TRENDS IN CONSULTANCY
2018 The Age of Artificial Intelligence:
The Missing Tag
I walk by the same office every day, smiling as I walk by, I look longingly at the tag at the doorpost that says ‘Executive Director’, and I say to myself, ‘I will get there someday, I will earn my promotion, and it will one day be my turn, I will step into that office and it will be mine to use as I deem fit’. Few years went by, I did my job diligently, I earned my promotions, and finally, I was just one step away from getting the promotion that will make my dreams come true. It was another beautiful day in the first week of January 2018, I walked past the reception down to my office, as usual, I already knew a lot of people in the organization, it was now a normal routine for everyone I meet along the way to greet me, I walked into my dream office only to find out that the tag that was once there was gone, I did not understand, I felt there must have been a mistake somewhere, so I waited for a while, then I saw three robotics walking towards the door, I saw them hammer another tag on the door post which says ‘’AI in charge’’.
By now you must know that the story is fictional, but a more in-depth analysis of this story brings to light the reality of the age we are now in. The era of rising Artificial Intelligence (AI).
Years have gone by, and the consultancy industry is growing by the day, but a common convergence amongst analyst and major players in the industry is that the industry is also at the verge of serious disruption. One thing kept reoccurring as I perused literature in my search for major trends in the coming days as far as the consultancy industry is concerned. This factor could bring about a massive disruption in the industry.
I am talking about the stretching hands of technology. The pace of development in digital technologies is creating new business models at a faster speed than many current company structures are able to cope with. To deal with this challenge, consulting companies must develop a comprehensive digital strategy and rethink their business and operating models in order to remain relevant. Management consulting is a client-driven industry, and as clients’ needs change, the sector - firms within it - must adapt quickly to the demands of the end-users while leveraging on technology, though it is not going to be on a platter of gold.
I was in a meeting with my Managing Director just last week, where she mentioned the fact that it is important to fail fast in a bit to learn fast. In other words, learn to try new things now, even if it does not come out perfect, at least we will be exploring our creativity and in time, it will be perfect.
The question is, why does a 3-year-old have to wait till he is 10 before learning what he could learn now? If he makes that mistake now, it means he will not have to make that mistake again, thus having more productive years ahead. “We need to adopt that ‘fail fast’, the agile mentality that is seen to work so well in small businesses; we need to learn from our mistakes. As an industry, we can often have low acceptance of failure and end up valuing accuracy over creativity. It’s important to recognize this as a barrier to reinventing the way we operate, develop our people and, ultimately, provide our clients with greater value.” To do this effectively, we need to give more attention to technology and what it can offer, we need to prioritize the use of technology in virtually all aspects of our business model if we do not want to be left behind like the hypothetical man above.
Thank you. Do have a splendid week!