There have been pressures on Consulting firms to embrace digital for the last 4 or 5 years.
However, the past 6 months have created an entirely new competitive environment that has driven the adoption of digital platforms right to the top of their respective agendas.
So, what is driving this trend? We see 5 specific threats – and potential opportunities – as follows:
- COVID-19 related impacts which are driving the need to work virtually with clients and wider consulting teams has increased the need for digital expontentially
- Heightened competition as larger competitors increasingly offer digital platforms as part of their mix
- Client-side expectations that their Consulting firms should be embracing digital as part of their offer
- An increasing level of demand to leave re-usable assets and IP behind for client use
- Pressures on costs and productivity, that can be helped by increasingly using digital tools but require investment and often, substantial internal culture change
12 months back, before the current level of disruption caused by the pandemic, we published a video called "Why consultancies need to take a new approach to Change Management and digital transformation with clients”. It was highly relevant then, but the unique and unprecedented environment that both clients and consulting firms are operating in now have made it a pivotal consideration right now.
The power of digital offers the potential for Consulting firms to become far more agile and responsive – more or less overnight. By digitalizing both expertise and execution. What does that mean in reality?
Some practical examples include:
- Using “out of the box” and proven, pre-populated change plans that can be shared digitally firm-wide. Allowing best practice to be transferred from one project to another and increasing individual consultant productivity and responsiveness
- Increasing virtual collaboration and engagement with clients and end-user teams – when getting boots on the ground simply isn’t an option. Ensuring consultants make clients feel like they are part of the process and increasing user buy-in.
- Working seamlessly with executive teams and steering groups through the use of digital dashboards that are easy to create and manage. Meaning you can produce data in real-time, quickly and effectively, improving the use of data in steering projects to success.
So digital has the potential to transform the way that you operate and deliver real value for clients. But again – let’s make it tangible and let’s focus on why data is so critical to you and how you can collect, analyze and use it to your advantage with a digital Change Management platform.
A little while ago I was talking to a senior executive in an organization, who use a lot of consulting time. She said to me “Why is that in the analysis, design and planning phases of a program my consultants give me data and then as soon as we get to implementation this goes out of the window and it all becomes so subjective. It drives me crazy!”.
Three reasons underpin this comment:
- A big part of how executives inside your clients make sense of the world is via data. It’s not the only way but it’s hard for you to convince them without data. Also, executives tend to be time poor and good execs have learned to concentrate on the topic at hand. The downside of this focused mindset is that once they leave your meeting they move onto the next topic. Data enables you to help them focus and compelling data well-presented is far more likely to stay lodged in their minds.
- If you want to be agile you need to adjust your plans as you go along. Data collected on a regular basis tends to be a far more reliable way of pinpointing risks and adjusting client plans. This could be through pulse surveys or more methodical data collection.
- Lastly, data is an essential part of building your consulting credibility. Remember, as the renowned quality expert, the late WE Deming said, “Without data, you're just another person with an opinion.” I’ve always thought that a critical skill is to present executives with ‘just enough data’. Enough for them to make a decision but not so much it overwhelms them or, frankly, encourages to get down in the weeds and start ploughing through sheets and sheets of data.
Our own Roadmap Pro platform provides your consultants with the capability to remotely collect, baseline, track and benchmark key Change Management data on risks across key areas including Change Legacy and Impact, Commitment and Engagement and work with executives, program teams and colleagues on the bigger change picture to successfully deliver client Change projects.
So, to go back to and quote Deming one more time. “In God we Trust. All others bring data”.
TALK TO US ABOUT UNLEASHING THE POTENTIAL OF DIGITAL IN YOUR FIRM
If you have a client Consulting project to deliver talk to us about a Roadmap Pro KickStart licence that includes:
Schedule a no obligation demo of Roadmap Pro to learn more.