4 reasons consultants should not wait for the fog to clear

2016 was a year of uncertainty, change and surprise which tested even the most optimistic consultant’s vision of what the future holds for an independent career. The US presidential elections saw republican Donald Trump triumph over expected 85%-forecasted win by rival Hillary Clinton, Britain’s referendum resulted in choosing to leave the EU, terror and gun violence surged, and North Korea tested 2 nuclear devices – the first time a country has done so in the 21st century. And they did it twice. So one would understand the temptation to hunker down and wait for the storm to pass. 

Here, though, are 4 reasons why you shouldn’t.  

1.    Organisations are moving from the linear to the on demand

Business is changing – we know that. Traditional customer buying and engagement patterns are adapting and now demonstrate a renewed focus on digital transformation, completely supported by technology platforms that enable faster, easier, smoother process. In fact, so much is this new approach of doing things, that organisations who have not yet considered change are quickly becoming the antiquated business loners. 

Moving from linear and long-term subscriptions to a more immediate on-demand approach means that clients can get what they need when they need it. And as an independent consultant, you hold a very fortunate key to not only being the availability that organisations all over the world need, but more, the skill and talent they search for to empower their own growth strategies. 

2.    The evolving image of consulting firms and consultants

This change in buyer demands and workplace preferences is causing a chain reaction amongst service providers. And it’s evident in the way that the traditional consulting firms and consultants choose to portray their image. In fact, many larger organisations like Verve Consulting and Huron Consulting are going a step further by dropping the words “consulting” and “services” from their company names as they “rebrand to reflect the brand’s evolution”.  

Where traditionally only larger consulting firms held the opportunity to influence their clients’ strategic flow, the ecosystem is changing to become a more collaborative and fluid one where both consulting firms as well as independent consultants are delivering, often together, what their clients require.  

3.    The demand for multi-talented providers 

Although there will always be demand for niche services, when it comes to the evolution of consulting firms as a whole – where once their recruiting agendas relied solely on finding talent with a very specific skillset, consulting firms are adapting a more holistic approach to finding new talent where transferrable skills and a well-rounded approach to problem-solving become more desirable. In fact, in an interview in CoinDesk, PwC FinTech director Jeremy Drane stated that “the number one issue facing the blockchain industry today is a lack of talent”, a viewpoint echoed by Eamonn Maguire, managing director of financial management at KPMG. Drane went on to mention that seeking “cross-domain talent” was a focus for their own recruiting goals, whereby prospective employees have both the technical knowledge as well as a generalist business acumen. 

4.    Multi-talent Collaboration

Similar to point 2 above, collaboration amongst larger consulting firms as well as the independent consultants who provide a more freelance-based approach, will increasingly become a feature of management consulting dynamics. In fact, it was Dr Som Singh of Unspun Consulting who eloquently said that “gone are the days when you would leverage one consultant or firm for all your work. Today technology is becoming an enabler through which talents with varied expertise and knowledge are collaborating to provide customised solutions to clients.” 

We see larger consulting organisations, who have become used to a command-and-control approach, benefiting from developing working relationships with smaller businesses as well as independent consultants across various sectors – all with the aim to deliver better results for their clients. 

And while 2016 is not too far behind us, and the effects of the surprises delivered still lie ahead of us globally, the reality of the situation is this. Organisations all over the world are still looking for ways to enable growth. They are still looking for experts who can help them evolve into powerhouses within their industry. They still have the same, and complex, business challenges that they face. And hunkering down to avoid the tumult of change, puts you at risk of missing out on the opportunities that lie waiting for you, as an independent, powerful, consultant. 

To start maximising on the opportunities that the Talmix platform offers you, sign up today and set the course for your next career move. 

About the Author

Katy Roberts

Katy is an independent marketing consultant and founded Fresh Brew Marketing out of her love for the cuppa. A seasoned marketer, Katy writes for several global publications and provides outsourced marketing services to businesses throughout the UK. She is a keen geocacher and rates running around in city centres dressed in Christmas lights as one of her most successful Social Media campaigns to date.

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