• Mark Newman

Consulting in a different world

The days of consultants flying into client locations using airports and hotels, to then run workshops, conduct interviews, and work alongside client staff now seem to be in the distant past. A new business context has been enforced onto us which among other things, has resulted in both our consultants and clients now working from home.

If we are to continue delivering consulting services, we will need to significantly alter our engagement and delivery models. Here are a couple of things to consider;

Client Relationships

Many of our clients will be unused to working from home in relative isolation for extended periods of time. They also may be facing personal difficulties or health issues, either for themselves or with close family members. As we engage with them, we will need to first listen, understand their circumstances. I'm not suggesting a full-blown counselling session, but additional time should be made to hear and acknowledge how personal lives are being affected. We are dealing with a significant societal trauma that is reaching into every aspect of our individual lives, and which has created huge uncertainty for the future.

We would do well to listen more, empathise, and show some kindness.

Client Delivery

With our clients working from home, and our consultants working from home, we will need to adopt enhanced collaboration and delivery approaches. Fortunately, technological advances in broadband infrastructure and newer collaboration tools such as MS Teams and Zoom have much improved virtual conversations and document sharing.

We can also enhance these basic collaboration capabilities with more sophisticated tools such as ASSIST® which help to organise not just conversations and documents but thinking and concepts. Having a shared conceptual space will enable our clients to have meaningful conversations and support them in the development new operating models.

Collaboration around shared concepts

Although there is a high degree of uncertainty about the future, one thing we can be sure of is that our world is not going to return to its previous state. This crisis will result in fundamental shifts (both micro and macro) on how we do business and how we relate to others. We need to be thinking and preparing for this today, and not leave it 'until things return to normal'.


If you would like to discuss how ASSIST® can be used to support your transformation consulting practice then please get in touch

ASSIST® is a shared conceptual space for business transformation which integrates strategic analysis, operating model design, and portfolio optimisation. You can read more about ASSIST® here