After my last post on new business models for strategy consulting Carlo Arioli pointed me to the latest issue (11) of Insead Quarterly (p.10-14), which carries an article on new approaches to strategy consulting.
I was particularly interested in a paragraph at the end of the article based on some of the ideas articulated at The Next Practice, a consulting company founded by business guru C.K. Prahalad:
the best talent for strategic innovation is to be found within client firms. They act as strategic and operational coaches, both stretching and supporting client teams as they seek answers on their own, rather than as classic consultants. This co-creation of strategy starts within the client company, but may also involve various other stakeholders. [...] there is rarely need for a big consulting team; a few enablers are sufficient to drive the learning process in a very Socratic way. The promised advantage for the client is knowing that it will be able to fully internalise the relevant issues and their management.
I was intrigued by this because "strategy co-creation" is one of the fundaments of the value proposition of arvetica, the consulting boutique that I am helping to build. In fact, we aim at being a sort of catalyst for our clients. This means for each specific issue we bring in adequate and up-to-date methods and trends to help our clients reflect on, clarify and design their strategy and implementation plans. We do this in structured group thinking sessions which we facilitate. The outcome is a concise strategy for a specific issue together with an action plan that starts the next morning. In other words we always try to reconcile a long term view with short term actions...