What is evidence-based consulting and why does it matter?
Evidence-based consulting, and the related area of evidence-informed training, are simply about applying proven principles to consultancy and training interventions. By following the simple principle of applying what works, the outcomes resulting from consultancy and training are faster, less expensive and more effective.
We find that, all too often, managers ignore sound evidence and rely on personal experience or the latest fads promoted by management gurus. Unfortunately for organisations and society in general, managerial decisions affect all of our lives.
Henry Mintzberg, Professor of Management at McGill University in Canada described it well:
Evidence-based consulting seeks to improve decision making. It helps managers critically evaluate how much they can trust the evidence they have at hand. It then helps to identify, gather and assess additional, relevant evidence.
Evidence-based practice is about making decisions through the conscientious, explicit and judicious use
of the best available evidence from multiple sources by:
This definition is partly adapted from the Sicily statement of evidence-based practice: Dawes, M., Summerskill, W., Glasziou, P., Cartabellotta, A., Martin, J., Hopayian, K., Porzsolt, F., Burls, A., Osborne, J. (2005). Sicily statement on evidence-based practice. BMC Medical Education, Vol. 5 (1)
Evidence for the effectiveness of evidence-based consulting
There is a range of scientific research suggesting that an evidence-based approach to decision-making is likely to increase their effectiveness. The human mind is prone to biases that impair the quality of the decisions we make, so anything we can do to reduce the damaging impact of this trait is very useful.
This is a brief summary of some of the reasons behind our chosen approach. If you would like to find out more , please contact us, explore the resources of the Center for Evidence Based Management or, for a practical illustration, why not take a free trial of our Introduction to Business Strategy distance learning course that was designed using evidence-informed principles.