As consultants dealing with different companies, there are always going to be a million hoops to jump through.  Each new client is a new company, new layout, new players, and a new set of rules.  Each business that hires you on is also going to have its own individual company bureaucracy.  So, how do you deal with company bureaucracy as a consultant?  Well, don’t fight the system on this one.

You obviously need to know how to get through all the red tape to complete all the tasks that need completing, but it can be more beneficial to work within the system instead of trying to fight the system.  Why?  Well, you’re a consultant.  You’re coming in to a new, already established, business.  It’s up to you to adapt to the processes that they already have in place.

Remember that when you’re helping a business you’re not running that business. You’re coming in as a special team and you have to be aware of the groundwork already set in place.  Adapt to the process.  I find that working as a consultant you have to be malleable.  What I mean by that is that although you can have a method, you have to adapt your method to fit in with the practices of your current client.  The trick is to come into the company with a specific goal in place, use your expertise and experience to organize and accomplish that goal, and adapt those processes based on the company bureaucracy of your current client.

You may not understand or agree with all of the different red tape hurdles that you’ll have to go through, but that doesn’t mean you should be fighting the system at every turn.

From Forbes:

At the end of the day, rules and policies are there because they make it possible for business to run smoothly. They may be frustrating, but they’re not going anywhere. But by adjusting the way you deal with the bureaucracy, you’ll be able to more easily navigate the waters—and you’ll make a big difference in your everyday work life.

My best advice when entering a new company is to make yourself aware of the rules and policies, find out where your limitations will be, and adapt your approach to the project accordingly.  At the end of the day, as a consultant, you have to be flexible.  Our whole job is going into a pre existing company and helping them with issues that they’re looking for outside knowledge on.  You’re just that –someone on the outside offering a new perspective, new approach, and new expertise.  Once you start working with the company, however, you have to play by the rules.

Stop getting tangled in the red tape; learn instead how to better navigate through it.

Have you experienced difficult company bureaucracy with clients you’ve worked with in the past?  Did you fight the system or learn to maneuver through it? Comment below!