Before defining the phrase transfer of liability, it’s important to note who has the liability in the first place. In business, the business owner or owners ultimately have liability for their company. However, a Transfer of Liability can occur after hiring a consultant. Until the point when a business owner realizes he or she needs help and takes action, there is only one person who is responsible. Obviously, hiring a consultant doesn’t remove all liability from the business owner. It does shift some of the responsibility away from the business owner who can spend his or her time on other tasks. Having an experienced advisor or team of advisors, like management consultants, may prove to be the best thing you could have ever asked for.
Although typically thought of in a legal sense, burden of proof is also a business concept. Great consultants realize that the Burden of Proof should always be on them to show tangible deliverables. This is why so many consultants begin with a simple question: “What are you trying to accomplish?” They ask this to identify a clear objective that he or she can be focused on accomplished for the business owner. As a business owner, you should always ask “What is the deliverable?” or “What does this accomplish?” These simple questions put the responsibility of results squarely on the shoulders of the consultant (which is exactly where it should be). Other great questions to ask of your consultant relate to timelines, staffing, history, and experience.
Maybe you tried hiring a consultant in the past and found yourself saying, “Show me the Money!” or “What have you done for me lately?” By being proactive about vetting the management consultant you are considering hiring, you can avoid and prevent making these types of statements.