Management innovation in the UK consulting industry

Here is an extract from  an interesting report which can be found here on the Institute of Consulting’s website.

The author is Dr Joe O’Mahoney and the report was produced in association with the Chartered Management Institute, Cardiff Business School and the Advanced Institute of Management Research.


This report is a timely call to the consultancy industry to adapt.

Whether lone practitioners or multi-disciplinary practices, consultants need to become more

innovative and adaptive in their proposals, methods and solutions, while traditional

client/consultant boundaries need to be challenged, stretched and even broken.


Consultancies may also need to be more open to partnership working with other

agencies, such as academia or even competitors, if they are to respond effectively

to the pressures of the current high-cost, low-resource business environment.


This has implications for our clients too. It suggests both parties become more fluid

in their approach to procurement in order to develop greater collaboration and move

away from the more traditional client/provider approach.


In return for these privileged ‘collaborative’ relationships, the consultancy industry

must strive to improve standards and provide crystal clear evidence of its professional

conduct, practice and ethics. Trust, credibility, accountability and responsibility will

be the key drivers of the new relationships, and are vital to ensure sustainability.

In today’s tough economic climate, the need for private sector growth to lift the UK

out of recession’s reach will only be met through innovation, offering the potential

to usher in a renaissance for the UK consultancy industry.


This report argues that a search for the next ‘big idea’ will end up looking in all the wrong places. It calls for

an evolution, not revolution, in innovation management which, if heeded, will bring

benefits for consultants and clients alike. This aim of this report is to stimulate consultancies to be more innovative and thereby

add more value to their clients. I hope that you find it achieves both these objectives.