You can rely on a brand. Still, when it comes to the outcomes you expect, the most crucial will be the particular person, who delivers them and ensures quality.
Can he solve my problem? Can he solve it properly?
You should admit that these are the most important questions when choosing a management consultant.
A qualification is a certain combination of knowledge, skills and experience …, as an HR director once explained to me. To solve confidently your ambitious tasks with efficient and workable outcomes in a high quality and timely manner, I can offer a unique combination of deep knowledge, strong professional skills and solid multifaceted experience.
Ready to take a deep dive into really pedantic and nerdish details? Then let’s go!
Table of Contents
Each project is a “mini-MBA”Andrey G., partner at “Balanced Scorecard Collaborative” in Russia and CIS countries
With each project, I had not only shared acquired advanced knowledge and mastered a variety of methods, but had been learning a lot as well. Communication with managers gives another, each time a new perspective, and often more than one point of view on an issue, a situation, and a business, not to mention an industry expertise. It is an opportunity to see every problem or situation through the eyes of another person, through the prism of his or her experience, knowledge and skills. Provided you know how to ask the right questions, of course.
My experience in providing management consulting services includes such industries as energy, mining, telecommunications, construction, manufacturing, retail and wholesale trade, FMCG, investments, finance, services, as well as multi-profile holdings and groups of companies.
My functional experience includes strategy and strategic projects, finance, investments, operational management, marketing, economics and budget management, certain types of supply chain (logistics + manufacturing), project activities, organizational structures, operational risks, finance and investments, development of new products, and a number of other areas.
The strategic area is especially worth mentioning. It has been the focus of my efforts in recent years and these are my favourite tasks. Skills in this area allow me not only to work successfully on large-scale and expensive solutions that affect a company or a group as a whole. These also help me to be more accurate and precise in solving smaller tasks related to management of specific aspects of a business, taking into account a “big picture”.
The size of the companies I worked at or to whom I delivered the services varies: from entrepreneurs launching new businesses through mid-sized organizations, to systemically important monopolies and international industry leaders. More information about the experience of providing services can be found on the page with examples of work performed.
Management experience includes running a department in a management company of a large production holding (18000 FTE), creating and running a management consulting department in a diversified group of consulting companies, managing several teams of consultants simultaneously.
I also possess entrepreneurial experience, including managing my own business – starting and developing business in various fields with the number of employees up to 70 people.
I am able translate into documents in a high-quality and timely manner various solutions and ideas, such as a business plan, variety of management and control tools from operational KPIs to a Balanced Scorecard, a DCF forecast, capable to formulate the found strategy (corporate or business), etc. I am also confident in structural solutions, organizational development and business processes. However, my professional competences really shine in identifying, structuring and solving complex problems, combining tools from almost the entire spectrum of management.
My experience of managing challenging, complex projects will be most useful if you require change management skills that are rarely to be found within regular management – in strategic, but no less useful in operational transformation. Constant “adaptation” (or alignment) of a company in accordance with long-term goals and vision along with taking into account constantly changing conditions, both outside and inside an organization – in my opinion, is not only the essence of successful strategic business development, but also a very foundation of a long-term prosperity of a business.
Quite a long time ago at the university, I was taught the two most important things:
- How mechanisms of an effective enterprise fundamentally work in market (competitive) economy
- How to find, to understand, to structure, and to learn new information, converting it into valuable knowledge and apply it in practice
My major – Economist / Manager – allows me:
- to understand which solutions could work and which ideas contradict the principles of economics and management
- to see and to formulate the most profound questions of business efficiency and find answers to them
- to seek, to create and to choose solutions that are applicable, workable and can be integrated into an existing business organization
Over time, I deepened and expanded my knowledge in the area. At the beginning of my career, I had a chance to learn a lot on trainings on various functional and industry-specific skills: project management, finance, business processes, KPIs, strategic management, etc. Now I myself conduct trainings and training seminars (mainly within a scope of a project) and help managers to expand their understanding of opportunities they facing, to get a new point of view, to explain modern approaches and to gain necessary skills to use knowledge in a challenging work of a manager or a director.
I am not only very well acquainted with modern schools of strategy and its development in time, but also used this knowledge to create a tool to assess the level of “strategicness” in a global context (see the project description). I can apply almost all of the about 30 widely used methods of strategic analysis (and about the same number of tools), among which SWOT, so beloved by various salespersons, is only one and far from being as universal and applicable as it is usually presented.
Knowledge in the field of statistical analysis allows me to not only confidently justify trends and identify patterns of factors affecting a business, but also to create statistical models for assessing strategic alternatives and other complex and expensive solutions. In general, not only do I know almost all the tools of modern business analysis – financial, economic (micro and macro), investment, etc. – but I am also able to combine them depending on tasks in a project scope and a situation.
