How will consulting change?
My first post. Don’t know too much about blogging protocol, so don’t know if I should even be marking my first post like this. But hey, you got to hang loose!
Have been staring at the screen waiting for some inspiration to strike which will help me kick off my journey into the new world (for me) of blogging. I believe Iranians are extremely prolific bloggers! Was surprised to read about that one!
I came across a poll on LinkedIn about the future of consulting and it triggered some thoughts which inspired me to begin writing.
Here’s what the poll asked:
Will the consulting industry change in the next few years?
Yes, lower prices
Yes, new services
Yes, focus on strategy
Yes, focus on operations
No, same business models
And you could only pick one option, so I kind of couldn’t answer it because I think my answer is almost all of the above.
The way things are going, there will be a greater focus on Operational Efficiency, so existing and newer services in that area will pick up.
At the same time, clients will demand higher levels of accountability from consultants to deliver to objectives as well as pressure to deliver within time and costs agreed. My sense is we will see clients demanding a variable component linked to deliverables/output. And this is something good for the consulting industry, since it will push us to deliver more on the ball.
Just as industry in general is getting operationally efficient, consulting will have to do the same. We’re part of the value chain and clients will pressure us to deliver more value for less.
The other area where I see huge investments of time and money coming in, are building organization culture and capability in the area of change. Organizations will realize, more than ever before, the need to be agile, flexible, scale up/down rapidly, respond quickly to change.
Management styles, organization structures and Leadership paradigms will have to go through a rethink. The present management paradigms which evolved in the early 20th century don’t hold true for a variety of reasons. Here’s a link to an article by Gary Hamel about the Three forces that will transform Management. Very interesting reading!
Lastly, when CEOs are flying coach, consultants will need to take a hard look at their own charge-sheets and expense accounts to ensure that they are truly partnering and this is where value congruence between consulting firms and their clients is going to become very important.