Photo credit: Kira auf der Heide
November 24, 2017 17:50
The consulting company with the deepest pool of talent in the world doesn’t exist. It’s the collection of independent consultants and small boutiques scattered around the world, all operating independently. However, if this group were a single firm, it would dominate every category in the WhoKnowsAbout global rankings in terms of breadth and depth of expertise.
That there is very high capability in these small suppliers shouldn’t be a surprise.
Some of these consultants used to be senior staff in the leading global consultancies before setting up their own shop. Rene Gram was an Associate Principal at McKinsey before he left to set up Prokura, a highly respected Procurement and Supply Chain boutique based in Denmark. Similarly, Chandra Mouli Kotta Kota had experience at Tata Consulting Service and McKinsey before co-founding specialist analytics training company AnalytixLabs. Prior to founding Canback, a unique consulting firm working in predictive analytics and consumer knowledge, Staffan Canback was a partner in Monitor Deloitte and McKinsey.
The large global firms are a major source of independent consultants. Former staff of MBB (McKinsey, BCG, Bain) alone number about 18,000 consultants and many of these prefer to ply their trade in the smaller consultancies where they can better control their professional life and better focus on client issues, without the inevitable distractions of big firm operations.
Industry is also a major source of high quality independent consultants. Bill Kinney spent 29 years with Walmart where he led the expansion into 19 countries before setting up his own Retail advisory practice. Rob Chivers had more than 20 years’ experience in Fixed and Mobile Telecommunications, much of that time in senior roles at Vodafone, before establishing Atlantex Consulting. Bart Flaherty was a senior Marketer with Pepsi and has now established Optimization Partners, a data driven marketing agency that seeks “to make data very profitable for executives to use”. Paul Everitt uses his 30 years of experience in Lean Manufacturing with the major automobile manufacturers and suppliers to help other companies deploy this technology through their operations.
A third source of independent consulting talent is academia. Matt Ohlson is an Assistant Professor at University of North Florida who advises institutions on issues in the Education industry. Many other academics have deep specialist skills relevant to industry.
Finally, there are talented individual who simply prefer the freedom of self-employment. Ya'akov Yehudi, a self-described autodidact, worked extensively on Information Security issues for the Israeli government before establishing his own consultancy.
The table below provides examples of the types of talent available from smaller consultancies across each of WhoKnowsAbout’s 30 knowledge categories. Click through to read the profiles of these highly experienced consultants and see some of the deep expertise available.
|Primary Industries||John Ganser||www.linkedin.com/in/johnganser||Downstream Consulting|
|Energy||Arthur Berman||www.linkedin.com/in/arthur-berman-b188b01b||Labyrinth Consulting Services, Inc.|
|Power & Utilities Sector||Neso Mijuskovic||www.linkedin.com/in/neso-mijuskovic-36567a60||Independent Consultant|
|Chemicals & Basic Materials||Francis Mirabella||www.linkedin.com/in/francis-mirabella-2331585||Mirabella Practical Consulting Solutions, Inc.|
|Manufacturing Industries||Kurt Pickard||www.linkedin.com/in/kurt-pickard-6b66469/||Kurt Pickard & Associates|
|Transport & Travel||Desiderio Fernandes||www.linkedin.com/in/desiderio-fernandes-6a385336/||Logistics Consultant|
|Retail & Wholesale||Bill Kinney||www.linkedin.com/in/bill-kinney-308aba19||Kinney International Retail Consultants|
|Consumer Goods & Services||Alesia Bock||www.linkedin.com/in/alesia-bock-815a4a32||AgriSystems International|
|Pharmaceuticals & Biotech||Roy Bohenzky||www.linkedin.com/in/roybohenzky/||Independent Consultant|
|Healthcare Sector||Valerie Rinkle||www.linkedin.com/in/valerie-rinkle-83666037||Valorize Consulting LLC|
|Financial Services Sector||Clive Bastow||www.linkedin.com/in/clivebastow/||Eliptica Financial Limited|
|Telecoms & Technology||Rob Chivers||www.linkedin.com/in/rob-chivers-4b4bbb7||Atlantex Consulting Limited|
|Media & Entertainment||Lance Young||www.linkedin.com/in/lancelyoung/||Consultant Specializing in Entertainment & Media|
|Public Sector & Defense||Matthew Ohlson||www.linkedin.com/in/matthew-ohlson-ph-d-924b7830||Assistant Professor, University of North Florida|
|Social Sector & Nonprofits||Ferdousi Sultana Begum||www.linkedin.com/in/ferdousi-sultana-begum-aa958b6a||Social Development and Gender Specialist|
|Data Analytics & AI||Chandra Mouli Kotta Kota||www.linkedin.com/in/chandra-mouli-kotta-kota-09620713||Co-Founder, AnalytixLabs|
|IT & Security Consulting||Ya'akov Yehudi||www.linkedin.com/in/informationsecurity||Information Security Consultant|
|ERP & CRM Systems||Jason Rauh||www.linkedin.com/in/jrauh||JRauh Consulting|
|Human Resources||Jamie Ripman||www.linkedin.com/in/jamieripman||Practive Ltd.|
|Sourcing & Supply Chain||René Gram||www.linkedin.com/in/renegram||Prokura A/S|
|Sales & Channel Management||Steve Farfsing||www.linkedin.com/in/stevefarfsing/||Revenue Stream Caribe, LLC|
|Marketing & Branding||Bart Flaherty||www.linkedin.com/in/bart-flaherty-b0bb636||Director, PIIKU|
|Strategy & Planning||Staffan Canback||www.linkedin.com/in/scanback/||Managing Director at Canback|
|Transformation & Change||Louise Haris||www.linkedin.com/in/louiseaharris/||SToS Consulting Inc|
|M&A||Mauro Fiorucci||www.linkedin.com/in/mauro-fiorucci-1069252||Opportune LLP|
|Economics & Regulatory||David Stallibrass||www.linkedin.com/in/david-stallibrass-87340239||First Principles Economics|
|Financial & Risk Management||Robert Fiedler||www.linkedin.com/in/robertfiedler||Liquidity Risk Corp.|
|Corporate Affairs & PR||Sue Vey||www.linkedin.com/in/sue-vey-59b4385/||Reputation Management Consulting|
|Sustainability & Environment||Neil Franklin||www.linkedin.com/in/neilfranklin69/||Daemeter Consulting|
The key insight is that there are very high levels of expertise within smaller boutiques and among independent consultants. Consulting clients may find more capability in this sector than in the larger consulting firms, especially for very specialised skills.
Of course, the constraint to date has been one of efficiently identifying these hidden gems.
WhoKnowsAbout has now resolved this, mapping the capabilities and experience of more than 500,000 consultants in each of 7,000 knowledge areas. This makes it easy to identify the consultant with the specific expertise you require, and it means that smaller consultancies can more efficiently ‘transmit’ their expertise to a wider range of prospective clients.