When I was a vice president at Bank of California in the late 1960s, I became interested in developing a tool for corporate cash management. Making arrangements through our corporate banking department, I was able to visit nearly 30 of the top American corporations and study their corporate cash management techniques.
By observing carefully the cash management approaches of 30 different corporate treasurer offices I got a very clear idea of the best practices in the field. There was great diversity from extreme competence at Ford Motor company with one treasurer and one secretary, to incompetence at GM with one treasurer and 80 employees.(Note: GM needed the 2008 bailout, Ford didn't.)
By consolidating the best practices into a short training course that the Bank of California promptly offered its corporate customers, the new methodology that I had developed for corporate cash management became the American standard in the field.
I was acting just like a standard corporate consultant. I was observing practices in the corporate world and consolidating them into the best practices. The consolidated best practices then became the kind of advice that consultants give to their clients.