Kevin Modany, an experienced executive consultant, highlights the professional attributes that foster success within the business realm.
The 21st-century business world presents increasingly complex challenges for Chief Executive Officers (or CEOs) and senior executives. To illustrate, the executive team might find it necessary to streamline operations and cut costs. Alternatively, the business may require help with strategic planning logistics or even need to prepare for a potential merger.
Data-driven decisions play a growing role in these and other scenarios. Here, a successful executive consultant can assist in finding new opportunities and navigating specific challenges. This seasoned professional brings proven specialized expertise to the table.
Kevin Modany has served as an executive consultant since 2016. A former Certified Public Accountant and senior executive, he combines multifaceted expertise to offer consulting services in multiple areas. Here, Kevin Modany shares insights on executive consultants’ key attributes essential to a successful career.
Overview of the Executive Consultant’s Advisory Role
An executive consultant is a recognized subject matter expert who guides CEOs and senior executives in problem-solving or decision-making functions. Each consultant is typically knowledgeable in a specific area such as operational efficiencies, financial management, or strategic planning (among others).
Equally importantly, the executive consultant has superb communication skills. This attribute enables them to clearly and succinctly transmit their knowledge to the appropriate executive(s).
Executive consultants generally take on relatively short-term assignments. A consultant could temporarily join a company’s executive team to identify a challenging problem and/or brainstorm one or more solutions.
Key Trends in Executive Consultancy
The executive consultancy field is evolving to meet 21st-century challenges. Two major trends are helping to change the way executive consultants perform services for their clients. Finally, executive consultants have decidedly favorable career prospects.
Ongoing Digital Platform Expansion
In today’s rapidly changing business landscape, many companies are adopting digital operations platforms. Specialized executive consultants are well-positioned to help these businesses implement digitally based success strategies. Major areas of focus include data and analytics management along with customer experience enhancements.
Innovative Business Model Adoption
In a highly competitive industry, each company wants to differentiate itself from others in the marketplace. The business’ leaders also seek to identify additional revenue sources. These extra income streams may be derived from new product or service offerings. Alternatively, the company may wish to introduce an entirely new business model.
That’s where a specialized executive consultant can help. Consultants who can create innovative new business models, and efficiently bring them to market, will find themselves much in demand. Of course, the executive consultant must be able to incorporate client feedback into the business model ideation and implementation process.
Optimistic Career Growth Prospects
Companies that increase productivity, decrease costs, and streamline their operations will have the edge against competitors. To achieve these goals, businesses are hiring executive consultants at a rapid pace. In fact, consultants’ employment is projected to expand much faster than average during the following decade.
Logistically, executive consultants often work under the auspices of a consulting firm. By completing larger projects and/or taking on more clients, these consultants gain higher positions within the company. Over time, they often acquire the resources to start their own executive consulting firms. In that capacity, they retain their own clients while managing other specialized consultants.
7 Key Executive Consultant Functions
Executive consultants are involved in almost every phase of business operations. Multifaceted executive consultants, such as Kevin Modany, advise executives on diverse business topics. Following are seven typical executive consultant functions.
- Completing a SWOT analysis to identify the business’ strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats
- Executing data analyses to enable operational efficiencies enhancements
- Familiarizing workers with management concepts to enhance employee performance
- Providing senior executives with strategic guidance on organizational restructuring programs
- Delivering expert assistance on the company’s strategic planning process
- Generating reports summarizing surveys or research studies
- Putting the framework in place for an upcoming corporate merger
Executive Consultants’ Professional Attributes Increase Their Effectiveness
Skilled executive consultants continue to be in high demand. Each consultant’s professional qualifications can truly help a company accomplish high-level goals. Successful executive consultant Kevin Modany discusses several desirable qualities that make executive consultants the crème de la crème of the business world.
Technology-Related Consultant Attributes
Executive consultants commonly possess an array of technical skills (or “hard skills”). These skills are useful in solving complex problems and making multifactorial decisions.
Each executive consultant must be able to objectively analyze a client’s problem and devise a targeted solution. During the process, the consultant evaluates diverse data sets and pinpoints patterns and relevant trends. Taken together, the data enables the consultant to make an informed decision about the correct business strategy.
Kevin Modany details three real-world applications of an executive consultant’s analytical skills. First, the consultant often uses their analytical abilities to identify a business’ operational strengths and weaknesses.
In a related task, the consultant can predict the effectiveness of the company’s existing business strategies. Finally, an executive consultant can analyze a client’s new business ideas using an objective set of criteria.
Financial Analysis and Application Skills
An executive consultant must possess top-tier financial analysis skills. When evaluating financial data, they must look beyond the numbers and understand how the results are creating challenges or opportunities for their client.
Equipped with this data, the executive consultant should be able to design comparative financial models illustrating the potential outcomes of specific tactical decisions. Based on the results, the consultant should design a strategy that will enhance the client’s overall financial health.
Kevin Modany’s proven financial analysis skills help to elevate his performance in this area. As a former Certified Public Accountant, and with diverse accounting and financial management experience, he is well-positioned to serve clients in the financial arena.
Data-Driven Decision-Making Skills
An executive consultant must be skilled in data analysis and interpretation. By analyzing data sets and trends, they can formulate recommendations that can help resolve their client’s challenges.
