Insights for managing the business of businesses
Are Consultants Transformers?
Transformation is one of those words that means different things in different settings. In the popular Transformer movies, cars turn into robots and blast away at each other. In consulting, consultants “transform” struggling organizations and turn them into great organizations that leapfrog competitors (or more commonly, make them less-struggling organizations that live for another day).
Consulting Quality: Be Careful What You Say (and Don’t Do)
In a production environment, quality is rooted in infinitely detailed engineering standards and controls. Every process and part is specified, constructed, and measured the product works. Zero defects is the benchmark, and the lowest assembly workers can be empowered to stop the line if they spot a mistake.
Consulting Brands and the Elusive Quest for Trust
More than half a century ago, US Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart famously characterized pornography by stating: “… I know it when I see it.” Most management consulting firms seem to adopt the same mindset when it comes to branding. Achieving that exulted status as “trusted advisor” is ephemeral and only visible to those who have witnessed the service.
MSFs and Illusions of Consulting Greatness
I was talking with a colleague recently concerning a theory that has been bandied about for the better part of my 25 years covering consulting – professional service firms that merge multiple and disparate PS businesses into an ultimate “one stop shop.” The goal is that clients, of course, will flock to the Walmart/Amazon/Google of professional services.
Consulting Headwinds or Tailwinds?
Ten years ago at this time, the financial meltdown started sucking the consulting industry down a vortex from which it took almost four years to recover. The industry has been strong for the last half-decade and the general consensus is that consulting’s boat has risen with the economic tide. The Wall Street Journal reported this week on the Big 4’s collective earnings reports by observing: “The 10.4% combined revenue growth was the firms’ strongest since at least the 2008 financial crisis.”