Is it time to shift the traditional consulting model? | culp

Is it time to shift the traditional consulting model?

By admin Business, culp No Comments on Is it time to shift the traditional consulting model?

The past week has forced me to inspect and scrutinise our business model at culp, and the consulting model in general. It has been a challenging week filled with a landscape of thoughts, feelings and emotions. I have been consciously attentive to the opportunity that lies ahead post Covid-19 whilst equally feeling the anxiety, stress and unknown of today.

Could this be the end of culp? I am not going to make that decision right now nor harp on the negative. This is a very real reality that business owners are facing today. So instead, we are focusing on the possibilities afforded by time to think.

Let’s define consulting: “Consulting is the business of providing expert advice to a specific group of people.”. It’s about partnering and helping people and businesses to move from one state to the other by “helping people solve problems and achieve results”.  From culp’s standpoint; that means helping “organisations put culture, people and data first”, to solve their business problems and achieve results.

The 3 main reasons why people use external consultants according to is:

  1. They can’t get there on their own
  2. They want to get there faster
  3. They want a proven system to reach their goal

So where is the problem with the traditional consulting model? Surely, the 3 roles above can be performed remotely? During the design and implementation of culp’s employee value proposition (EVP) we debated this at length. We identified themes that positioned our business as a consulting partner and employer of choice such as:

  1. no “one-size-fits-all”
  2. people dynamics
  3. different life stages and levels of maturity
  4. unique
  5. ethical
  6. people-focused
  7. mainly project-based

We’ve realised that to stay true to the above, a mix of approaches is required. The fact is that in order to deliver change and maturity, having a physical presence is critical. One has to understand the unwritten culture and underground dynamics before designing and proposing any solution. On the other hand, delivering effective talent management solutions doesn’t necessitate on-site work. What is required is a comprehensive requirements document and thorough conversation (online or on the phone).

It really depends on the type of work that you are wanting to deliver. Change and maturity projects require a consulting presence. Operational and transactional HR, requires clear and concise instruction to deliver an outcome. At culp we do both!

Based on the nature of the work that we do at culp and our EVP, the traditional consulting model works for us. It requires presence or an input, in a better sense of the word. That input is deemed as understanding the environment, the culture and people dynamics and the uniqueness of the situation in order to define a unique solution to solve the business problem, or deliver an outcome. Is this sustainable and scalable today, in the sudden age of online everything?

Below we have highlighted consulting services that do not require a presence:

  1. Strategy review
  2. Design thinking*
  3. Reputation analysis
  4. Maturity plans and recommendations
  5. Talent pooling
  6. Recruitment marketing
  7. Career pathways design
  8. Organisational design
  9. Survey design
  10. Coaching
  11. HR architecture development
  12. Data analysis and interpretation

*Design thinking incorporates candidate experience, employee experience, onboarding, recruitment process, learning experience, OD roadmaps, organisational design, HR architecture, reward and recognition, remuneration and benefits, wellness, diversity & inclusion

Personally, I don’t think the consulting model is broken. I think that it has evolved to new platforms and channels to deliver work at scale. It is up to us to trust each other and these new ways of working. Trust in each other to share real stories, pain points, requirements, solutions and destinations and, trusting in your consulting partner to deliver you to your destination.

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