Haris Ahmed from Chicago, IL: Welcome to My Homepage

Welcome to Haris Ahmed’s homepage! Haris Ahmed is from Chicago, IL and currently the founder and CEO of Pragmatium Consulting Group, Inc., a boutique management consulting firm that specializes in change management and organizational leadership. Throughout his career, Haris has coached over a hundred business leaders from different sectors and leverages on his experience to provide custom-fit solutions for Pragmatium’s clientele.

Whenever people think of management consulting, they think of overpaid consultants, unrealistic data, and poorly-implemented process improvement projects. However, this image cannot be farther from the truth. Management consulting, if done correctly and taken seriously by clients, will not only save money and resources; it could also result in a top-down change in organizational culture.

An article at the Harvard Business Review from 1982 says that “consulting is more than giving advice.” While industries have changed due to the rapid rise of technology, the HBR’s adage still rings true. Consulting activities usually use the workflow below:

  1. Provide information to a client.
  2. Solve the client’s problems.
  3. Make a diagnosis of the problems.
  4. Make recommendations based on the diagnosis.
  5. Assist the client with implementing the recommendations.
  6. Get client buy-in and consensus on any corrective actions that may be taken.
  7. Teach the client how to solve similar problems moving forward.
  8. Improve organizational effectiveness – permanently.

As it is, most clients request up to item #5. However, there is a growing culture of organizational improvement and change, especially in larger companies that are slowly realizing how hard it is to survive in a more agile world.

When I was in NYU, I was asked by a friend of mine who ran a student-owned enterprise to help out with the business, which was bleeding money. The owners had a real passion for their product, but had very little, if any, management and numerical skills. I was horrified to find out that they did not keep their books updated; whatever money they had was what was left at the end of the day. I agreed to help fix their bookkeeping process and found them a new product supplier who cost them a fraction of their old vendor.

The story above illustrates tasks number 1 to 8 perfectly. There was a problem, I helped the client solve it, I found the root cause of the problem, and we helped each other in the implementation of the solution. It wasn’t exactly the prettiest sight when the old vendor found out that he was being replaced, but my friends started caring about the price and quality of the product and realized that they had to switch or face the prospect of losing even more money.

This story also illustrates why consulting is important. More often than not, employees and executives are far too caught up in complex systems and bureaucracy to even realize that a Gordian-knot solution is available. It might sound cliché, but consultants bring a fresh pair of eyes to every company they work with. Pragmatium started out with a small client base, and, through word of mouth, we became known for bold solutions to entrenched issues. We often run the risk of losing clients over opposing views, but most consultants worth their salt are able to synergize all solutions into one concrete whole that is acceptable to all parties concerned.

Consultants are both idealistic and pragmatic at the same time. We are aware that there is no such thing as a perfect company. At the same time, we are doing our best to transform companies into their best incarnations ever.