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What makes a good consultant? 156 surveyed CEOs reveal the answers

Some CEOs don’t think about hiring a consultant until faced with challenges their teams are unable to overcome. Other CEOs bring consultants in readily when a challenge presents itself.

We wanted to find out more about execs’ top priorities and biggest challenges; where they run for help on key business issues; and their perspectives on strategy, management, and talent consultants. To accomplish this, we conducted a survey of 156 CEOs, presidents, and chairpeople as part of our What CEOs Really Want From Consultants Report.


Four major findings from our report

For CEOs, strategy and people come first … and then there’s everything else. As a consultant, your offer needs to resonate with CEOs. And to resonate, you need to know what matters most to them. Read more

CEOs are looking for more than just traditional management consulting. Read more

Our survey data shows that while CEOs are confident, the majority have the humility to know when they need help. Read more

CEOs are shifting away from expensive, customized consulting projects. Some CEOs resist consultants; some embrace consultants. Read more

Management consultants should offer talent strategy solutions.

We also found that in the past five years, nearly 70 percent of CEOs needed help with talent strategy and execution, whereas 65 percent needed help with business strategy and execution. This tells us that consultants who focus on strategy and leave people problems for others to solve are missing a huge opportunity.

Based on the results of our report, it’s important to make sure you complement your strategy consulting solutions with talent strategy solutions. By joining our  Certified Partner Network, consultants can save on time, push past growth blockers, and shift into a higher gear with concrete data and results.

Join 10,000 companies solving the most complex people problems with PI.

Hire the right people, inspire their best work, design dream teams, and sustain engagement for the long haul.


Laurel is the OPTIMA and events manager at PI. She's a licensed horseback instructor and owns a Dutch Warmblood horse.

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