Instructor Profile: Pierre Lainey

2015-2016 Issue 1

PierreLaineyThe Professional Development Certificate in Management Consulting that was launched this fall was designed to meet the industry’s consistent growth. With over 25 years of experience as a consultant, instructor Pierre Lainey’s knowledge has grown along with it. Inna Popova, the School’s Director of Non-Credit Programs, Career and Professional Development, is only half-joking when she claims he may have taught half of Montreal’s management consultants. “He’s a great teacher, and very well-respected in his milieu. People love working with him.” We asked for his thoughts on the School’s Professional Development Certificate in Management Consulting.

What are your first impressions of the program?

My first impressions are very positive. Twenty years ago, when I was looking to become certified, it was difficult to find courses in Montreal; I had to take classes all over the place. But now McGill is offering a five-course professional development certificate. It’s very hands-on, very practical, and it was developed with CMC-Canada.

Who are your students? Is there a common thread among them, or is it a diverse group?

It’s very diverse! I have two students with PhDs, someone with a degree in gender studies and people who work in information technology, finance and for non-profit organizations. They are all interested in becoming consultants in their fields. That kind of diversity makes it interesting for everyone in the program, because they learn from everyone’s area of expertise.

How is the program preparing students for success?

We teach our students to become highly effective consultants – to lead change, adapt behaviour, and make ethical decisions. We work in small teams – because consultants always work in teams – to dissect case studies, use the best tools and learn from failed assignments, so we can prevent making the same mistakes.”

“The program also prepares students for the exam. It’s a three-hour oral exam, and I am an examiner! We expect them to know about consulting, ethics, change management, project management – all topics students learn about in the program – and they have to answer to our satisfaction.

What are the emerging trends in the field of management consulting?

Yes. The first is that I believe there will be a growing number of small firms. Big consulting firms will always be out there, but there are a lot of companies that would rather work with a small firm than a big one. Small firms are more flexible, less expensive, and I find it’s much easier to work with them. They’re eager to learn from their clients, and as a result it creates a real partnership.

The second trend is the number of industries that are expected to use management consulting. Health care, energy and pharmaceutical firms are expected to hire consultants, and I think the timing is good for our students. Whether you’re focused on strategy, change management, information technology, or another area of expertise, there are a lot of opportunities out there.

Overall, I see our role evolving. When I became a consultant, businesses were looking for experts to tell them what to do. Now, they’re looking for someone willing to work with them as a partner. Our job is to help them identify the problem, and work with them to develop a solution.

Click for more information on the Professional Development Certificate in Management Consulting.

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