Getting the right skills in place to deliver a new strategy within an organisation.
In 2018, Source Global Research published their annual report on the GCC Consulting market. The results showed that in 2017, the region’s consulting market grew by 7.2% to almost US$3bn and it’s expected to grow by a further 8% in 2018.
However, whilst the study showed that capital spending on consultants is growing, two other points offer an interesting nuance. Overall, although a large majority of clients felt that the strategy development work on offer across the region remained high quality, there was a sense that this work doesn’t always translate into business improvements or tangible outcomes.
These findings reflect a challenge that we see ourselves when we engage with both end clients and consultant partners; namely, that whilst there’s no shortage of smart ideas, there’s a gap when it comes to executing these strategies within an organisation, particularly in the context of a rapidly changing market and a volatile economy.
Often, the default approach across the region is to extend the role of a management consultant into the delivery stage. However, in many instances consultants are asked to carry out roles that don’t align with their core strengths and in asking them to do this, clients not only spend a lot of money but fail to build new capabilities within their own teams.
It is very common to see the role of a management consultant extend beyond strategy and into implementation, effectively taking on a role which may be better suited to an employee. Whilst this may appear to be the quickest way to achieve overall objectives, there are several implications which clients should factor into their decision making:
1. Building internal capability – as the business evolves, it’s relying on a third party to provide the skills it requires in the ‘new world’. For a strategy to be truly successful it must be sustainable, and this requires developing internal skills to meet the needs of the business going forward
2. High costs – having management consultants in roles for an extended period is an extremely expensive way to run a business
3. Impact on employees – whilst your internal communications may generate excitement about the future of your company, this will diminish rapidly if all the exciting new roles are being fulfilled by external consultants
At Parisima, we’ve helped several clients with this by offering advice on a range of areas including:
• pinpointing the capabilities that should be developed internally to support an organisation’s growth objectives
• identifying the roles that should be led by internal technical experts rather than consultants
• advising on delivery roles that could be completed on a contract basis
• helping to source the right candidates to actually do the work.
As a result, these risks could be mitigated by better advance planning to help plan for and manage the ‘vision to delivery’ phase.