The Expert Model
This is the most common model, whereby you have already defined a need and conclude that your business has insufficient resources to fulfill it.
Consultation is quite specific. For example, it may include competitor research, the re-organisation of specialist functional groups (such as accounting) or eliminating technical faults with plant and machinery.
The ‘expert model’ is most effective when the commissioning manager has correctly diagnosed the need and communicated it clearly to the consultant. In addition, the manager should be prepared to implement any changes that are recommended.
The Doctor – Patient Model
This model is used if your organisation needs a general ‘health check’. This might be due to ‘symptoms’ such as dropping sales, increasing customer complaints, software problems, etc.
Like a physician, the consultant will recommend a programme to restore full health.
The ‘doctor-patient’ model is most effective when the consultant is able to obtain accurate diagnostic information. It is important, in this instance, that people feel free to be open and honest so as to reveal accurate information.
The Process Model
Process consulting is a set of activities that help you improve a given situation by perceiving, understanding, and acting upon events that occur within your business environment.
Perhaps you have a good idea of what is wrong but just need an outsider to come in and help shape a solution.
The essential function of the Process Model is to pass on the skills of how to diagnose and fix organisational problems, so that you are more able to continue to improve your business without guidance.
The Process Model is most effective when the client is motivated by appropriate goals and values, and has the capacity to enter into a helping relationship.