, it is still a profession requiring specific standards, a body of knowledge, competencies, skills, behaviors, and ethics. Too many organizations find out the hard way that hiring someone who "does a little consulting" is vastly different than hiring a professional consultant.

Much of consulting's bad reputation comes from individuals who portray themselves as professionals but lack the skills, behaviors or discipline required. Experience is not the same as skill.

Having experience in an area has little to do with one's ability to advise management in that area. It is like saying, "I raised three children over the past twenty years - I think I'll do a little pediatrics." Such a statement is laughable, and you wouldn't trust your child to someone who made that claim. So why would you trust your company to someone who isn't certified?

To assure expertise and skills, we recommend using only those professionals who are certified or licensed by a national or international body. Examples include Professional Engineers (PE), medical doctors (MD), Certified Public Accountants (CPA), and Certified Management Consultants (CMC). All of these professionals prove a long term commitment to the profession and meet or exceed rigorous professional standards. This should give clients the assurance that they are "in good hands."

With ISO 17024 standards for management consultants on the horizon, it is becoming apparent to more managers that professional standards are a preferred way to select consultants. As the international standard for management consultants, recognized in 46 countries, the Certified Management Consultant (CMC) designation is becoming the global standard for managers to find trusted, proven and ethical professional consultants.

Tip: The next time someone says that they "do a little engineering (or medicine or consulting)," make sure they are certified or licensed. Learn more about the CMC or forward this to colleagues interested in becoming certified consultants.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  brand management  certification  consultant role  customer understanding  ethics  knowledge assets  professional development  professionalism  reputation  your consulting practice 

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