MIND THE CONSULTANCY GAP – Why consulting firms are failing medium-sized businesses

Executive Summary

A service delivery gap is reported consistently in consultancy practices.

  • 79% of consulting practices reported that they delivered an above-average customer experience
  • When asked, only 16% of the clients felt they received an above-average experience.

The reality is that consultancy practices are failing to deliver.

Between the synthetic siren calls of the gurus and the laden drones of certain academics lies a sweetspot that can really appeal to experienced business people.

What works for the entrepreneurial owner-directors of medium-sized businesses is something which does not have the dictatorial basis of either gurus, academics or management consultancies. Something that is more collaborative and participative. Something that is more respectful of their experience, expertise and achievements – and is more enduring.

What they want, what they lack, is a bigger picture that comes from focusing on Corporate Eudaimonia (‘human flourishing’), the best possible balance of financial, physical and moral well-being. Consequently, it has wider perspectives than pure maximisation of profit.

Experienced owner-directors don’t believe in miracles, or the efficacy of quick fixes. They think they have some – but not all – of the answers. They understandably don’t want to be preached to, nor have their experience and expertise ignored, or undervalued. They want heterarchy (a system of organisation where the elements are unranked) not hierarchy. They want to work peer-to-peer with mutual respect.

Owner-directors don’t believe that their business can be, or needs to be, transformed. They want improvement, not revolution, and they know that improvement is as much to do with how their business operates as anything related to direction or strategy.

They are looking for evolution: performance improvement over time, fitness in changing markets.

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