Is consultancy really under threat?

It is argued that consultancy is under threat but really all that is happening is that the bar is being raised.

So much has been written about how the world is changing but what really marks out today is that it’s the first time where no job is fully secure. One sees established businesses falling in a way that has never really happened before. In just the last two weeks we have seen success stories of 2012-16, go into administration. No long declines but rapid changes in fortune.

It is said that this is the fourth Industrial revolution which it may be – bu the real difference is that every model is open to change in one way or another – many markets are splitting between premium and budget service lines.

Interestingly, it is argued that one of the groups that will be most tested will be consultants as the change will challenge their thinking. This is changing at speed and traditional methodologies are being thrown into the air and questioned. Can consultants adapt and lead through their expertise? One can already see established consultancies take more proactive roles in thought leadership.

Whether it’s a fourth industrial revolution or not, it’s certainly a period whereby the professions are being challenged. Law and accountancy face threats from online services which will arguably cut rates and costs and management consultancies will need to show genuine leadership. It will no longer be good enough to just manage a process but also to be able to display innovation, strategic thinking, new ideas and a broader understanding of business modelling.

The bar is being raised for professions and consultants. We all know the old jokes about consultancy but this will change with the shifting landscape as clients will be looking for leadership from them – in thinking if not in deed.

It will challenge all of us in different ways

But rather than being a threat, it could well be a good thing as more is being asked and the standard and bar will rise. The really strong consultants will continue to perform and achieve success. It will be about premium thinking and behaviour.

It is estimated that the next five years will see 8% new occupations and jobs created. Change today is just a hard truth and we all face the fact that there is no longer an easy option. We all need to aspire to raise the bar. Consultants will need to be thought leaders and innovators but this is no bad thing. it will be a testing for all.

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