Best New Consultancy Finalist 2019 Inner Circle Consulting

What makes the best management consultancy organisation? What are its characteristics? How do Clients describe the combination of attributes that make the best management consultancies they’ve worked with? Why do the very best people join and stay with a particular management consultancy? These are the questions we have contemplated in the preparation of our submission for the Best New Consultancy award. We’ve used this opportunity, and our position on the Goldman Sachs 10,000 small businesses programme, to understand more about these points than ever before.

We are Inner Circle Consulting and we believe that the best outcomes are yet to be discovered and the best outcomes yet to be delivered. This year we have doubled our turnover, increased profit ratios and broadened our client base. We want to know more about how we’ve achieved this and more importantly how we can keep going. So, over the last few weeks we have:

  • carried out our most detailed staff survey
  • conducted our largest and most detailed customer satisfaction survey
  • undertaken our broadest and deepest detailed assessment of our competitors
  • undertake research into the world’s best consultancies

These have told us is that if we want to be the best management consultancy we’ve got a long way to go. The key areas we need to improve are:

  • Ensuring our exceptional impact and high client regard at Director level is replicated through the rest of the team
  • The way we develop our staff is not creative enough to drive service improvement or systematic enough to maintain consistently high performance standards
  • The way we capture and embed client and staff feedback into the business should create a virtuous path of improvement
  • Our customer value proposition; it’s not clear enough and requires us to explain it face to face
  • The way we communicate the financial performance of our business through our published accounts to external organisations

We’re taking a risk in sharing all our shortfalls in this submission while we could have just written about the good bits. We want though to be the world’s best consultancy and we hope that by being tirelessly self-critical, keeping our disruptive gaze focussed as much on ourselves as our markets and by applying our zero-based thinking internally we’ll make progress towards our goal.

We are growing rapidly and have recruited an additional 12 people since April. We’re delighted that this is happening though it has also contributed to the challenges described above. Our response has been to establish our own internal change programme that we call Growing Elegantly that is co-designed and led by directors and staff.

Finally, if proof is still required once you’re read our submission then we believe you shouldn’t take our word for it but use your own judgement. Inner Circle Consulting have been one of the most successful new consultancies at the MCA awards over the last three years with a record of one win, one highly commended and three finalists.