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How the disruption of consulting changes strategy development

Strategy development was in the earlier days strongly influenced and steered by consulting firms. With the disruption of consulting methods and an increase in the accessibility of information for organizations, companies have to adapt and implement new processes for their strategy development.

Disruption has changed a variety of fields in the last few years and led to new innovations and developments. More and more industries will be affected and slowly adapt to these new innovations.

Industries suffer the most from disruption if they have either:

  • relatively outdated business practices

  • only a few major players

  • slow technology adoption

Consulting has all 3 of the above traits and is slowly becoming more and more disrupted. It is still a mainly human-driven field, especially management consulting and suffers from inefficiency, inflexibility, and slow adaptation. The disruption will increase through the implementation of new technology and the accessibility of more information and new disruptive innovation will develop out of consulting. Consulting has 4 different functions that are affected by the disruption.

Disrupting the 4 functions of consulting

1. Information

Enough software-enabled systems are available that give employees the necessary information without the necessity of consultants. Companies can build internal analytics functions that change the culture, the building of new teams, etc.

2. Expertise

Companies are struggling with generalistic consultants being used for specialized projects. Especially, since CEOs often come from a generalistic background themselves, they need specific knowledge for problems that occur and quick solutions. Shorter cycles are necessary for strategy execution, so managers are able to react quickly and adapt.

3. Insights

With employees being able to measure almost everything themselves nowadays, they gain more knowledge and will question consultants' expertise. Clients are asking more and more detailed questions. Additionally, they expect more rigorous performance benchmarks since there are more and easily accessible insights.

4. Execution

With the increase of digitalization and technological consulting, consulting firms are helping organizations to understand what they have to do. Consultants are doing less outright strategy work and are focusing more on execution because this is the part where many companies are struggling with.

Conclusion for strategy development

  • More knowledge and information is available on the internet and, thereby, also more knowledge inside an organization. Employees are educating themselves and learning new processes by analyzing their data. This creates new skills and new talents.

  • Finding talent in your organization is more important than ever and leaders should involve employees and their skills in their strategy development and execution. Engaging employees and motivating them by providing a feeling of ownership and commitment can increase performances. This again can lead to retaining talent and saving time and reducing costs.

  • With the amount of information and data available, your strategy needs to implement those in a better way. Your strategy should be data-driven, meaning your measurements are connected to your targets and initiatives, while proper evaluation is necessary. It is essential to update data regularly and align your initiative with changes.

The disruption of consulting is slowly approaching and influencing strategy development for organizations. Companies have to improve their strategic planning and execution to counteract this approach ahead in time. With new disruptive innovations and processes, organizations can boost their execution and develop new areas to retain additional revenue and gain competitive advantage.

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