When pondering the decision of bringing in a generalist business consultant to improve business performance vs engaging with a digital eCommerce specialist, such as Greg Randall, the right answer is dependant on the needs and situation of your business.
One effective way to work through the decision making process is to look at the impacts a "generalist" will have vs a "specialist" through the lens of an analogy using medical professionals: a family practice doctor (generalist) vs a cardiothoracic surgeon (specialist).
In defining the type of Doctor you need depends on the following:
What is the business growth strategy?Where does the digital channel fit in this strategy?The complexity behind this business direction.
Consider the best solution for your business by reviewing the following questions and answers...
Question #1: Are the services you need fairly standard and somewhat commoditized? Using the analogy: Do you need a physical or preventive care check up?
Answer: If "Yes", find a good family practice doctor. A generalist is going to be a better fit under this condition. Generalists offer a variety of services across an entire spectrum of generalised needs.
Question #2: Are your needs broad and general, or specific? Do you have a well-defined set of objectives looking to be addressed and achieved? Using the analogy: Do you have a specific health issue or concern?
Answer: If your needs are specific, you need a specialist. When your heart valve needs to be replaced, you find the best specialist you can afford.
Question #3: Is there a high amount of risk involved if this business direction goes wrong? Using the analogy: Will you experience significant side effects if you don’t receive the right treatment?
Answer: If "Yes", find a specialist. When there is risk involved, expertise in a specific area matters. Deep expertise makes the difference between success and regret.
Question #4: What is more important, guaranteed success or introducing a new approach? Using the analogy: Is it about resolving a health risk or experiencing a lifestyle change?
Answer: If you need to guarantee success, go with a specialist. If you need to know your primary objective will be met successfully within specific parameters, a specialist is required. If you are more interested in looking at an overall new approach or process, a generalist will work.
It would be rare for you to hear (or want to hear) a surgeon say...
"I am going to perform your heart surgery in a new and exploratory way that will be unique to you and has never been done before. After your surgery, your heart will look and operate like no other heart you have heard of or known".
An approach like that to your health would cause concern. What you want to hear is...
"I’ve performed over 400 surgeries exactly like this one. The procedure will take about 2 hours. You will come in the morning-of to prep and should be released the following day by 2:00 pm. It will take you 1 week to fully recover."
When it comes to your health, whether the health of your business or your personal health, it’s important to know what you are looking for and ask the right questions up front before you select someone to work with you.