SOLUTIONS: RENEW

We help clients revitalize their businesses and to be stronger, more agile and more resilient in the face of change.

We help clients revitalize their businesses and to be stronger, more agile and more resilient in the face of change.

We help clients revitalize their businesses and to be stronger, more agile and more resilient in the face of change.

Large professional firms (PSFs) are more resilient than we think. As evidence, consider the leading law firms in New York City, Boston, Los Angeles and other major American cities. Or Toronto or in London or in São Paulo. Consider the ‘Big 4’ global advisory / accounting firms or even the tier of accounting firms just below them, or the leading global strategy houses of McKinsey, Bain and BCG. In a world where the life expectancy of a Fortune 100 company is estimated to be fifteen years, these firms have dominated their professions for many decades. However, they have all radically transformed the way in which they operate. The leading PSFs are masters at detecting subtle changes in client needs and quickly responding to them. Their ‘operating assets,’ namely their highly skilled and deeply experienced senior people, are almost impossible to source except from other similar firms. Barring massive disruptions (e.g. Arthur Andersen, Dewey LeBoeuf) it could be argued that their market positioning has been virtually unassailable.

The same is not true at the mid-tier. Here, the balance of supply and demand is more in the client’s favour and talent is more fungible. Services that have traditionally been the core of the business for these firms are shifting to alternative service providers and technology is disrupting existing business models. The mid-tier in many professions has become hypercompetitive and firms need to be wide awake and agile.

Disruptive change seems to be looming for many professions and other deep-knowledge enterprises but it is difficult to make sense of what that really means in one’s own firm – still less what to do about it. Most change remains incremental, though. Lack of strategic foresight can usually be tracked to a lack of accurate information, or corporate inertia, or both. We deal with the former under “know.” For the latter, we have a number of services that are designed to unlock creating thinking and develop genuinely new knowledge and solutions. These include the following.

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SCENARIO PLANNING

Scenarios are not forecasts but plausible futures that are built on realistic assumptions, to test the firm’s strategy and think through questions about the firm’s future. They are a powerful tool for getting people to think strategically about the future. They can range from very simple exercises with one variable (“what if “X” were to happen) to more complex exercises involving two or three variables. (Three is usually the maximum, or complexity overwhelms.)

DESIGN THINKING

Pioneered by firms like IDEO in California, design thinking is used to solve complex problems and develop new, innovative solutions that go deeper than the immediately obvious candidates. Drawing from the design professions, A design mindset focuses on human-centred solutions and action towards creating a desired end result, rather than simply solving a difficult problem.

SPRINTS

Pioneered by Google, sprints are a structured process for solving tough problems involving critical business decisions, moving from concept to solution to prototyping to decision in five days.

RAPTOR ASSESSMENTS

RAPTOR is an acronym for Rapid Assessment of Process, Tactics, Organisation and Resources. It is a structured process for quickly developing and action plan to tackle a complex, major initiative where it is clear what you want to do, but not how to do it. It is especially useful for designing complex firm-wide strategic initiatives. Using voting apps and other techniques we cut quickly through the debate to reach consensus of what needs to be done, by which people and with what resources, to achieve the stated objective.

OTHER FACILITATED PROBLEM-SOLVING PROCESSES

We can also offer a range of other approaches, depending on the specific issue being addressed and the preferences of those involved. We do not offer “cookie cutter” solutions.