Consulting Thought Leadership

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The world needs our ingenuity now, more than ever, as it faces existential challenges like pandemics and climate change. The Scottish economy and business world have all the skills and capabilities needed to respond. From energy and engineering skills to world-leading scientific institutions. The opportunity is there for Scottish business leaders to harness these skills and find the commercial opportunity in technology and innovation. To identify the right opportunity for commercial innovation requires business leaders to ask themselves four things.

Reaches People Directly When you put an advert in a newspaper or put up a billboard, you cannot have complete confidence that it will reach the people you want to target. However, this is not the case with digital marketing, which can reach people exactly where they are spending their time and money. This can end up being enormously beneficial to your business as a whole. Gives Customers a Regular ‘Nudge’ They say that it takes several points of interaction before a potential customer notices your business. With digital marketing, this increases the number of times that a person will be exposed to your brand.

Last week, four of our colleagues joined the Financial Times for the Global Moral Money Summit—a two-day virtual event that convened leaders from the worlds of business, academia, policy, and beyond—to explore what that opportunity looks like and how the smartest organizations might seize it. To read the full article please CLICK HERE.

Even now, fully half a year into this pandemic, asking people to think about non-COVID-related business risks can feel a bit, “How was the play, Mrs. Lincoln?” But as time marches on, and the virus seeps further into the background radiation of our lives, clients are inevitably going to start thinking again about the totality of external risks relevant to their organisations. And that means that professional services firms would be well served by considering the long-term implications that the events of the last six months will have for the way that their customers think about risk. Out of all the various categories of risk, perhaps none had been rising up the average client’s agenda quite as quickly—prior to the pandemic—as climate risk. Spurred on by pressure from investors, regulators, and their own employees, businesses around the world had started to think about their exposure to climate risk in much more concrete terms.

Post lockdown we may well be looking for something else in our business leaders including empathy for our employee and customer concerns and limitations, those who can show honesty, transparency and integrity, those who can adapt their business quickly and successfully to the completely different marketplace and those who know how to energise their workforce in difficult times. Dr Lynda Shaw shares her top tips of how to be a good leader during the global challenges we are currently facing and how to manage stress and performance within the workforce in these difficult and changing times. 1. Stay human and grounded. The best leaders lead by example. Some business leaders did well during lockdown, working side by side with their colleagues on the shop floors in leading supermarkets.

Mastering the art of mastering others isn’t easy. Some say that leaders are born with a set of characteristics that make them naturally adept at the process. Others claim that these skills can be learned by anybody with enough dedication and focus. While the truth is probably somewhere in between these two extremes, knowing what qualities make good leaders can help those aspiring to the task better themselves. Which traits are among the most common ones found in stellar leaders? Below are seven examples of what can be found in virtually every good leader. A Self-Starting Demeanour Leaders are in charge for a reason.

If you are looking for the right international market to take your business, then there are many reasons why Singapore might just be the ideal location. Legal Requirements When you move your company to a foreign country, you will most likely have to face a number of new legal requirements in order to properly do business there. From the language that must be present in terms of service projects to intellectual property filings, there is a long list of things that will need to be done or redone in order to make your business a legal entity in the nation you wish to expand to. Singapore, however, has an interesting legal system that is easily adapted to from most Western nations. Because of its history as a British colony, the existing legal system there stems from one that was created to be very similar to that of the United Kingdom as well as the United States. For this reason, you shouldn’t run into too many issues when you are looking to bring your business to Singapore, at least from a legal standing. Employee-Employer Relationships One of the things that can prove to be the most complicated when you decide to expand your business to a new country is the recruitment and hiring of new employees to staff your local offices.

What the film tapped into, of course, was the public perception that consultants were arrogant know-it-alls, spotty business school graduates who felt they had the experience to tell captains of industry what to do. It’s an image that lingers, even if today’s consultants are far more likely to have worked in industry; to wear a T-shirt rather than a suit; and to work in coffee shops rather more often than they walk across the deep-piled carpets of executive management. But other things have changed, too. Perhaps strategy consultants are now genuinely positioned to become the masters of the universe. One of the big words in the professional services sector at the moment is convergence. Consulting firms, having long warned their clients of the dangers of, and opportunities in, the growing overlap between their industry and others, are now reaping their very own whirlwind.

