The Harvard Business Review had an article by Clayton Christensen on the disruption of the consulting industry. In this article, Mr. Christensen talked about how the economics are changing the practice of management consulting. He talks about companies hiring refugees from the big consulting firms and the introduction of software-based services. What’s missing is a discussion of the impact of the Post-Globalism mindset or remote work.
Consulting is the ultimate outside sales based industry and advancement is determined by one’s ability to schmooze (i.e. ability to build relationships). Now Mr. Christensen’s article dealt mainly with management/strategy consulting, which is the most lucrative portion of the industry. This blog segment explores the kind of additive work that technology consultants do for their clients.
Traditionally, technology consulting has been driven by marketing hype and the desire for the next shiny object. Unlike management consultants, senior technologists don’t have to be as good at doing the lunch thing. They do have to be able to deliver a TED Conference quality presentation. Also, the solution had to appear easy to implement and show no hint of strategic uncertainty.
Unfortunately for consultants, the business world is transitioning into a primarily inside sales-based environment. People can sale almost everything using their websites and telephones. This transition to inside sales also causes problems for economic development organizations. For a lot of EDO’s, organizing events for members to schmooze with each other is the Economic Development Organization’s primary contribution to the community.
Increasingly, owner/operators are having to turn to remote work too support themselves. They need a new set of business services that support a network-oriented work environment. This is where a Post-Globalism mindset becomes important. Simply managing by the numbers and competing on cost won’t work because there are too many options available to consumers.
Without a Post-Globalism mindset, owner/operators will try to use market-based solutions to compete in a network-oriented world. For example, market-based business practices are built on either resource scarcity or low costs. On the other hand, people do business with the people in their networks. That is why a Post-Globalism mindset is focused on building strategic networks where the owner/operators can collaborate with their customers.