Consulting grew by 8.4% in 2014, faster than almost any other sector of the economy. Much of this came from helping businesses get new propositions to market, meet the challenge of the Digital Age, and get ‘match fit’ for growth. Consulting is growing by helping others grow.
Owing to our industry’s current growth and its connection with the promotion of wider economic wellbeing, the MCA has decided to launch its Year of Growth. Starting with our Annual Debate on 9th July on Airports Expansion, the Year will cover a variety of issues. We will investigate how Britain’s return to economic growth can be put onto a secure footing and how consulting can assist. Since consultants are already supporting growth propositions and helping businesses get in the best shape to grow, they have been able to witness the strengths and weaknesses of the UK’s welcome return to growth. They understand the importance of strong communications and transport networks and the potential of Digital. But they can also see at first hand the challenges associated with Britain’s poor productivity record and significant skills shortages. They are also just as aware as the rest of corporate Britain of the potentially damaging implications for the UK’s growth prospects of Grexit, Brexit and even Scoxit.
Over the course of the Year, we will examine in depth what consultants are doing to support growth and what more they could do. We will also consider emerging challenges. MCA members have noted that growth in the context of new economic realities is challenging. Though the return to growth is welcome, it takes place in disruptive conditions. Digital is shortening the business cycle, transferring power to consumers, driving relentless innovation in business models, blurring boundaries between industrial sectors and reducing barriers to market entry. No one is safe. Businesses, according to our consultants, often feel they have to grow just to survive. The new pattern of growth is accordingly ‘anxious’. Throughout our Year, we will examine how businesses can cope with these dynamics, how they can be managed and mitigated – or even put to good use.