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  • Writer's pictureTheunis van der Linde

Embracing the disruption seen in consulting

The consulting industry, just like every other industry out there, is subjected to disruption and change. In recent years a vast number of smaller but different (keyword) consulting service providers has seen the light of day. This is not surprising seeing that the consulting industry market size in North America alone is estimated to be more than $100 billion, totaling a staggering $250 billion globally. The market growth is also projected to maintain steady at around 3% per year. The demand exists. The good news (for businesses) is that the demand can now be met by smaller, and often more nimble consulting service providers with the freedom and ability to take a different (again, keyword) approach.

At Helios Consulting, we pride ourselves to have entered the market to purposefully deliver a different experience to clients. Different in the way we engage with and collaborate with our clients. Different in the way we build partnerships. Different in how we help our clients achieve success, while we remain in the background. Different in that we question, understand, think, and offer advice instead of telling.

To quote the late Wayne Dyer - “If you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change”.

There are a few ways in how businesses can change the way they look at the consulting industry, to see how it has changed thanks to the growth in smaller, but different service providers. Below we explore some of those ways and link directly to them by how we bring some unique offerings and benefits to your business.

Look for a coach, not another manager

World-class sports teams have both. Businesses also need both. You already employ managers, and rarely need another. You likely have few coaches. I am not referring to the kind of coaching that is seen as a quarterly “side-of-the-desk” administrative task by a manager. I am referring to real-world coaching aimed at changing behavior by exercising critical thinking and driving resiliency. By the very nature of us stepping into the service provider market, we have had to be critical thinkers and extremely resilient. We strive to equip our clients with the capabilities and tools needed in order to navigate their unique business challenges; we coach the managers and leaders.

Supplement instead of duplicating your existing knowledge and skills

The business world is riddled with hard skills but often lack the soft skills. I am talking about the skills that can help lead and facilitate brainstorming and problem-solving sessions, or that focus on culture and behavioral aspects, or that critically question, and stress test your strategy and tactics. We find that clients typically know best when it comes to the technical question of “what to do” in their business. Our sweet spot lies with getting to the root of the “why, and why now” and “how do we go about doing it” questions.

Connect directly to the source of knowledge

The more degrees of separation that exists between your business and the direct source of knowledge, the more risk is introduced with regards to dilution and delays. Your business challenge deserves unfiltered and the most direct access to the help most urgently needed. We operate from the premise of connecting the absolute best in our team with the absolute necessary in your team. There is no separation between your business problem and the person you see, the person who knows and the person who acts; they are the same person.

Expand your mind

Long-standing businesses functioning as they do, often have deep-rooted “QWERTY” factors embedded into the business. Our Chief Change Officer at Helios (Kait Dinunzio) refers to the “QWERTY” factors as things that are done a certain way because they have always been done like that. Legend has it that the “QWERTY” keyboard layout (as we know it today) is a result of optimizing the individual keys on the typewriter, to avoid mechanical failure (jamming) when typing at speed. Computer, electronic and digital device keyboards would hardly have the same problem today, yet we still continue to use the “QWERTY” layout. We see the same phenomenon exist within businesses. Roadblocks are often explained away with comments such as “we have always done it like that”. We focus on gaining a deep understanding of the business to guide with confidence the elements that you should keep, stop or start. Not all “QWERTY” factors are bad for your business, but some are. We know how and where to look for them.

Get only what you need, and only when you need it

Everything is “On Demand”, so are solutions, talent, and skills. For a consulting service provider to be an expert in all knowledge spheres and solutions all the time, requires a significant amount of investment into their solution supply chain. Not to mention a resultant effort and cost to maintain. A cost that impacts the engagement and the client. With advances in technology and the growth of smaller entrepreneurial companies, freelancers, and crowdsourcing, the service supply chain is virtually “always-on” and endless. And free of the burden of a rigidly fixed cost element passed on to the client. We focus on building valuable partnerships that complement our skill set. We know how to stick to our strengths, one of them knowing when to partner and bring the ecosystem to you (packaged) and when to point you to the ecosystem.

Consider the following very powerful statement: Never have businesses had more solution providers at their fingertips, and never have those solutions been more flexible, customizable, and commitment friendly.

This means that businesses have the option to transform in agile ways and are incentivized for embracing the disruption. Traditional daunting software options are being challenged by scalable cloud-based modular options. Traditional front-end investment heavy options are being challenged by subscription-based services. Traditional ways that work is done and how businesses organize and staff themselves are being challenged by automation, remote work, and skills on demand. Traditional consulting views of “knowing 100% of the answers” are being challenged by “getting to 100% of the root causes”. Traditional long-term engagements are being challenged by short-term flexible terms, due to the elimination of fixed cost.

Never have the possibilities and choices for businesses been more than what they are today. And never has Helios been more ready.

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