During the 1990’s, a few practice leaders of the general purpose management consulting firms began discussing challenges facing the consulting industry, and the ongoing evolution of demand from our respective financial industries clients. We began to appreciate that while high quality strategic advice was always in demand, clients were increasingly seeking something more, different, and better from their advisors.
Some clients were weary of the traditional consulting model, where large teams of generally inexperienced staff spent long stretches learning the client’s business, collecting and analyzing industry data, and presenting study findings to management — findings that often failed to generate results. At the same time, some clients began to employ former consultants, and thus were staffed to conduct much of their own research and consulting work in — house, often for lower costs. When we met with leading clients, we heard clearly that they were seeking more pragmatic and tangible results from their advisors.
Novantas’s founders sought to form a new type of firm, with a distinctive vision and approach:
- We believe in client service first and foremost. We understand that when clients engage a consulting team they expect to work with the senior business leaders, not just newly hired staff. Thus we commit to a partner:staff ratio well below that of the traditional firms, and we insist that the partners don’t just sell the work, they do the work.
- We believe that clients seek pragmatic solutions, not just studies. Thus we continuously invest in building integrated advisory and information solutions that become part of the client’s infrastructure, and provide enduring value beyond the timetable of the engagement.
- We believe that specialization is essential to delivering value — that no firm at any size could be all things to all organizations. Thus we focused in issues of customer demand for services industry clients.
During the middle 1990’s the founders sought first to bring this philosophy to the industry through affiliation with an existing consultancy, but found it necessary ultimately to found Novantas in order to achieve the vision.