Why we people need consultants? What Value do we provide?
At one customer site an Shift Supervisor who we regularly bumped heads with (constructively it turns out) stated very clearly that the problem with us is that we did not have to live their lives (consequently that was one of our strengths). The outsiders perspective allows for a alteration of the context that any given problem can be viewed in.
For me this was made more relevant by this video example of "predictable irrationality" from Jeff Monday and
Mondaydots.com and my subsequent listening to Dan Ariely's book by that name.
The ability of the consultant, or any voice of an outsider, breaks the pattern of the relativity that often blinds ourselves to the irrational decisions we make.
It is not necessarily that consultants have better insights because they are who they are, it is often times that they come to us without the baggage of our organization.
Additionally we risk upsetting this balance when we internalize that consulting function. External Change Agents are value added.
PS the reading by Simon Jones in the Audio Book is FANTASTIC it adds great dimension to the book, with a very crisp delivery of the irony of peoples predictably irrational behavior.