In his recent book, “Microslices,” author and consultant John Dillard discusses consulting disruption. We conducted an interview to examine the extent to which today’s business leaders are starting to push consultancies toward a Microslices model, driven by the compression, specialization, and automation of consulting activities.
- Participants have mixed opinions on the value and effectiveness of consultants. While some feel that consultants do not take the pain to understand a company’s culture and adapt to it, others think that consultants are always good or at least decent in their effectiveness.
- While the Consultant Selection Process depends on parameters such as department, decision maker, etc., data reveals that specialization takes priority over other factors when hiring a consultant.
- Participants highlighted that the approach to decision making depends on the problem at hand, and there may be no standard approach.
Consultant Effectiveness received a score of 55% with the highest alignment of 69%. Participants believe that consultants either rely too much on their past engagements or are very rigid in the way they operate.
“Consultants were usually at a disadvantage because they did not know company culture and made no effort to know it. They were very rigid in their philosophy of how to do it their way.”
“Consultants tend to weigh too much value to previous engagements with other clients in creating solutions for us. They seldom choose the entire population of stakeholders who should be involved.”
Consultant Effectiveness Polling Module: Face-to-face interviews seem to be the most preferred way in which consultants engage employees when starting to build solutions.
Consultants Selection Process
Participants gave an average rating to the effectiveness of their company’s consultant selection process. Various parameters were identified for determining the effectiveness of the selection process such as the hiring department, decision maker, number of people involved, and subject area.
- A majority of the participants feel that Specialization and Speed to Value are the key reasons for hiring a consultant.
- Moreover, about 69% of the participants believe that Specialization is ‘Somewhat’ or ‘Far More’ important than Reputation and Resources when hiring a consultant.
Out of all the topic areas, this one received the lowest score. When asked “How accurately does this statement reflect your approach to business: I focus on outcomes over processes, rely on technology over people, and favor change over the status quo?” participants felt that the statement was only somewhat accurate.
Moreover, data revealed the following insights:
- Participants believe that every environment is unique and determines how to approach the problem space. There may be no standard approach.
“I’m convinced that there is a fresh approach to solutions. I don’t discount experience but I believe there are variables in every environment that require unique solutions.”
- 69% of respondents believe that their company’s approach to data science is about ‘gaining insights’ vs. 31% who feel it is about ‘numbers validating trends’.
- When asked, “When it comes to business decisions, which is of more value to you: the process or the outcome?”, despite being divided over the two options, the majority of respondents said that outcome is far more important.