Environmental, Social, Technological – any change is good for Management Consulting – by Tariq Siraj

The UK announcing a policy of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 should be welcome news for all of us and was a resonant example of the power of the peaceful protest.

To many it does not go far enough; many eminent academics and Extinction Rebellion members continue pushing for a 2030 target and of course Greenpeace protestors made the headlines recently at a City event with senior MPs.

However the 2050 policy – while achievable – will already require quite seismic changes in public consumption, habits, industry approaches and further government policies. And here we see the introduction on the management consulting sector.

Any change is good…

Every major shift in government policy or public expectation or any technological advance or industry-shaking acquisition creates huge opportunity and revenue for the advisory sector. Think about the digital revolution and growth of AI, blockchain, cyber security and the Internet of Things; or think about the rise in flexible working, maternity/paternity rights and the gender pay gap.

Shifts in policies, technology or the ‘national conversation’ like these can create almost entirely new markets in themselves. All of it feeds into the management consulting machine.

Like in recruitment, the mantra in the consulting market is that ‘any change is good’.

“Has the landscape changed? Do you have some new challenges you haven’t dealt with before? Well, you’re gonna need some advice on how to navigate it…and wouldn’t you know it – we have a whole team of experts in that area!!”

The job seeker…

For firms big and small, public perception is perhaps even more influential than government policy. Commercial organisations (consultancies included) are ever-more conscious of how they are perceived by an ever-more environmentally and socially aware customer base – particularly the younger generation.

Carbon footprint, female representation at management levels, CSR work and flexible working policies are among a raft of genuine considerations for the modern job seeker. Issues never previously on the radar (or never previously existing as ‘things’) are now deal-breakers.

The new landscape…

We’re told we are in the midst of a new industrial revolution driven by the emergence of AI and new technologies. That’s true to an extent – but maybe it’s all underpinned by the environmental and social revolutions?

This is all profoundly changing the landscape for organisations across every sector. It affects manufacturing, supply chains, retail, travel, waste, technology, people management, working patterns and just about everything else. All good news for consultancies.

As firms in all markets and of all shapes and sizes come to terms with what the 2050 policy will mean for them, they will no doubt need some expensive hand-holding along the way.

- Tariq

green money


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