The confusion regarding the 2 job roles management consulting and strategy consulting can be cleared if the two job roles are analyzed. The first one includes strategy planning through research whereas the second one focuses upon the execution process of the work. The interview formats of these two job roles also differ according to the profile requirements.
Strategy consulting is usually the first consultants on the ground when it comes to the clients. The strategy consultants consider all the factors that contribute to the problem and the strategist literally strategize several solutions that would actually work. Hence, they look at everything and form a pattern of work. The strategists or the consultants do a lot of research about the industry as well and they form the different options that the clients can select. As experts, they do the research, put together the comparisons and give the clients many options to select. Accordingly, the clients choose the best option. When the strategy consulting is over, the strategists or consultants hand over the project to a management consultant.
For instance, a newspaper agency that has been losing readers due to the change of economy and trends will opt for a strategy consultant first. By research, the consultant will find out the various reasons of the problem and will develop one or more solutions for the agency. When this is done, the agency will opt for management consulting to get the plan executed. Management consulting will prepare different teams for the development which includes different aspects of the work. Management consultants put together the solutions to reinforce the plan and thereby they ensure that it's brought all the way out to the end.
Though there is a difference between the interview format of strategy consulting and management consulting, the basic elements of both the interviews are similar. The interviews will check if a candidate is outgoing and able to work in the particular field. It will check the academic qualification, the credentials, the achievements and skills. The interview of management consulting will focus more upon the work domain and check whether the candidate is suitable for the role. If the domain is technology oriented, the interviewer will test the technological skills of the candidate and appoint her/him if all the above criteria are present.
First of all, there has been a push as of late for every place that labels itself as a consulting firm to have a strategy. You don't have to think all things are equal in that regard necessarily. There are some extremely strong players both at the boutique size and enormous size that are really frontrunners in the Strategy Consulting area.
Example: if you are looking at a company which has issues with profitability, then they are probably looking for a management consulting firm for cost savings marketing. They may also look for tech innovation. The company will look for supply chain and logistics, cost savings and automation and things like that. If they are pitching out and requesting something from the strategy arm of your company or a strategy consulting firm, then they are looking for a large-scale directional change, a more significant shift.
So instead of fixing the ship up, make sure that you patch all the leaks, and you are not going underwater. Small firms that are doing full-on Strategy Consulting are talking more about M&A and new markets to enter into large scale ambitious goals and plans. They put those plans and goals in front of people.
However, there is something that is lost with Strategy Consulting because it is so lofty and aspiring in its nature. A lot of times, Strategy Consultants on a client-side specifically have a tendency to build beautiful elaborate plans and then drop them in the lap of an organization and say “hey, it's 40 million dollars.”
There is a sense within the business community that people are guarded around Strategy Consulting firms because they worry about pushing beyond their limits.