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Week5_Discussion 5: Getting Buy-in

How can consultants help leaders get buy-in in difficult environments?

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Module 5 Overview


  • Change Management
  • Cultural Change
  • Crisis Management

Learning Outcomes

By the end of this week, students will be able to:

  • Evaluate the process of developing, establishing, and marketing consulting services; the functions of consulting; and consulting practices and techniques.
  • Examine key factors and concepts related to consulting engagements, and assess and integrate the interrelationships.
  • Evaluate and present assessment of issues and organizational challenges from the perspective of a consultant.
  • Assess and align individual strengths, weaknesses, knowledge, skills, aptitude, and goals with consulting opportunities and the processes and interventions involved in the consulting domain.

Read & Review

  • Weiss (2011): Chapter 12
  • Week 5 PowerPoint
  • Week 5 Lecture Notes

Module 5 Lecture Notes

Managing Your Services

  • Key Findings
    • Business climate growth: Consulting firms in North America and Europe are bullish for the future revenue is up 41%.
    • Focus on the customer: Firms need to gain deeper visibility and the capacity to manage the lifecycle of the customer, project, and employee.
    • Customer lifetime value is seen as the most important KPI by 41% of firms managing technology.
    • Consulting firms are moving from a build-your-own approach to state-of-the-art cloud solutions
      • 73% of firms are moving to the cloud.
    • How to Prepare for Growth
      • Act now.
      • Use detailed analytics.
      • Leverage skills and match client and prospect needs.
      • Understand metrics / business drivers and capitalize on them.
      • To maximize profits, the consulting business model requires constant diligence through proactive management of a long list of key metrics including:
        • Utilization
        • Project profitability
        • Realization
      • Build a metrics-driven business.
      • Give management access to real-time information, and support the ongoing decision process.
    • Key Business Drivers
      • Operations (project and employee lifecycle)
      • Business visibility – Making better business decisions
      • Finding new opportunities (new clients and new service offerings)
      • Focusing on the customer lifecycle
    • Lifecycle Approach
      • The three lifecycle processes of customers, projects, and employees are the core of a successful consulting business.
      • Each must be managed with trusted operating metrics as well as a workflow that fits across the complete lifecycles.
      • Prospect to customer (and ongoing client), project proposal to completion, and employee hire to retire
      • Firms need to gain deeper visibility and the capability to manage each lifecycle for firm success.
    • Increase Visibility
      • Make better business decisions – Modernizing IT systems can provide business visibility into the key operating metrics tied to the customer-project-employee lifecycle.
      • Get IT systems that “fit” your business – There are deeply verticalized/specialized systems available “off the shelf” that are more effective and efficient than building your own systems.
      • Simply put, they “fit” your business better, they are maintained and updated by an expert, and they free up your resources to focus on critical business activities.
    • Find New Growth Opportunities
      • Find and grow the “right” business. – Build new offerings and find new opportunities needs.
      • Establish a process that leverages operating and market data to support building the “right” services.
      • Eliminate unprofitable offerings, and grow the business by expanding into existing clients and into adjacent offerings’ clients.
      • Firms need a highly evolved new service introduction process with underlying IT systems to take advantage of growth opportunities.
      • Get a complete and integrated lifecycle view of your business so you can make “better” business decisions.
      • Gain deeper visibility and the capability to manage the lifecycle of the project.
      • Maximize the value of clients through systems that provide a lifecycle view of the client and key client metrics.
    • Are In-House Systems Ineffective?
      • Across the board, many firms continue to develop and manage IT systems, even though the financial and business advantage of buying systems is an accepted approach and has many advantages.
      • This trend was first observed in a previous global survey of consulting firms 2 years ago and continues to be commonplace.
      • In-house developed systems are often ineffective, difficult to manage and upgrade, and in general, not built using current technology.
      • Developing and maintaining your own IT systems takes business resources away from business-critical activities.
    • Best Consulting Firms Use Industry-Specific Systems
      • A surprising number of firms (potentially over 80%) do not have industry-specialized financial and project systems in place.
      • This is despite the demonstrated advantage that they can deliver over generic financial management and customer management systems.
      • Despite the critical nature of resources in a consulting business, most firms do not have HCM and talent-management systems.
      • Firms do not have the systems to manage the customer-project-employee lifecycle.
    • Cloud Is the Future
      • 73% of consulting firms are moving to the cloud.
      • The cloud provides many firms an obvious route to app modernization that helps firms move scarce resources into business-critical areas while solving business visibility challenges with new, modern IT systems.
      • This also helps to address firms’ priorities by providing ways to more effectively manage the customer, project, and employee lifecycles.
    • Network and Client Server Architecture
      • Network
      • Client-server architecture
    • The Future for HR Professionals
      • The future for careers in HR seems brighter than ever.
      • Firms need to seek balance between attracting, motivating, and retaining the very best talent and keeping costs as low as possible.
      • Finding such a balance requires HR leaders who have a deep knowledge of the business combined with knowledge of HR issues, tools, processes, and technology.

Last Updated on March 29, 2020

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