As we noted in a recent article on this blog, many previously non-core activities (technology is the big one) are now viewed as being integral to most organisations. But at the same time, there’s a recognition that a combination of greater automation and the need for diverse and fast-changing skills will mean greater reliance on external support—and that’s a complete volte-face on the past, when core functions were kept in-house. So, good news for outsourcing companies? Maybe, maybe not. Their problem, as most are aware, is that clients aren’t looking for 10-year deals in which entire business functions transfer to the outsourcer, who then—in theory—has the time to design a service that’s both better and cheaper for the client, and profitable for the supplier. I say “in theory” because, as everyone also knows, the reality was often different: Opportunities to think creatively about how people work were constrained by legacy technology and by contractual relationships that discouraged investment.

However, before you start taking the necessary steps to become qualified within this sector, it is extremely helpful to know exactly what type of jobs will be available to you once you complete your studies. So, let’s take a look at the most popular (and rewarding) careers that you could pursue within the supply chain and logistics management sector as well as the skills and qualifications needed to become a success within this industry. What skills do you need to be successful in a supply chain & logistics management role? Not everybody has the right personality and soft skillset needed to flourish in a supply chain or logistics management role. It is a demanding and challenging job that requires you to be able to think on your feet and lead a team with confidence. Soft skills you should preferably have include: Excellent leadership qualities Logical thinking Strong analytical skills Highly effective communication skills The desire and will to learn new skills The ability to adapt to changing technologies and new trends Confidence in your abilities and decisions Ability to think on your feet Ability and patience to mentor your team Outstanding time management skills Understanding of customer expectations Ability to speak other languages What qualifications do you need to be in supply chain or logistics management roles? As you would expect for this type of highly skilled and in demand career path, it is vital that you have the necessary qualifications that the most sought-after companies expect from their potential employees.

It found them to be harder-working, more patient, and easier to please than their subordinates, challenging the notion that they’re all tearing around with their hair on fire, with about three nanoseconds to read whatever you’d like to put in front of them. The more you think about it, the more that stands to reason: CxOs tend to be older than their subordinates and are more likely to have grown up at a time when you had to go looking for content rather than waiting for it to come and find you. What’s more, because they’re usually on their own at the top of either their organisation or their function, they’re more likely to look outside of their organisation for reassurance, support, and ideas. They’re a bit lonely. A CEO we spoke to some time ago put it beautifully: “People lower down in the organisation don’t like the fact that I use consultants, but who else do they expect me to talk to?” Asked how often they read a piece of thought leadership all the way through to the end, 40% of non-CxOs said they did so “always or almost always.” The proportion of CxOs saying the same thing was 69%.

If you want to reap all of these benefits, be sure to put the advice laid out below into practice. Here are three ways you can improve your consulting business: Make some changes Has your consulting business struggled to attract a steady stream of customers as of late? If so, it might be high time you made some wholesale changes across all of your departments. When you do decide to undergo a radical transformation, just be sure to engage your workforce with the change by embracing what is known as change management. Offered expertly by Inpulse, this type of transformation tool will help you to change your workforce’s perception of the consultancy services that you make available.

Ninety-six percent of senior executives we surveyed in the US said they think this will be the case; 75% think that the future of consulting lies, not in traditional advice, but in combining deep expertise with software and proprietary data. Clients are still willing to pay premium prices for highly specialised knowledge, but also want consulting to deliver tools their own staff can use once the consultants have left. And consulting firms have been transforming themselves: When Accenture talks of the “new applied now”, it’s talking about itself as much as its clients, a point I’ve made before. But, from our conversations with clients, I’m increasingly aware that there are two sides to this particular story. The first and most obvious is the external picture, not only the way in which a firm has adapted its services for the digital era, but also the way in which it promotes itself among clients and in the broader market—its public narrative.