At an operational level, my knowledge based mainly on process approach and project management. Such a systematic view of business logic not only allows me to work on an optimization of operational activities in the broadest context, but also competently create, implement and fine-tune almost all management systems, such as planning and budgeting, financial and investment management, as well to design and to adjust organizational structures, etc. To work with processes I am very familiar with such methods as ARIS, IDEFx, UML. From the process improvement point of view I know the standards of ISO:9000 series, Six Sigma, Lean manufacturing. At the beginning of my career, BABoK did not exist yet, and I had to invent and create many methods and tools as I went along. Now a good business analysis methodology is available more widely. In project management, I am closer to PMBoK methodology, although I am also familiar with PRINCE2, Agile, Scrum.
Of course, it is impossible to list simply all my knowledge. You can learn more about the main methods and tools that I know well on the pages with typical consulting services I offer.
You can be sure I supply the best practices available on the planet. In order to provide you with solutions of the highest quality, I am constantly searching, studying, analyzing and applying in practice modern achievements of management as a science. Fluent English along with good German language skills and fundamental specialized education allow me to find and study modern approaches of leading universities and business schools of the world, as well as to discuss them with recognized international experts in economics, finance, management, strategy, etc. I regularly read modern books, articles, research, analytics, case studies and other publications. I publish some of my reflections on those issues on my blog, sometimes in other outlets and media. Extensive practice of using advanced tools in companies in the post-Soviet area, as well as in European countries, allows me to apply them effectively, adapting it to your situation.
Knowledge without an ability to apply them is akin to expressionism – you can recite whatever you read with excitement and true passion, making a strong impression on a conversation partner, but what is the practical sense?
Management consulting requires both the development of many skills, and the ability to combine them correctly to solve particular practical problems. Below are some of my key skills acquired over a long period working on complex and challenging problems, building up and assisting in making complicated and expensive decisions, as well as solving a variety of creative tasks.
Basic skills of searching, analyzing, structuring complex and discrete information, presentation skills, preparation of complex texts in a format understandable to the reader, and many others are not even mentioned.
Without social or soft skills, a management consultant cannot exist. Any consultant can learn to make presentations and speeches along with teamwork in the first years of his or her work.
The next important skill, the ability to listen, listen actively and, most importantly, to hear, is not mastered by all consultants. A lot of information in Russian companies is not formalized; it simply resides in the heads of management and employees. Over the years, I have learned not only to collect information through interviews, but also to understand in a conversation with management their view of a situation and to see a business, a company and its surroundings through their eyes and meticulously gather comprehensive ideas about possible problems and solutions.
Argumentative persuasion is a more complex skill. It requires not only discipline in thinking, but also carefully prepared arguments beforehand. The latter are often being substituted by emotional arguments – due to banal laziness or simply because of the complexity of a task to find and process the necessary information. I am able to quickly fill gaps in the necessary arguments from different sources – experts, statistics, studies, reviews, etc. – and visually present verified information for making complex decisions.
Problem solving skills
When I was about 14 years old, I read a book about TRIZ with vivid illustrative examples. At that time, it looked like kind of magic and it was difficult for me to imagine that these methods would be practically useful in my life. Over time, I discovered other methods and approaches to solving non-standard problems / tasks and gladly tested them in reality. Over the years, this battle-tested method was constantly being incorporated into my growing arsenal and transformed into the solid problem-solving skills.
The solution of any problem starts with its precise definition and accurate evaluation of its scale. In the process of collecting information about a problem, I also know how to understand all participants involved in a problem, their interests and can add up all the opinions (critically thought through first), including my own, facts, figures, structuring complex problems into a single logic and overlaying this logic on a holistic picture of a situation. This allows me to formulate fairly accurate conclusions about a problem: the scale, the hierarchy of problems and their causes.
A solution of complex problems often requires a detailed analysis of their components. In addition to strong analytical skills, I am able to collect, to aggregate, and to synthesize information from a variety of sources in virtually any form and turn it into outcomes, suitable for further analysis and decision-making.
Formulating options for solving a problem (or complex managerial decisions) and evaluating them, including from the perspective of all parties involved in a problem, is another practical skill that I possess in full. Additionally, if necessary, I am able to find similar solutions and cases in both Russian and international practices of similar companies, and compare them with your situation. In certain cases, a new perspective helps me either to better understand and influence the decisions I am assisting to make, or to find a completely new, unique one.
At the beginning of my career as a management consultant, the “industry focus” could not exist: management consulting in Russia was young and few in number, and complex tasks emerged in completely different industries. This situation required to develop such skills as quick immersion into the specifics, learning critical information about an industry in the shortest possible time. Not every consultant was able to meet such requirements. These skills allow me to delve into specifics of a particular business, market, segment, niche, i.e. to understand the specifics of your business and its key differences that set you apart from the competitors.
