Future Consultant is “INSPIRATION ENGINEER”, next to Entrepreneur and Investor!

jul 10, 2015

The Consultant of tomorrow is primarily an “INSPIRATION ENGINEER”, next to Entrepreneur and Investor! Together with the Customer he takes serious entrepreneurial risks!

There is already a “deforestation” going on at the once “green pastures” of the (management) consultancy: 1/3 demand loss in consultancy agencies is quite normal, so 1/3 turnover loss also. The “warm-bodies-slide” is really coming to an end. Last year we saw a large number of high-profile bankruptcies or acquisitions in the consultancy middle segment. Also reputable consultancy firms have substantially reorganized and staff reduced. The shake-out in the consultancy world has already started. In the next 5-10 years, about 80% of all contemporary consultancy jobs will disappear.

This will cause that only a limited number of very large global consultancy companies (top end) will be left. The middle segment will be further decimated. And, there will be an increasing number of real wealthy top-consultancy boutiques with a size of 8-12 inspiring and enterprising employees (niche segment). Consultancy boutiques with a very strong focus, specialist knowledge and highly developed tools, which according to the global consultancy companies also make use of big data, data analytics, algorithms, custom applications and artificial intelligence to the max. Plus a large number of self-employed with highly specialized knowledge will be left. This will result in “Productization of Consultancy”. Only the really creative top consultants, which add real value and who make the difference, remain.

As I wrote in a previous blog: Consultancy will NEVER be the same!

The consultant of tomorrow is an “INSPIRATION ENGINEER”, who knows where the world is going. He is able to “read” the Customer organization and its products & services. He sees, understands and relives possible disruptive ideas and unique business opportunities. He inspires the Customer to define the next steps for future (exponential) growth scenarios. Then he will help to actually achieve these growth scenarios. He directs his fate and reward to the success or failure of the advice he gives. In doing so he sticks out his neck and takes responsibility for the real implementation and realization of his advices.

The reward of Consultancy Companies will find less and less place based on an effort obligation (“hours and bills”), but more on the basis of a result obligation (“fixed project price”, “revenue sharing”, “cost reduction sharing”, “no cure, no pay”). In fact, there will be a revolution in the way in which the Customer Company will settle with the Consultancy Company. More and more (e.g. for Start-Ups) the Consultancy Company will become even an Investor. Project costs or remuneration arrangements are fully or partially converted into shares and/or loans. The Customer Company and Consultancy Company act together, share business risks for the mid / long term and will be associated entrepreneurs.

The mutual relationship and cooperation will change complete. Customer and Consultancy Company find each other no longer through “cold calls, sales demos and lead qualification” but through a strong commitment in the same communities / professional networks in which they together share knowledge, educate, learn and experiment. And from out these communities / professional networks they staff together their projects “on-demand”. They are part of the same community, time after time succeeding to bind and to fascinate each other. And to build together mixed multidisciplinary project teams that are capable to create success autonomously.

In the past, the consultant was mainly focusing on giving advice on the “use of methods & techniques”. He was more a facilitator, this role has completely changed. The Internet has turned into a large “toolbox” where you can find all possible consultancy “methods & techniques”. Including real elaborated specific customer examples, business models, process models, business cases, how to prevent pitfalls, tips for project implementation, etc. … This will lead more and more to “Productization of Consultancy”.

The consultant of tomorrow focuses on the really creative work. The agile development of new products and services, alternative business models and the smart use of mobile, IoT and M2M solutions. Maximum use is made of the available big data and data analytics tools to identify algorithms with much added value and distinctiveness. Algorithms which in addition to custom applications form the basis of new alternative business models, based on smart services that make the best use of artificial intelligence. This will be realized in cooperation with strongly committed communities (customers, employees, personal networks, users, (academic) researchers, partners, suppliers, professionals). From out these communities the defined customer projects are optimally staffed (staffing-on-demand).

This results in a “creative collaborate & experiment” of committed autonomous working multidisciplinary teams. In this world the “INSPIRATION ENGINEER” fulfills a central pivotal role and is one of the “critical success factors”. He unites two worlds. Today’s world with the world of tomorrow, the visionary with the pragmatic world and also the world of the office and its business processes with the world of the factory and its factory processes!