Translate Your Talents into Skills For many people, it is a challenge to put your personal attributes and talents into words that will entice a recruiter looking through your CV. Professional CV writers have the experience to know which keywords work and how to translate your talents into valuable skills in the workplace. Hire CV writers at PurpleCV You might not be as grammatically skilled as your peers, but this shouldn’t hold you back from having an impeccable CV. No longer will ‘there’ instead of ‘their’ cost you an interview, with help from the CV writers at PurpleCV.

Establishing a data-driven culture is a matter of influencing mindset and behaviours rather than of control...


The Management Centre

Emotional Intelligence in Leadership

We explore why emotional intelligence (EI) is especially important for leaders.

Traditionally, businesses have expended great time and effort to assess and avoid risk. Gauging and taking appropriate risks are fine, but there is such a thing as being too risk-averse.

Ensure your company is fit, not fragile, by building a workforce that can adapt to rapid change.

We speak about agility. We want to be responsive. We aim to make our companies more like startups. Yet we often operate in just the opposite way -- the legacy way .

Traditionally, businesses have expended great time and effort to assess and avoid risk. Gauging and taking appropriate risks are fine, but there is such a thing as being too risk-averse.

Twenty years ago, McKinsey predicted that the success of organisations would primarily depend on their ability to identify, develop, and retain top talent.Today, few companies would disagree .

Everyone can think of at least one well-known brand that went bankrupt recently. Given the speed with which technology trends emerge and grow, it can be hard to differentiate between those that present real opportunities and those that could pose risks. Each technology trend can have different kinds of potential impact: broad and global, or narrow and niche.

Innovation doesn’t happen by chance. It happens with change. While the difference between chance and change may only be one letter, after two decades of founding tech companies and building digital products, I can tell you with absolute certainty that no one wants to change. And why would they? .

This story is part of Big Thinkers, a series of profiles on business leaders transforming industries with bold ideas .

Everyone with a tech mandate is feeling pressure to use AI. We are told that AI can change the world, unlock hidden business value and solve problems that we weren’t able to before...


PA Consulting Group

Five steps to making business change stick

Change management can be an amorphous concept and capability in business operations. It incorporates training, communications, stakeholder engagement, staff coordination, new ways of working and much more. And it’s rooted in organisational culture.


Capgemini Consulting

It’s Time to Close the Digital Talent Gap

Attracting, developing, and retaining digital talent can give companies a competitive edge .

Given all the media and analyst coverage about digital transformation these days, one can be forgiven for assuming their company is limping hopelessly behind the pack. However, it’s not too late to catch up, and as you do, it can be done in incremental spurts .

Your digital transformation efforts will need people who can play four critical roles. Here’s how to identify, reward, and retain them .

But that doesn’t mean it was all bad. In particular, post-structuralists argued that literature wasn’t about things, but about itself. A poem about having a broken heart was not about having an actual broken heart, but about a broken poem; a novel that tracked family life in intricate and glacial detail was really about the novel as an art form. Nothing existed outside language; everything was self-referential. I was reminded of all of this when looking at a new book published by Accenture.


PA Consulting Group

A Positive Human Future

At PA, we believe a positive human future is perfectly achievable. The answer lies in a new and better way to lead. All too often, the workplace exerts a constraining force on our natural creativity, our purpose and our ingenuity. Unlocking the ingenuity stifled in our organisations isn't going to be easy.

Let's talk about the power of a well-placed question – and other underrated skills for leaders doing digital transformation work .

Here are my hard-earned tips for a successful pitch. Begin with something different By this I mean don’t launch straight into your pitch. Begin with a ‘dynamic change story’ (DCS). Use one of the prominent transformational disruptions that is happening in the client’s industry. Pick an attention grabber and alert the client that if these changes are not embraced, the firm will suffer. Like a movie, the DCS must have excitement, intrigue, relevance and a little fear (if change is not adopted).

Even complex, sophisticated ecosystems can be broken into small digestible components .

The global market for artificial intelligence products is supposed to grow roughly 10 times by 2025 to almost $120 billion, according to market research firm Tractica. Many companies are attempting to capture that market, including IBM with its Watson™ suite of developer tools. How do we adapt developer-relations strategy to current and future generations of developer-facing AI products? .

