The Fast-Food equivalent of Management Consultants?

By Carlos Lameiro posted 08-03-2016 21:49


After reading the article published at, regarding management consulting, the reader gets the impression that standards in management consulting are non-existent, and very much needed!  

"Based on the European standard EN 16114:2011, ISO 20700 will be the first International Standard of its kind. Its arrival is much anticipated. The experts working in the committee feel it is long overdue and believe it will make a significant mark on the consulting industry."

Everyone has heard of the massive "black hole" that tends to develop at the center of every management consulting project that sucks up vast amounts of cash and resources from the "unsuspecting" client, right?  Such a devastating "phenomenon" must surely need to be identified, avoided and tracked, just as when developing early warning systems to identify and track severe weather that is here today, gone tomorrow....

With such a danger lurking in our midst (worth an annual $450 Billion!) businesses, economies and civilization itself must be protected!  Thank goodness we'll soon have ISO 20700, right?

What is surprising is not what is written in the article, but what is obviously missing... the fact that the designation of "Certified Management Consultant" (CMC) is alive and well, and can be currently relied on by clients looking to mitigate the very same issues that the article addresses.

The CMC designation is internationally recognized, so why all the fuss over ISO 20700?  Why the apparent disregard for the CMC designation in the article?

I can't shake off the feeling that ISO 20700 will ultimately be equivalent to the 'fast food' of management consulting: creating the expectation of a great meal at a modest cost, while increasing the risk of health-problems down the road.

As CMCs, should we regard this as an opportunity or threat?

After a more detailed review of ISO 20700, in my opinion, this standard is not a threat for the CMC designation, and at most it can simply serve as an alternative process to carry out management consultancy projects.  

The problem, however, could be when clients believe that an MCSP adhering to the ISO 20700 standard could be a sure-way to avoid "black holes" from forming in management consultancy projects.  Fortunately, avoiding "black holes" will depend on the skillful application of the ISO 20700 guidelines, which in turn, is more likely if the MCSP hired by a client is also a Certified Management Consultant (CMC), which again, highlights the glaring omission of mentioning the only internationally recognized designation in an article that focuses on improving outcomes in management consultancy.

Carlos Lameiro, BSc, BCom, IEMBA, MCSE-BI, CMC
Director and Senior Consultant
BIAPRO Information Solutions Inc.
Toronto ON
(416) 737-9694



Originally posted in Linkedin here.