Think tank consulting is a form of advisory service that leverages the expertise and research capabilities of policy research organizations, commonly known as think tanks, to provide insights and recommendations to clients in both the public and private sectors. The original think tank consulting services approach combines rigorous academic research with practical policy analysis to address complex societal, economic, and political challenges.

Consultant groups are typically non-profit organizations that conduct research and engage in advocacy on a range of public policy issues. When these organizations offer advice, they bring their deep subject matter expertise, extensive networks, and research methodologies to bear on client-specific problems.

Typical features of think tank consulting are:

  1. Policy Expertise: Connsultants often have specialized knowledge in specific policy areas such as healthcare, education, environmental policy, or international relations.
  2. Research-Driven Approach: Recommendations are based on thorough research, data analysis, and evidence-based practices.
  3. Interdisciplinary Perspective: Think tanks often employ experts from various fields, allowing for a multifaceted approach to problem-solving.
  4. Stakeholder Engagement: Top consultants often have established relationships with policymakers, industry leaders, and other influential figures.
  5. Long-term Vision: Work typically focuses on long-term, strategic solutions rather than short-term fixes.

Think tank consulting services can take various forms, including:

  1. Policy Analysis and Development: Helping clients understand complex policy issues and develop effective policy proposals.
  2. Strategic Planning: Assisting organizations in aligning their goals with broader policy trends and societal needs.
  3. Impact Assessment: Evaluating the potential consequences of policy decisions or organizational strategies.
  4. Scenario Planning: Developing and analyzing potential future scenarios to inform decision-making.
  5. Thought Leadership: Producing white papers, reports, and other materials to position clients as leaders in their field.
  6. Stakeholder Engagement: Facilitating dialogues and building coalitions around specific policy issues.

Clients of think tank consulting services range from government agencies and international organizations to corporations and non-profits. Partners seek out consultants when they need in-depth analysis of complex issues, want to understand the broader implications of their decisions, or aim to influence policy discussions.

A top advantage is the capacity to bridge the gap between academic research and practical policy implementation. Practicing  consultants are adept at translating complex research findings into actionable recommendations for decision-makers.

But it’s important to note that think tank consulting can sometimes be influenced by the ideological leanings of the organization. Clients should be aware of a group’s perspective and reputation when engaging their services.

Its a singular take on problem-solving that combines rigorous research with practical policy expertise. In leveraging the deep knowledge and extensive networks of policy research organizations, the form of advisory work can provide valuable insights and strategies for addressing complex societal challenges.