Essay topics: All too often, companies hire outside consultants to suggest ways for the company to operate more efficiently. If companies were to spend more time listening to their own employees, such consultants would be unnecessary.
Write a response in which you discuss the extent to which you agree or disagree with the statement and explain your reasoning for the position you take. In developing and supporting your position, you should consider ways in which the statement might or might not hold true and explain how these considerations shape your position.Please rate it and suggest improvements.
Here's my AWA essay (Timed and written under test conditions)
Often times hiring consultants from outside proves to be a boon rather than bane. There is always the trade off between the high fee demanded by these external consultants and the knowledge and value they provide. But in the long shot, hiring outside consultants who can suggest ways for a specific company to operate more efficiently is more thoughtful and worthwhile rather then merely listening to insiders.
The chief reason for my view is that outside consultants have experience in their field, through many years of problem solving in various industries and can provide a point of view which even the company might have missed. When a company works on a specific client problem or an internal issue, often a certain biased-ness creeps in which blocks the company insiders from thinking from a different point of view or may be out of the box solutions. The top consultant companies in the world like Mckinsey, Bain, BCG, etc have a strong reputation in solving issues because of the variety of problems they have already gone through and also their rich database, which these consultancies have built over the years.
For example: In China market, a European medtech company name Medtronics had made certain acquisition for a local company, in order to increase its reach and blend in the with Chinese culture, to increase the sales. Years later after declining sales, an outside consulting was hired which helped the company to figure out the reason for low sales but also provide a solution for the process improvement. If the company had stick to listening to its employee (which it did and made the acquisition in the first phase) and never hired outside consultant, perhaps, Medtronics might had to exist from China market. But that never happened!!
Employees form the crux of the company and know about the company from top to bottom. If companies were to spend more time listening to their own employees, it might look that such outside consultants might be rendered useless but will also save the expenses of hiring the external consulting companies. However, this problem is analogous to the parable of 'frog of the well', who thinks that his/her opinions are the only one's to be considered. This narrow mindedness can often cost company millions of dollars. The world is full of such examples.
Example: Had 'Enron' or 'Worldcom' with all the honesty, had completely got their accounts verified from external counsultants, they still might have been existent today.
To sum up, I would say that external consultants and insider view both matter to an extent, but its never wrong to get additional views from an outside consultant, who through years of rich experience can help companies rid of certain biased-ness and also help in adding value, provide never thought of solutions or may be save the company from a disastrous chain of events.