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A good consultant is like a good golf caddy

Someone recently told me that a good business strategy consultant is like a good golf caddy.

They knows the course well. They have played it themselves and/or caddied many other players around it before. They know the course conditions. They know the best lines and where all the traps are.

They haves a complete set of clubs in the bag. They knows which ones to use when. They can apply this knowledge on the course. And they can adjust it to the specific capabilities of the player they're caddying.

As a result, they can advise the player on every aspect of the game. They can act as a sounding board as the player things through each sot. And in doing so, they can help the player to play their best round.

But it remains the case that it is the player - and only the player - who must play each shot.

It's the same with a good business strategy consultant.

They know the theory of business strategy. They're familiar with the case studies. But more importantly, they've been through the process of developing and executing business strategy many times before.

They have experiences of different businesses, perhaps even different industries. They've developed and executed business strategy through different phases of the economic cycle.

They have experience of what works and what does not work. They've made and seen many mistakes, and learned how to avoid them.

They have, at their disposal a rich toolkit of frameworks and tools for developing and executing business strategy. They have practical experience of having used them. And, of course, the know when and when not to use each one.

An so like a caddy with a player, they are able to advise a business owner or executive; or just to act as a sounding board. To enable them to achieve their best results.

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