Consulting Lessons Learned 11: So what?

Today’s lessons learned will be about one of the most important lessons for most junior consultants:

Always ask the “so what” question!

As a junior consultant, you will often work on highly operational tasks, like an excel analysis or a client interview.

You will have to dig deep into a problem and your aim is to come to a solution – whether it’s the result of the excel analysis or the finalized protocol of your client interview.

However, this shouldn’t be the finish line for your task! Always make sure to ask the “so what” question.

What conclusions do you derive from the solution? What do you propose to do next? What other analyses might be helpful? What do the results mean for your sub-project? And so on…

The solution is only the starting point for getting to a meaningful result that will differentiate good from bad consultants.

Many junior consultants are so relieved of finally getting through a difficult calculation or client meeting, that they forget to ask the “so what” question.

They just show their job manager the excel spreadsheet or the interview protocol. However, your job manager won’t be interested in those things. He or she will be interested in the conclusions you make from your work.

Categories: Best practices