Finance function (re)design starts with centralization decisions. Long gone are the days when finance just reported numbers. Finance increasingly provides operational or enterprisewide decision support in addition to meeting its critical responsibilities in governance and oversight. How do chief financial officers (CFOs) determine the optimal structure to fulfill the dual demands of judgment- and rule-based activities? .



The future of mobility

What does the future of mobility look like? While many of us can no longer imagine doing without our apps and the on-the-go, contextualised experience our mobile devices provide, the future of mobility promises greater disruption still.

By the end of this year, there will be 83 million more people on Earth. Next year will be the same. So will the year after that.

In parallel, there is significant change happening in the way people want to work and their career aspirations. Today, many workplaces are composed of five generations. In turn, this brings a diverse range of complexities, motivations and expectations within one organisation. Individuals no longer join organisations for life but tend to look for experiences between 3 and 5 years - often far shorter than the life of an infrastructure programme.

A survey we conducted in 2018 found that 55% of clients rarely or never receive thought leadership recommendations from personal contacts within the firms they know. In terms of the old analogy, the horse (the relationship with the client) has been carefully nurtured and reared, and the trough (of intellectual capital, in the form of thought leadership) has been filled, and then everyone involved is sitting back and hoping nature takes it course. Actually, that’s slightly unfair: What they’re actually doing is using marketing to cut holes in the trough so that the water flows out, in the hope that some of it might find its way to the horse, and even splashing around in the water in the hope of catching the horse’s attention. But what they are resolutely not doing is leading the horse to water. Part of the problem here is probably volume: Among the 10 most prolific publishers of thought leadership in the consulting industry, the average firm is publishing 330 pieces per month. So it’s hardly surprising that your own teams are struggling to keep up with what you’re doing.

It’s a question worth asking because we’ve been “here” before. Back before the global financial crisis, there was a lot of talk about, and some investment in, reducing the impact of organisations on the environment. McKinsey had come up with its carbon abatement curve and high-profile businesses were looking at their carbon footprint. Plan A was the UK-based retailer Marks & Spencer’s approach: “Because there is no Plan B,” it said.

In an era of hard-hitting hashtags championing gender equality, as well as the rise of “lean in” culture, women leaders have never been so publicly recognized — or scrutinized.

Historically, bank brands could count on loyal customers to support multiple product lines and revenue streams but technology is exposing consumers to an ever-expanding menu of products and services. With fintech competitors threatening their market share from every direction, banks must adapt in order to protect not only their brands but their businesses. .

More than half of IT projects fail, some research shows, for a variety of reasons spanning from poor idea generation to a lack of communication. However, that doesn't mean that organisations aren't making progress or learning from these failures, experts say. .

The challenges of taking your business into new international territories are complex, but very exciting and getting this right can lead to sustained and robust growth. Get the inside track from Kevin Smith, Partner at KPMG.

Successful digital transformation requires businesses make investments in the right areas, according to Boston Consulting Group.

Data is quickly becoming the focal point of businesses. It is enabling companies to decipher customer expectations, analyse market trends, and discover unprecedented growth opportunities.

"The future; something which everyone reaches at the rate of sixty minutes an hour, whatever he does, whoever he is – C.S.Lewis"...While C.S. Lewis may have been right about everyone reaching the future, when it comes to organisations and workplaces, transformation is happening exponentially, be it of visions, processes, practices, technology or culture. .

Five key trends will likely cause a significant uptick in enterprise use of machine learning this year, according to Deloitte Global...

Clients think that the range of capabilities a firm brings to bear plays a key role in its ability to deliver a better, more innovative solution. As a result, the quality of a firm’s account management, together with its breadth of capabilities and ability to innovate, are now three of the most important factors clients consider when deciding which firm to hire. One of the many challenges this creates is how best to design solutions that meet clients’ needs: A big firm may have hundreds of different capabilities, and these are much harder to coordinate than a small number of overarching service lines. Step in—and step up—the account manager. Their role will change from often being—if we’re honest—a thinly disguised salesperson to someone who plays a pivotal role in understanding what a client is trying to do and “orchestrating” the firm’s capabilities to help.

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