Equally importantly, the executive consultant must be able to powerfully communicate their insights to clients who need solutions. The consultant will transform the insights into targeted strategies designed to elevate each company’s performance in the marketplace.
Kevin Modany Relies on Data-Driven Decisions
Executive consultant Kevin Modany is well acquainted with the deluge of data CEOs and executives must manage daily. He emphasizes the importance of finding data that will be useful in making decisions.
“There’s a plethora of data. People are collecting more and more of it. I think it requires that we prioritize and we make sure that we’re focused on the right set of data, and we don’t get overwhelmed by it. But I think it’s super exciting,” he remarked.
Well-Presented Data Wins Every Time
Kevin Modany relates an analogy illustrating his preference for data-driven decisions. He sets up a hypothetical comparison between an Executive Vice President with a hunch and a janitor with “a statistically valid business case with empirical data that supported the argument.” To Kevin Modany, the party with the quantifiable data has the edge.
“I’m going with the janitor. I’m not going with the EVP. I don’t care what your title is, [and] I don’t care what clothes you have on. I don’t care how good you look or how good you talk. None of that means anything to me…Like if you have a statistically valid, supportable idea, and you want to present it, I’m all ears,” he emphasized.
With that said, Kevin Modany understands that qualitative factors also figure into a decision. “[The data is] not the end all be all, right? There’s still qualitative considerations, and you always have to have that as part of the equation,’ Kevin Modany concluded.
Proactive Problem Resolution Capabilities
An executive consultant must have an uncanny ability to see a developing problem before it becomes a major headache. This early identification enables the consultant to design a targeted solution that has a positive impact on the issue.
Sometimes, circumstances may change during the problem-resolution process. In this case, the consultant must be able to switch gears and fine-tune their recommendations based on the new set of variables.
Project Management Skills
Project management is a complex task that involves multiple variables and stakeholders. An executive consultant must seamlessly control this multifaceted operation. Besides ensuring that each client project is completed on time, the consultant must stay within a predetermined budget.
During each project management cycle, the executive consultant must display effective communication with team members and clients. By doing so, the consultant can work efficiently and achieve the desired objectives.
As a highly versatile executive consultant, Kevin Modany has been an integral part of diverse client projects since 2016. His areas of focus include business development, operational optimization, and strategic planning. Digital transformation, financial management, and mergers or acquisitions are also in his wheelhouse.
Other Essential Executive Consultant Skills
In addition to their technology-related abilities, executive consultants must have a firm command of several “soft” skills. Here, a focus on strategic thinking, clear communication, and relationship building is key. A commitment to ongoing learning helps to ensure the consultant will stay apprised of relevant industry developments.
Strategic Thinking Skills
Most companies operate with short-term and long-term goals. The short-term objectives are geared to improving current performance. In contrast, the longer-term (or strategic) goals focus on the big picture. Examples include geographic expansions and/or substantial growth of overall market share.
Executive consultants must be able to envision the company’s big-picture goals while understanding the actions required to achieve them. Through strategic thinking, the consultants can help clients devise strategies to reach their objectives. As an experienced executive consultant, Kevin Modany has applied strategic thinking in his own companies and those of his clients.
Stellar Communication Skills
Effective communication enables smooth collaboration and goal achievement. Executive consultants must have superb verbal and written communication skills, as they often interface with their clients and fellow team members. The consultants listen to clients’ concerns and develop targeted action plans that can solve problems and move the company forward.
Executive consultant Kevin Modany is a straightforward communicator who believes the honest approach is best for all parties involved. “If you ask me a question, you’ve got to be careful because I will give you an answer…And I don’t believe in anything other than being honest and forthright. And sometimes it’s painful, but you’ve got to be truthful. And that’s the way I am, and that’s the way I’ve always been,” he stated.
Although executive consultants must be conversant with technology, they must also have proven relationship-building skills. They should be able to connect with clients and fellow team members on a personal level.
This easy rapport helps to facilitate good working relationships, a key factor in accomplishing goals. Equally importantly, a consultant should be able to effectively manage conflicts that do arise. Together, these attributes foster a sense of collaboration, which leads to effective strategy design and implementation.
Kevin Modany describes how an executive consultant’s relationship-building skills can help to advance their goals. “But it’s that you have to turn your mission into actionable items in a way in which people could embrace them and feel good about what they’re doing and be motivated.
“The objective of a leader should be, like, to get the people motivated, that they want to run through a wall for you…I mean, they don’t want to disappoint you…You get them to be motivated to want to work with you and accomplish objectives,” Kevin Modany emphasized.
Commitment to Ongoing Learning
Executive consulting is a complex field that demands intensive knowledge on one or more subjects. As with any discipline, industry advances and/or evolving regulations mean that executive consultants must stay up to date on current technologies and operating requirements.
In addition, executive consultants should plan to participate in ongoing professional development and training. They should also be prepared to share their growing knowledge with their clients and fellow associates. As a successful executive consultant who wants to best serve the firm’s portfolio companies, Kevin Modany places a priority on ongoing education in diverse areas.
A Results-Focused Mindset is Key
Regardless of an executive consultant’s professional background, they must approach their client interactions with a results-focused mindset. Stated another way, their recommendations should enable each client to achieve concrete business performance improvements.
If the executive consultant’s recommendations don’t bring the desired outcomes, they should be prepared to fine-tune their tactics and metrics accordingly. Each consultant’s success is reflected in their clients’ overall results.
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