Is ‘disruptive innovation’ still on point?
April 5, 2021
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by Snigdh Baunthiyal

American economist Clayton Christensen, who coined the term, ‘disruptive innovation’ predicted the future of business in the 21stcentury. This term has led to the growth of many start-ups and companies. A report from cbinsights says that the countries which have not been able to adapt with time shared three common traits

  • One or a few major players
  • Relatively outdated business practices
  • Slow technology adoption

And one of the biggest industries which meets all these factors is that of consulting. When we think of consulting, it’s the Big Four which come to mind. But are they keeping with the times? And is prestige enough to carry on?

Management consultancies for big businesses showed up in the market in the late ‘60s. Since then, the graph has been steadily growing and these companies have been doing more than well, to say the least. There is prestige, money and connections associated with working with them and being associated with them in any manner.

But how well are they adapting to the market? The Economist recently published an article about McKinsey and its hierarchical structure. So, the writing on the wall is clear, the companies cannot continue to functions like they did back in the day. Technological innovations are being released at great speed, there is a generational shift in attitude towards working conditions and essentially, the world is changing fast. 

Many smaller consulting companies are coming up with younger talent and their model designed keeping technology in mind.

McKinsey has realised the potential, and acquired an advanced analytics firm called QuantumBlack in 2015.

Bain has developed a digital framework through which it offers its consulting services to others.

Another problem is that of creativity. Consultancy is about spreadsheets. Human relations cannot always function that way, not in this day and age. And some bigger names have realised that. 

Deloitte and Accenture especially, have acquired various creative agencies, like Acne and Karmarama. 

Acne is a marketing house and Karmarama is ‘UK’s largest independent agencies renowned for blending creativity, digital and data to develop campaigns that help brands better engage with consumers.’

So, they seem to be listening in and trying to make changes to keep themselves relevant. But for how long? Many consultancies and agencies are cropping up, the market doesn’t seem to feel saturated because the space is thriving.

As Karl Leahlander Kabba, co-founder and chairman of YouPal group, a digital agency specialised in providing digital solutions based in Open-Source solutions based in Sweden says, ‘We are tactical and we move quickly. That is our advantage and the future.’

With this in mind, whoever has the tools to manage whatever the future has in store, will thrive.

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