The ability to immerse myself quickly in industry specifics, proven in numerous projects, as well allows me to use transfer skills: to pick up methods, tools and data from other industries and functional areas in order to compile or to combine unique, creative, yet workable and realistic solutions.
Each of us has a certain mindset, a preferable way of thinking. As a rule, it is a distinctive mix – logical, creative and emotional thinking – with a small imprint of systemic, structural, tactical, etc., imposed by professional activity one involved in.
A good consultant needs several perspectives, several ways of looking at a situation and a business. In other words, we need different thinking skills for different situations. The ability to think is like playing a violin or a piano: it requires daily practice. Thinking skills are difficult to develop and require long practice to form them. However, this is critical for proper problem solving.
Logical thinking is the most common skills, which is even could be found to teach in good universities. Almost any business is built on logical connections, causes and consequences. This skill is a basic one for any work in business.
Systemic thinking allows shifting focus from phenomena and events (which are symptoms of a problem) to systemic interconnection of fundamental elements. With the help of systemic thinking I can put together an unbiased integral “big picture” of a situation, understand the mutual influence of many elements, components, constituent parts on the system’s behavior and “see” (mentally model) the system’s behavior when changing its individual part, as well as make reasonable conclusions about problems, their causes and formulate options for their elimination.
Structural thinking is indispensable when formulating a hierarchy of problems, various analytical “trees” (solutions, analysis, etc.) and when searching / structuring information. And, of course, when developing organizational and other management structures. Through the prism of structural thinking, you can see the order and organization. Or their absence. This skill helps me to see which parts of the mosaic are missing in the “big picture” and quickly fill in the gaps from the most appropriate sources – experts, statistics, studies, reviews, etc. I should note that without appropriate knowledge and background, structural thinking is only partially useful for solving problems: broad horizon and knowledge both are prerequisites.
Operational and project thinking allows to look at company business activities in different ways. To simplify the matter: day-to-day work is an operational task, and changing something in the usual daily routine is a project task. Two types of activity have different sets of best practices for their effective management. Moreover, each industry or functional area has the well-established and most battle-proven tools. In project management, for example, for the development of new software is better suited agile or scrum, and for construction – PRINCE2.
Strategic and tactical thinking are not synonymous, and many people interchangeably use both as misnomer for each other. Strategic decisions can make some of your tactical actions unnecessary and even deprive your competitor’s tactic (and sometimes strategy) of any sense. The skills of strategic thinking allows me to devise strategic and tactical decisions and actions that are not only consistent with each other, but also optimally balanced with the resources at your disposal. The experience of working on strategy execution for many companies has helped me to refine and consolidate such skills.
The skills of creative thinking – including entrepreneurship, the ability to look for and find innovative ideas, and to think out-the-box – allow me to avoid typical solutions for your ambitious tasks, if necessary, and often find ways that are more effective.
By looking at your tasks and situations through the prisms of such perspectives (points of view at a business and an organization), I manage not only to find or compile a solution that best suit you, but also to combine different methods and tools that suit only your business for your specific tasks.
I am constantly searching and analyzing information: if it is not another project, it is deepening and expanding knowledge for upcoming innovative tasks. I remember how much I was impressed by my acquaintance with the Internet: as if I learned to read anew and opened a “book about everything”. Every year the amount of available information is multiplied. From this point of view – effective information management becomes one of the key skills, the significance of which increases every year. Since I was a child, I loved technology and especially computers (I even used a programmable calculator at school to play games!); it is easy and interesting for me to learn a variety of new software for different purposes.
To mention such basic skills as text processing, tabular data processing and presentation preparation I consider unnecessary. In addition to any office applications I mastered, I know how to use databases (based on SQL: MySQL, MariaDB, PostgreSQL, etc.), statistical analysis and data visualization tools (SPSS, Tableau, etc.), recently learned a bit of Python (programming language) for this purpose.
In general, any software is not a problem for me if I am familiar with the methodology behind it. For example, knowing algebra and trigonometry, it doesn’t matter where to use formulas to calculate: MS Excel, MatLab, Jupyter Notebook, Spyder or simple A4 sheet. Or, another example, my experience of modeling, optimizing and designing business processes allows me not only to work with ease in any modules (such as CRM, FI, SCM, etc.) of various automation systems (MS Dynamics, SAP, etc.), but also to adjust their work optimally, as well as correctly set tasks for programmers to modify them if necessary.
As a conclusion
A unique mix of multifaceted background with confident and relevant skills provides you with an extensive spectrum of opportunities to solve your ambitious tasks. It allows me to convert the most advanced knowledge of modern management methods, which I regularly seek and learn, into practical improvements in business, as well as the making of complex and expensive management decisions well informed and thoroughly in-depth considered.
Still having doubts?
But there’s always one more question: why do I do it, isn’t it? :-)