A restarting plan business-case gave me the opportunity during GGI European Conference to talk about innovation in the advisory world.
Even big advisory companies usually suggest their clients to focus on innovation and on customers requests, to improve their market position and competitiveness.
But, are we sure the teacher runs better than the pupil? Just giving a look to most famous and big law firms in Europe, the perception I had is that they have always been focused on services they were skilled on. A kind of product oriented (or I would say service oriented) approach, assuming the market is able to understand how and when those services could be useful or not.
Time flies and customer’s requests change. A question we were asked a couple of weeks ago is “how to reduce the supply chain, what business model to be used, or technical plant solution to be selected”. Financial support and legal solutions become needed only when the project globally seems to make sense. Our customer didn’t care what skills or professionals were needed, he asked for reliable answer to a complicated question, at a reasonable price.
Advisors are asked to modify their approach, from services oriented to client and problem solving oriented. less talented and instinctive, and much more managerial and organized, with internal structure and functions. Even different professional skills can be included in the same advisory company, as they are useful to fit customers needs and to get enterprise value empowering solutions.
What advisory companies need, finally, to increase customer sensitivity, and managing attitude. From this angle dimension makes investments in innovation and communication possible, and creates specialized skills, needed to answer customers requests. Managing attitude creates efficiency and rules, to have a competitive machine in place.
It is an awesome opportunity for the future, together with an exiting challenge. As in the middle 1970’s, we should stay hungry, and foolish.