Traditional strategy consulting has become increasingly commodified in recent years as ex-consultants fill the ranks of their former clients. Many major companies like MasterCard and Pfizer have set up their own internal consulting practices. More often than not, these practices have a far greater understanding of their own businesses, thus helping reduce their businesses’ reliance on external consultants.
At the same time, clients have also long struggled to implement the strategies developed by their management consultants . Many consultant-proposed initiatives fail to generate their initially expected results. This is due to several reasons, such as a lack of talent and/or impetus to drive the implementation, as well as the recommendations being too difficult to implement.
Finally, also due to COVID, digital projects have become more and more common and requested. Consulting companies have seen an increasing demand for projects that only a few years ago were not part of the usual requests of F500 companies.
These factors have forced strategy consulting firms to reinvent themselves, adopting digital as a core part of their offerings – as opposed to just bread and butter strategy – and expanding their offerings to include strategy execution. With ‘digital transformation’ in vogue, consulting firms must possess capabilities in the trinity of strategy, technology, and implementation to thrive. The MBB (McKinsey, BCG, and Bain) firms, in particular, have recognized this, and have been aggressively building up their non-strategy practices (most notably McKinsey Implementation, McKinsey Digital, and BCG Platinion) over the past several years.