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On the importance of focusing on consulting excellence

As the impact of the global pandemic and the acceleration of digital technologies continue to disrupt the business landscape, many organizations are having to address a unique set of challenges which they are looking to consultants to help them overcome.  Consequently, the consulting industry is having to adapt quickly in terms of services, structures and operations and to update its traditional business models to meet the needs of the digital economy.  Clients are also becoming more sophisticated and knowledgeable and consequently demanding a faster level of responsiveness, enhanced innovation, and a hybrid approach of face-to-face and virtual consulting.  To address such challenges requires an increased focus on consulting excellence from consultants by:

  • knowing the operational reality of their clients and offering bespoke services that meet the context of the environment in which the client organization is operating.  This means understanding the business context, challenges and opportunities within which the organization functions.
  • demonstrating the tangible benefits of their work, with metrics to help measure and demonstrate the impact of change/s.  This means providing excellent services which deliver the outcomes that clients need.  It also means working with clients to identify how a consultancy assignment will be evaluated, the key benefits the client wants to achieve and the key performance indicators that will be used to measure progress and success.  In addition, it also implies identifying risks and how they might be mitigated.
  • building a value-oriented business model which focuses on long term client relationships and partnerships.   This means always aiming to improve the value delivered to clients and investing time and energy into building and maintaining trust and responding to client concerns.
  • sharing skills and services such as digital technologies to help clients with automated decision making.  This means developing the capabilities and specialisms required to provide consulting excellence.
  • working with stakeholders in an ethical way by addressing ethical dilemmas, and working to high standards of ethical behaviour, client service, professionalism, diversity and inclusion. 

In order to continue to meet client needs and remain relevant consultants, whether internal or external, need to provide consulting excellence as well as to develop and enhance their capabilities, in order to remain relevant and to adapt to the changing business environment. 


Professor Julie Hodges is a leading expert on change in organizations, particularly the role and impact of people during transformations. Before entering the academic world Julie worked as a business consultant for over 20 years. Julie is the author of several books including ‘Consultancy, Organizational Development and Change’, ‘ Managing and Leading People through Change’ (Kogan Page); Sustaining Change in Organizations(Sage) and ‘Employee Engagement for Organizational Change’ (Routledge) and ‘Organization Development: how organizations change and develop effectively’ (Palgrave McMillan). Her latest book is ‘Reshaping the HR: the role of HR in organizational change’.


Julie will participate  in our Round Table on Excellence in Consulting which will take place in June. We will share further information on this event shortly. In the meantime, you can find more information on the Excellence in Consulting topic here.

Wednesday 13th April 2022
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