Consultancy Challenge

Module leader: Professor David Pettifer

Duration and timing: conducted over four weeks, Lent Term


The Consultancy Challenge is the third of the business challenges on the Lancaster MBA. Building on your experience of the New Venture Challenge, it is designed to increase your effectiveness in leading in a team and working in a consultancy context.

The module aims to help you understand leadership as a relational process of influence, orientated towards exploring opportunities, solving problems and implementing action. As you come to understand each of these processes better at a theoretical level and then go through them for real, you develop your ability and confidence in leading teams through complex problems.

In the first part of the module you are introduced to a 'consultancy tool-kit': a set of tools and skills that will enable you to address complexity and deliver purposeful outcomes. The main topic focus is on understanding the consultants mindset and gaining consulting skills, and learning new analytical approaches such as cognitive mapping. You also look at the principles of effective consultancy, the barriers to successful intervention and how consultants manage risk.

After exploring these various thinking approaches, you then apply them to a piece of live consultancy work, the 'Consultancy Challenge'.

The Challenge involves working in groups to analyse a problem situation for a client organisation. These client organisations are typically medium-sized companies in the North West, looking to address a range of business issues. Your brief is to develop recommendations as how the situation can be managed, culminating in a presentation to the client and Lancaster staff.


Group-based presentation and consultancy report