A very common question that is asked of consulting firms is “Why hire outsiders to do work when you could hire in-house?” In this brief article you will find a rationale for hiring consultants as well as a bit of advice on how ensure you choose the right firm for you.
Hiring a consultant or firm means recruiting highly specialized professionals to work towards set goals. This is only the right decision if it saves your company money and makes your projects reach their goals faster. This means that the members of the hired consulting firm now work for your company and should be treated as a temporary part of your team. The least intrusive role a consultant can play is working on a contract that addresses short-term organizational needs. This is often designed not to replace any organizational positions, but instead to empower staff to be more efficient or to address a transitory area of development. As consultants we fill a gap for your company and could never replace full-time employees long-term. Often companies need temporary aid in solving strategic issues and activating existing plans which is why they seek outside sources for individuals with highly developed skillsets and expansive and relevant experience.
It is important when hiring a consultation firm that extensive research is conducted prior to contact. Looking at the various groups and their collective abilities is a huge part of securing a firm. Once you initiate communication, processes begin and you may find yourself agreeing to work with a firm that is not the right fit for you. Look at their track record and ensure that they either have relevant experience with a related project or that they have equivalent experience within another sector.
All consultants strive towards their own “best practices” model. Across all industries and functions consultants have the rare privilege of spending time critically reviewing, developing and implementing these models with their clients. This means that no matter who you are hiring, they spend their time working hard to ensure you don’t have to.
Clayton Windatt is a Métis non–binary multi-artist living and working between Sturgeon Falls and Toronto, Ontario. Clayton holds a BA in Fine Art from Nipissing University and received Graphic Design certification from Canadore College. With an extensive history working in Artist-Run Culture and Community Arts, and through their own activism, Clayton works towards healthier relationships for national and global Indigenous artists and communities. The former Executive Director of the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Clayton maintains contracts with several colleges and universities, arts magazines, arts councils, arts organizations, and other organizations as a critical writer, columnist and consultant in addition to pursuing their independent arts practice. Clayton is an active filmmaker and director with works featured in festivals such as ImagineNative and the Toronto International Film Festival and recent commissions by the National Film Board of Canada. Clayton works in/with community, design, communications, curation, performance, theatre, technology, and consulting, and is a very active writer, filmmaker and visual-media artist. Clayton was appointed to the National Gallery of Canada’s Board of Trustees in 2019 and is now the Executive Director of the Artist-Run Centres and Collectives Conference/La Conférence des collectifs et des centres d’artistes autogérés (ARCA).
Areas of Interest:
- Development and Implementation Strategies
- Activating public spaces
- Municipal Cultural Plans
- Image building
- Cultural tourism
- Public art policy
- Developing Cultural RFP processes
- Marketing and Design
- Providing strategic leadership
To learn more about Clayton Windatt’s arts practice, please visit www.claytonwindatt.com.
Tara Windatt is an artist, writer, and arts administrator of settler and Indigenous ancestry from Northern Ontario with a Liberal Arts degree with concentrations in fine art and history from Nipissing University. She is a member of the distance between us arts collective (www.distancebetweenus.com), and her practice includes installation, performance, poetry, media arts, visual arts, photography, and craft. With over a decade of experience in the not-for-profit arts sector, Windatt has worked with a number of arts organizations including the White Water Gallery, the Aboriginal Curatorial Collective, Jumblies Theatre, Zakide, the Future in Safe Hands Collective, the ON THE EDGE fringe festival, and Aanmitaagzi Story Makers.
Areas of Interest:
- Bookkeeping for Non-Profit Arts Organizations
- Database development & management
- Website management
- Copy writing and editing
- Policy development