The report-writing management consultant has become almost extinct in the West. What Henry Ekstein calls "interactive consulting" is not unique, but rather the standard for firms that are in demand in today's oversupplied consulting market.

The last thing a small business manager needs is a report telling him what his problems are. If he is perceptive about what is happening in his business, he has a perpetual list of problems to solve. The growth manager wants a consultant who will eliminate the problems, not illuminate them. The consultant's job is to implement change, and lasting change must happen through the clients organization, not in opposition to it.

While consultants like Ekstein may not be "a new breed," they are certainly the surviving breed in a marketplace where a report simply will not make the grade.

Published on: Apr 1, 1984