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Consulting is dead, long live Enabling!

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Consulting is dead, long live Enabling!

A few days ago I was pitching to a prospective client, and I introduced ourselves as a consulting firm. I hate it when I do that. We are not a consulting firm. We are an Enabling firm. The hint is in our name.

Arthur D. Little founded the first consulting firm in 1886, in Boston. Soon, other firms joined the Consulting and the activity began to structure itself into an industry. But Little refused to follow the major trends developed by his counterparts: he was opposed by the systemization of processes, preferring to treat each problem independently. Unfortunately for his firm, it was soon overtaken (in size at least) by others who found it less risky to deal with known cases, transposing ideas from one organization to another, and applying almost the same recipe throughout.

From the beginning, consulting has been developed more around a principle of homogeneity than innovation- Some firms, by proposing standardized methods operated by somewhat interchangeable consultants, have been able to create strong solutions. Thus, the reputation of the firm, its product and its team, the guarantee of efficiency and, in the end, the power of its brand, erase the drawbacks of the low degree of customization.

 Risk of standardization- However the risk of inability of the client to apply and implement the advice received is a serious problem with this kind of service. I frequently hear from clients who have wanted an outside look at their business: sometimes after several years, very little of the valuable advice has been implemented, due to lack of resources, capabilities, cultural fit, ownership of the recommendations by the business stakeholders, etc…

Buying buying advice that you cannot use… The irony…

 What we do- Rolling up our sleeves, taking clients on the journey with us, bringing in extra brain and muscle power to their teams to tackle the issues they could not fix on their own, is what we do day in, day out. Enabling procurement. Just as Simple!