Kevin C Desouza has a nice categorization of management consultant roles in What kind of a management consultant are you?.
On a fairly regular basis, I am asked, “What kind of a consultant are you, Kevin?” I admit that my typical response has been to take the easy road by responding, “It depends.” For the last several weeks, I have begun to think more creatively on the nature, type, and roles of management consultants in organizations. I have served in various capacities as a consultant to a myriad of organizations; reflecting on what I do in the various situations can only help me get better. During these reflections, I have come to the realization that there are archetypes of management consultants.
Kevin creates these archetypes based on the major role of what the consultant does: lawyers, engineers, designers, doctors, artists and coaches. And he asks if there are any pieces missing.
The work that I've been doing most recently with P3 Consulting Group has been of the doctor variety. We diagnose the situation and recommend (and implement) a course of treatment. I see my colleagues doing a bit more in the coaching category: once we've got the basic diagnosis and treatment, our clients often look for ongoing coaching around how to do the diagnoses and implementations themselves.