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I’ve had a fantastic three-decade career as a management consultant with PwC, IBM, and Deloitte. As I helped clients solve complex problems, worked alongside smart people, traveled the world, and learned everyday, I could not have asked for a better experience.
However, the consulting world for big players is changing quickly.
They are operating in an increasingly complex and challenging business environment while still clinging to archaic business models —outmoded ways of working, a focus on prestige, an overemphasis on selling smart people, an attempt to maintain asymmetric knowledge — while still charging high daily rates. They talk about value-based billing, asset-based consulting, and leveraging alternative delivery models, but they struggle to match their intentions with meaningful change. The cracks are showing, and they have been exposed by the COVID-19 pandemic.
In 2013, American academic and business consultant Clayton Christenson said, “we are still early in the story of consulting’s disruption . . . More likely than not, alarms won’t sound until it’s already too late in the game“. It has taken some time, but the disruption is now finally happening.
You can see the disruption all around us, driven by increasingly sophisticated clients and rapid technological changes, including the development of new AI-powered technology solutions. Clients are demanding much more, namely real expertise, better value business outcomes, and easier and better delivery models.
[Big players] are operating in an increasingly complex and challenging business environment while still clinging to archaic business models —outmoded ways of working, a focus on prestige, an overemphasis on selling smart people, an attempt to maintain asymmetric knowledge — while still charging high daily rates.
There are two players that stand out from the crowd and I take my hat off to them: McKinsey Solutions and Accenture’s AIP+ (Artificial Intelligence Business Solution).
Both are transformational initiatives that stand out from the status quo. BCG is a follower of McKinsey Solutions, Deloitte is trying, and the rest are playing around the edges.
There are many new digital consulting solutions with many more exciting ones on the radar, including AI-powered product solutions, new freelancer marketplaces, expert and crowdsourcing solutions, and boutique consultancies that provide authentic expertise, deep experience, and improved business outcomes, all at a competitive price. It is no wonder the big guys are struggling to keep up and differentiate themselves in what is an increasingly challenging competitive environment.
It is no wonder the big guys are struggling to keep up and differentiate themselves in what is an increasingly challenging competitive environment.
While clients are rightly demanding more value from consulting services, they find it hard assessing and sourcing these new solutions and they are frustrated at having to manage so many point solutions.
XpertiseNow evolved from conversations with my co-founders over several months about how to bring together the absolute best expertise and the best new technological solutions to give clients what they are searching for. Our goal is to create a global network of experts and specialist consultancies — entrepreneurs working together in a virtual organization— supported by the best new technologies.
Our goal is to create a global network of experts and specialist consultancies — entrepreneurs working together in a virtual organization— supported by the best new technologies.
My personal goal is to create a technology-driven ecosystem to give back and support individuals to achieve their personal goals, in much the same way I was supported during my career. I am also fascinated with the potential of using augmented human intelligence and machine learning to fast-track the democratization of consulting knowledge.
We live in a world that is under unprecedented threat and part of our give-back must include a focus on using our ability in bringing together the expertise and aggregate knowledge to help make our planet a better place. XpertiseNow needs to build a strong purpose and focus on sustainability, human, and global community goals across our network. Exactly what this means for XpertiseNow, I do not yet know, but as a young start-up with a huge potential we will put in the effort necessary to ensure we drive the right purpose to make a difference and help facilitate the change we all need.
After all, the potential of XpertiseNow is only limited by our imagination.
The consulting industry is changing rapidly as new digital consulting solutions are being developed. Will the big players be able to keep up?
The consulting value chain is digitizing rapidly. Clients now have the option to adopt a more flexible, modular approach to business advice.