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By: Andy Jordan, President of Roffensian Consulting S.A.
Finally, 2022. We can leave the chaos of 2021 behind and start to think of the upheaval of 2020 as part of ‘history’. Except that there’s not a huge amount of evidence that 2022 is going to be any less disruptive for consulting firms. There’s still a lot of uncertainty around how we’re going to be working, where we’re going to be working, and what we’re going to be working on.
But uncertainty isn’t necessarily a bad thing, and there is some good news out there.
The Management Consulting Services Global Market Report 2022 predicts 9.2% growth in consulting services this year. That’s a solid increase and something we can all build on. But of course, it won’t be across-the-board growth. It will be focused on the firms that can take advantage of the opportunities, and it will pass by those firms that are slow to adapt or that make the wrong moves. I don’t know about you, but my firm can’t afford to be on the outside looking in!
So, what can we do to ensure we can succeed in 2022 – and beyond?
1. Take Advantage of a Growing Market
Let’s start with something that might not seem to be a problem at all – taking advantage of that growing market. While industry growth is certainly a good thing, there is still a lot of uncertainty in the market and consulting firms have to be careful that they don’t overextend themselves. If some of those market uncertainties arise and present unforeseen risks or challenges, some firms might find themselves in a vulnerable position and struggle to survive. So, move number one – manage your growth to take advantage of opportunities without exposing yourself to excessive risk if things go sideways.
2. Prioritize Cybersecurity
A hybrid or fully virtual workforce is the future (or present) for most professional services organisations. According to business insurance specialist Hiscox, the number of firms that experienced cyberattacks rose from 38% to 43%. Many firms suffered multiple attacks.
Critical move number two then, prioritize cyber security and be prepared to invest in technology, processes, and training to protect your firm, its employees, and clients.
If you don't, then you may find yourself locked out of your own business, you may be faced with explaining to your clients how you allowed their information to be compromised, and you may be in a position where 2022 is a whole lot more than a couple of years just gone!
Critical Consulting Moves for 2022
3. All About Culture
The final critical move I want to highlight here is perhaps the most obvious of the three. It’s about investing in culture. I know, you’ve heard that before and you’ve done things about it in the past. So why isn’t that enough? Well, you’ve seen all the news reports about "the great resignation", about the number of people leaving the workforce. What you may not realize is that it costs six to nine months’ salary to replace an employee according to the Society for Human Resource Management.
That’s a lot of money, and it doesn’t consider the disruption caused to the rest of your employees as you struggle to prevent clients from being impacted by your turnover. So, creating an environment that values employees, invests in them, and avoids unnecessary turnover is critical. That will benefit your employees, your firm, and your clients, and will pay off for years to come.
None of these three critical moves are difficult to commit to, and none of the rest of the list is particularly difficult either. But they are necessary if you’re to put your firm in a position to make the most of 2022. And after 2020 and 2021, making the most of this year seems like a pretty good idea to me.
And Speaking of Critical Consulting Moves…
Deltek has worked with consulting experts from small and mid-size firms across North America to identify ten consulting moves that firms should make right now to put themselves in the best position to succeed in 2022. Check out the on-demand webinar where we discussed the 10 Critical Consulting Moves for 2022 Success.
About the Author
Andy Jordan is President of Roffensian Consulting S.A., Honduras based management consulting firm with a strong emphasis on organizational transformation, portfolio management and PMOs. Andy is a speaker, author and instructor of project management related disciplines.
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