Knowing WHEN to involve WHICH external experts and WHY

Copyright © 03/2024 ❘ The Enterneers®

Executives who thinking of involving external experts in enterprise development should start at the point of understanding their own needs and situation. They should at least enable themselves to define the matter of purchase and determine the conditions and quality of supply. Otherwise, such projects can quickly mutate into self-commissioning by the contractor, where the effort-benefit ratio and conformity with objectives are determined by others.

Consultants, Coaches or Sparring Partner? 

Have you already gained practical experience with coaching or sparring at C-level? What are your experiences regarding consulting projects at strategic enterprise development? Do you know its importance and value for people with overall entrepreneurial responsibilities?

Many TOP managers have one thing in common: with increasing company size, complexity, and scope of responsibility, the potential discussion partners and collaborators for open and honest exchange at eye level decrease. The reasons for this are manifold and easily comprehensible. On one hand, there are generally fewer like-minded and adequately experienced people within one's own environment. On the other hand, the degree of openness and honesty decreases as the dependencies on decisions and the course of cooperation increase. In other words, locating people who actively exchange open feedback with constructive criticism and unpleasant messages in an open-ended and independent dialogue becomes progressively difficult. As an entrepreneur or executive, who does not know the feeling of looking in vain for suitable partners at eye level in critical or particularly challenging situations? Ultimately, this circumstance is a logical consequence of the classic career development within hierarchical structures. It is questionable whether a suitable conversationalist or advisor can always be found in the private sphere in such situations, or at least it seems risky to rely on it for one's own development.

Those who seek professional support for their work at C-level should first of all know and be able to distinguish between the possible forms of suitable services or profiles. Among these, two prevalent forms are consulting and coaching. Both are common and widespread. A third, somewhat less common form, is sparring.


Consultants specialise in deriving and formulating solutions for concrete questions, project goals, or problem situations and developing possible implementation scenarios. In this process, they primarily draw on proven technical and methodological knowledge as well as their own expertise. Many consultants tend to focus on solution models that have been tried and tested or partly self-defined and marketed. They are very efficient and experienced at this, which is very good if it aligns effectively with the client's situation. Unfortunately, some consultants also tend to sell standardised blueprints or special solutions like industrial products off the assembly line. These solutions often go hand in hand with certain IT systems or licences for the client, which primarily aim at optimising earnings rather than finding the best solution. Consultants bring in their own qualified project resources and take on certain tasks themselves, which can lead to relief and acceleration for the client.


Coaches specialise primarily in providing an effective environment for introspection and solution development. They are, so to speak, enablers for self-reflection and solution generation. Their interaction focuses on listening, open-ended questioning, and fostering spaces for argumentation and evaluation. They provide food for thought and impulses without actively working on the solution themselves or evaluating results. As a rule, coaches only contribute their own resources for the time of direct interaction and abstain from assuming any content-related tasks.


Sparring partners are persons who possess adequate qualifications, experience, and skills for their clients. As in sports, sparring partners engage in active training or the active development of solutions together with the client. They are not passive but contribute their own ideas, approaches, and opinions. They also do not take a back seat when evaluating and reflecting on proposals or situations. In their work, sparring partners bring in their own resources in the preparation and follow-up as well as in the implementation of the training or development steps. Sparring partners accompany their clients personally during the implementation of the developed solutions in practice and are available for joint retrospectives, corrections, or extensions of the solutions.

​Experts at the implementation of Enterneering®

For the effective implementation of individual elements from Enterneering®, consultants, coaches, and sparring partners are suited to varying degrees. Consultants are well suited for the implementation of individual elements with a methodological, conceptual, or organisational focus (for example, the introduction of a suitable incentive system). The qualities of a coach are particularly well suited for guiding the reflection and development of personal or collective situations and skills in the context of the implementation of Enterneering®. Sparring partners are valuable in Enterneering® primarily in the personal implementation and development of the decision-maker. They can be a multiple value lever because the more effectively the decision-makers themselves act and the higher their personal level of maturity, the greater the amplification of the impact of their decisions and their work 'on' the company within the whole organisation.

Regardless of the type of experts in question, we are firmly convinced that entrepreneurs and executives should empower themselves sufficiently to be able to develop their company effectively on their own responsibility on the one hand and to utilise external experts in a targeted, results-oriented, and profitable manner on the other. With the Enterneering® approach and the Enterneering® app, we aim to serve entrepreneurs and executives, empowering themself and their enterprise in that regard.

There are experts who are particularly familiar with the context of Enterneering® and are highly qualified for it. Visit the Experts@Enterneering section in our app, learn more about the individual experts and their profiles, and select the expert best suited to you and your company.



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