Does anyone has an interest on this conversation?

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I believe if you want to propose something like a subset of the community who would be interesting in developing a look at consulting business models, let me propose something.

Start a new thread (post). Put up your take on a model and see how people react to it. My experience is the best way to interact with people in this community is to post an idea, model, issue and ask for feedback. People here need something concrete to react to. Asking open ended questions, or asking other people to do work on your behalf, rarely is successful.

I took the reinventing consulting challenge very personally. It started with putting my own practices to the Canvas. We are brokers; but view ourselves primarily as business consultants to small and mid-sized clients. That exercise opened my eyes to understanding how we really had a multi-sided platform pattern but weren't taking full advantage of explaining the advantages of that to our candidate clients. And those advantages were huge.


Seeing the insights the Business Model Canvas provided me, I added it as an introductory tool in our practice. When we start a relationship with a new candidate client using a Business Model Generation, we give them immediate benefits (insights into their situation) and we understand better how to satisfy their real needs.


Then an interesting side effect of having a buyer-seller sided platform with the BMG Canvas occurs. When I use my Canvas to explain our model to clients as an example to start the development of their model, they stop me in my tracks. They are so taken with the Clarity of what we are doing they want to make sure they are taking full advantage of us. It's been more than exciting.


With this background I would like to disagree with the popular focus of consultants providing Solutions. Solutions are becoming commodities these days. What clients need consultants to supply is Clarity. Perhaps we get paid by the solution; but that is not what is going to get the engagement.



I agree with your point on supplying clarity as a valued benefit of working with a seasoned consultant. There have been multiple times when I've been referred to a new client as a result of my "sense making" and ability to clarify complex situations.


Having said that, it's an attribute that clients can understand while (whilst?) they are experiencing it, but difficult to promote in advance. That it, it's a quality that has to be experienced...

What I lucked into was explaining to client candidates that before we spend their money, we are going to build a model of their business to achieve clarity and this is how we do that ................ They love it!


Perhaps that is an example of the experience you mention.

Here's an interview with the GM of Slalom Consulting, an upstart IT + management consulting firm (founded 2001) that's still growing at 35-40% annually. They claim to have a "unique approach..." Although they don't describe their business mode in terms of the BMG canvas, they provide some intriguing glimpses.

Very interesting topic Jose, I will share what I have been working on so far with Business Models Inc. our Business Model Strategy company.


No more consulting

When I started to work with Alex on the - later called - Business Model Generation book we had lengthy discussions about Consulting. Would we like to run a business consulting firm? Alex said 'no!', no consulting for me. In October 2009 I said I would want to but with a complete different business model. Mmm.. but how? Me being raised in consulting firms like Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and PricewaterhouseCoopers I hated the model. Going into the client company with little knowledge and experience, charging high hourly rates and not showing tangible results. I would like to do that different. However, you need flight hours, focus and experience to find a way how to do that.


Unconsulting model

The unconsulting model that we apply now is all around business modeling and strategy. We decided not to charge hourly rates anymore. We only deliver results such as the business model strategy, vision, environment scan, current business model documentation and evaluation and new business model options + a subscription for implementation. BUT, if you want to do that, you need to fully standardise your process. Our proposals, approaches, workshops are fully standardized. We use screenplays in order to improve the process to get to the best quality deliverables all the time. It is fun. Another element is that we do not write reports anymore. We only use visual thinking and we visualize our work. 



We see that our clients love it. Because the results are so tangible, you can say with great confidence what you deliver. The price is always fixed. After doing more than 100+ assignments on business modeling the last few years I think we can say we found a model. But, you need to innovate every single day with every single client. 



You could say talking about business model patterns we follow the pattern 'from services to products' instead of 'from products to services' where currently manufacturing firms are going.  

Patrick, this sounds very interesting. Please clarify what you mean by "screenplay" in this context. Thanks.
Hi Christine, the only way to shift from services to product is to use detailed screenplays for client work and workshops. By this mean you can continuously improve instead of figuring out all approaches and steps again and again. I have been working as a consultant for Arthur Andersen, Deloitte and PwC and we reinvented the wheel every time. You can see the screenplay as part of a movie in which the setting, characters etc. are determined.

Thanks Patrick. From Services to Products is a great summary. I also looked for your website after reading the post to see how you were accomplishing all this. It was well worth the time.


Your "Product" Value Proposition seems pretty clear; but what are your Channels? What have you found to be good ways to connect?

In channels I found several good ways to connect:

  1. We run workshops in the Netherlands with 2 professional conference/training companies. Our name is out there every time and people understand what we do and what we deliver;
  2. The book is a good way. I get emails and phone calls from all over the world to see if we can help out clients;
  3. Our website helps but we are working on strong improvement whereas we can show more visual stuff, services and client work. 
  4. Social media will give you some attention as a speaker or expert but not too much on client work i have to say;
  5. Mouth to mouth works very good. We see that if you are able to get a 9,5 out of 10 these clients become extremely loyal. 

This is  very topic for discussion especially with numerous changes abound in business consulting area.

Here in Japan I run a small strategy, technology and management consulting firm where I have seen an upsurge of consulting with the BMC in various sectors. I firmly agree with Bob Fariss comment on "Clarity". Clients in Japan are not looking for the usual BCG, McKinsey approach, but more along the lines of creativity, transparency, execution and facilitation.  When I propose to my client  about my company business model and value proposition within the framework they can visually see what value we are offering them from the canvas itself with a pure client centric approach.  Thus they can the see what I am offering is more on innovation, visualization  and creativity which add more clarity and the true powerful value  of the canvas.   The market here is very different as  most clients want consulting not based on just solutions in addition to not paying extremely high rates....but along the lines of helping their internal divisions with more innovative ideas to the existing model or  come up with new ones.  As part of the approach I reuse ideas and processes from previous workshops (more visual)which have become more standarized content and adds impact. The soultion is  what is being acheived throughout the initiative which the client visually notices.


Very interested. I am looking after the Global Consulting Practice in a global consulting organization with 350 professionals. We currently started the thinking on the mid-term changes in consulting to find out what will companies need us for and thus how we should develop ourselves.

I look forward to contributing from that perspective.


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