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Transformational Consulting: Shifting from Consultant-centered Solutions to Client-centered Solutions


Consulting has evolved significantly over the years. This is in response to the changing operating environment and the emerging needs of organizations. To enrich client-consultant relationships, this article explores the changing philosophical positions around consulting and some of the applied techniques to make consulting an instrument of help in organizations. To enhance understanding of the varying consulting approaches, the article covers consulting approaches from Sigmund Freud, Karl Marx, Erich Fromm, and Patrick Trottier. The philosophical positions and insights from their work will support the emerging consultant in deepening transformational consulting. Through a review of the literature and reflecting on the author’s consulting practice, the article summarizes approaches to enhance transformational consulting. These approaches advance the humanistic paradigm and as such promotes the co-creation of solutions with the client system. The article positions the Use of Self and Action Research as fundamental to enriching consultants’ productive impact. In addition, the article highlights four strength-based models that enrich the design of client-centered solutions.