Innovation in consulting report.

Despite a lack of detailed studies on the subject, many commentators have suggested that innovation in the consultancy sector is under pressure. In the words of The Economist, "the consulting industry desperately needs a 'New Big Idea'". At its most basic, this report refutes that argument.

Key findings:

  • Innovation is primarily driven by the need to 'differentiate from the competition', a factor identified as important by 64% of respondents
  • Only 21% of respondents have a 'formal innovation process'
  • Innovations are most commonly initiated through 'working with clients', a practice highlighted by 26% of respondents
  • 69% of all respondents believe innovation has increased in the last five years
  • Since 2005, there has been a 36% increase in respondents reporting the introduction of new or improved services in their consultancy
  • Access to external research, high levels of autonomy and strong upward communication were rated as the most important enablers of innovation
  • The main constraints on innovation are seen as being lack of time due to high utilisation rates, and low levels of risk taking by clients
  • 50% of consultancies report working with clients on innovation, a figure up from 22% in 2005
  • 83% of respondents believe that procurement hampers the sale of innovative consulting services. This is felt equally by those specialising in the private and the public sectors

A full copy of the Innovation in Consulting report is available here .