Wanting to Read People’s Minds? Discover Instead the Best Sources and Publications on the Consulting Industry
What clients want? If there was a way to read people’s minds, like in the movie “What Women Want” with Mel Gibson whose character was able to read women’s minds, now the reverse version “What Men Want” with Taraji P. Henson, we bet that Consultants will be eager to be able to do so!
But the reality is not a fictional world, and reading Clients’ minds takes some good old fashioned information and communication. And vice versa, Clients might wish to read Consultants’ minds, but there are more efficient and simple methods: information and communication, and being good at asking questions.
“We run this company on questions, not answers.” – Eric Schmidt, former CEO of Google.
By asking questions, especially the right questions, we gain a better understanding of the problems, and we can develop more innovative solutions that fit better the issue at hand.
Questions are not only meant to provide answers and information on a project but even more so to inspire and motivate the parties to seek a deeper understanding.
And in Consulting, probably the most important question pertaining to every single project is:
What extra value can be created beyond the scope of the project?
Being open to new information is part of the process of getting knowledge.
We have compiled a List of the best publications in the Consulting Industry, to help Clients understand the latest trends and stay on top of main developments.
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1.Consulting Magazine, powered by ALM, is probably the oldest publication in the industry. It provides interviews with consulting leaders on a monthly basis, various rankings, firm profiles, and thought leadership articles.
2.Consultancy.org is a online platform launched initially in the Netherlands and the UK and recently scaled to get a global reach. It gathers the latest news about the consulting industry, including market insights, M&A, and leaders’ appointments.
3. Consulting Wiki? is an online multi-author blog dedicated to Consulting. It covers a wide range of topics such as how to create value through consulting, how to buy consulting services and how to manage a consulting practice. It also includes a Q&A forum on a variety of topics.
Years ago, the only source of information for Consulting was the report issued by the Kennedy Research. Those days are long gone, and there are now several sources in that space. They all agree on one thing: the market is big and growing. It pretty much stops there, as they are all using proprietary methodologies and definitions.
1.ALM acquired Kennedy Research in 2014 to strengthen the Consulting arm of their professional services offering. They propose the traditional market research services for the Consulting Industry: market trends, market sizes, benchmark, competitive landscape. You have probably already heard about the ALM Vanguard, where they map depth and breadth of capabilities for Consulting Firms.
2.Source Global Research can be considered a direct competitor for ALM. Their focus is, however geared towards large Consulting Firms in need of information about their market. They offer reports organized by geography and industry, presenting the market as seen by the top consulting firms. They also propose a client perception programs and maintain a database of thought leadership.
3.Monadnock Research is a niche player specialized in rate intelligence. They also provide their subscribers with a bi-weekly newsletter featuring consulting industry news, Consulting Firms’ thought leadership content, and industry leadership appointments.
4.Feaco is the European Federation of Management Consultancies Associations. It publishes regularly free reports on the European Consulting Industry, including an interesting segmentation per country.
There are also generalist research sources such as Plunkett’s Industry Almanac, Statista, or IBIS World that can provide insights on the market.
5.The CBF Blueprint, from the Consulting Buyer Forum – a sub-group from the MCA (Management Consulting Association in the UK), aims at improving the collaboration between executives, buyers, and consultants. They have produced, through collaborative working groups under the leadership of Paul Vincent, an interesting framework to get started.
6.The Consulting Provider Guide by ALM is a web-based directory that allows detailed comparisons between the top 400 companies organized by service line, geography, and client industry. Unfortunately, this service requires a subscription.
7.Consulting Quest Directory is a listing of more than 3500 consulting firms globally organized by capability, office locations, and client industry. It is searchable, professionally managed and free.
8.Le Guide des Cabinets de Conseil en Management (The guide of Management Consulting Firms) is a unique publication for the French market that provides a detailed description of the 100 Consulting Firms in France. It was labeled the Gault-et-Millau of Consulting when it was first issued in 1993.
Besides the directories, there is another source of information for Consulting Firms: the rankings and awards. Each of them will cast a different light on the top players.
9.Statista. The rankings are based on recommendations from a vast majority of peers and a few executives. Highly publicized thanks to partnerships with major newspaper and magazines, also highly criticized for being mostly reputational and potentially biased. It appeals to the same behavior as top-of-mind awareness in marketing.
10.Vanguard (ALM). The rankings are based on the depth and the breadth of capabilities. It gives interesting insights on the positioning of top payers in a given field. However, it doesn’t give the depth of the bench on a given capability or a measure of the performance.
11.Vault. The ranking is geared towards candidates and based on peer-review. It is nonetheless an interesting perspective of the more reputable companies, with rankings per practice area, and a special section for “Boutique Consulting Firms.”
12.Forrester Wave. The rankings are based on Consulting Firms information and client feedback. They are very IT/Digital oriented. Besides, the Forrester analysts are narrowing the study to a shortlist of 8-10 companies that they will examine. As a result, you will always find the same 15 companies in the different rankings.
13.WGBM Rankings. This German company is regularly publishing rankings of the best accounting firms and the best consulting firms in Germany. Their rankings are based on client feedback and cover both large consulting firms and mid-sized consulting firms.
In conclusion, rankings by capability and industry based on clients feedback and on a global basis would be ideal. But we are not aware of such platform being developed as of today
We tried to include the best and most current resources to help you navigate the Consulting Category,
and assist you with your Procurement needs.
If you have an inquiry or a project you like to discuss with us,
please connect with us today.
Hélène Laffitte is the CEO of Consulting Quest, a Global Performance-Driven Consulting Platform and author of “Smart Consulting Sourcing”, a step by step guide to getting the best ROI from your consulting. With a blend of experience in Procurement and Consulting, Hélène is passionate about helping Companies create more value through Consulting.