Startup advies

27 opvallende feiten over start ups (infographic)

Creativiteit, innovatie, nieuwe business ideeën, de wereldeconomie is er afhankelijk van. Deze infographic presenteert 27 opvallen en bijzondere feiten over startups, bedrijfjes die met nieuwe, verrassende ideeën soms zeer snel tot grote ondernemingen uit kunnen groeien.
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Innovatie, change

“The Innovators Dilemma” for a Consultancy Company

“Disruptive Technologies”, “The Service Economy” and “The Innovators Dilemma”

As owner, founder and entrepreneur, I have for over 30 years led a highly successful international consultancy company, with a turnover of 15 million euros per year. We developed with and for our customers the appropriate (business) vision, strategy, process, IT-architectures, including migration- and implementation plans. If required, we assumed responsibility for the program/project management for the actual implementation. To ensure, the project predefined goals and value-added were realized, we worked under a “Process Obligation” (halfway between an effort and result-obligation). However, the Consultancy world is drastically changing today.

The emergence of new “Disruptive Technologies” in conjunction with the emergence of the “Service Economy” made it (against expectations) extremely difficult to implement the changes, as outlined below, within my existing successful consultancy company. This because the existing business demanded too much time and energy, to allow me to think and work ahead on creating a new future proof consultancy business. A classic “The Innovators Dilemma”. This dilemma motivated me to completely transfer my existing business to new management and owners.

Consequently, I made a start from scratch creating a new, fully autonomous, well-connected, networked top consultancy boutique (with a size of approx. 10 fte). This consultancy boutique is supported by a strong and diverse community, in terms of highly engaged (potential) customers, employees, product & service developers, researchers and supporters. For acquisition and staffing (“Staffing-on-Demand”) we intend to make maximum use of this community.
We set the bar very high. We dare to dream and have defined a challenging and promising mission:

The new firm, Mabs4.0, aims to set the future standard for “world class” IT consultancy in the BENELUX (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg) and the DACH (Germany, Austria, Swiss) countries. We will work together with trusted partners to unlock specialized knowledge. If required by the client, we will take the full program / project responsibility for the implementation of our recommendations and plans.
In the past, we have learned that the fastest way to change, is to pretend you are already there. This approach brings you fast as lightning to where you want to be. Our culture is mainly built on what we do and less on what we say! Exemplary behavior is of great importance. In particular, we show guts, because “success is not for cowards!”. Few entrepreneurs in the consultancy world have gone as far as us, with regards to “The Innovators Dilemma”.

Currently we do also projects for small IT start-ups, viable, with exponential growth potential, strongly services oriented (outside-in), highly adaptive, well-connected and well-networked, where the customer is part of the operations processes. Our Mabs4.0 business models range from time-material, fixed project price, revenue-sharing, to co-investments (shares and/or loans) or combinations, with maximal focus on sharing risks with the start-up companies.
The changing world as context for the “Future Consultancy Company”: the “Red Queen Hypothesis or Race”

The (exponential) world of new business today is a totally different world. It is a world of connected devices, business models and companies. An internet year lasts for three months only. Exponential developments follow each other very quickly. The linear organization seems to be obsolete. Primary focus is on the value proposition and not on profit. Business cases become value cases. The alignment of IT and business has evolved to business = ICT & ICT = business and has now further evolved to business = data & data = business.

Consumers adopt to these exponential developments faster than companies. They connect, they form “networked communities” allowing them to quickly share information and to organize themselves into powerful “interest groups”. Companies should be much more open to consumer needs and questions if they want to survive.

This fourth industrial revolution leads to a Service Economy, the growth in developed economies will mainly come from services. Services cannot be developed in isolation, such as products. Services originate in co-creation with the clients and are interdependent with larger service networks and clusters. Services are complex and with the explicit introduction of customers into the operation a variety is created which is difficult to plan. Organizations have to change, they need to find ways to adapt to increasing volumes, speed and variety. Starting at the edges of the organization, where people and systems interact directly with customers, partners and suppliers. These adjustments are the beginning of the new networked and connected organization (“The Connected Company”)!

Structural change is needed. In the past growth and evolution have led to increasing specialization in organizations (“efficiency”). However this specialization limits the adaptive power of an organization. When an organization operates at or near its peak effectiveness, and the operating environment changes, the organization must also undergo fundamental structural change and has to become adaptive within a network (“flexibility” is more important than “efficiency”).
This new networked economy creates an ambiguous, insecure, highly competitive landscape. Companies should be flexible enough to respond quickly to changes in their environment, or they risk elimination. You can only change if you are on the move, you have to continue running to keep up with your customers. In doing so, companies maximize their adaptive capacity. Generally not the fittest companies will survive, but especially the most adaptive one (“Red Queen Hypothesis or Race”). “Survival of the fittest” has changed into “survival of the most adaptive”. To adapt, companies must act as learning organisms, purposefully interacting with their environment and continuously improving, based on experiments and customer feedback. In addition, Promise (what we promise the customer), Purpose (what the customer wants) and Performance (what we do) will become in balance with each other!

Conclusion: Consultancy will never be the same!


Disruption: “Reinvent your own Consultancy Business Model!”

The new consultancy practice in terms of vision will be mainly driven by the Fourth Industrial Revolution. This Revolution consists of 4 parallel revolutions, an Automation-, 3D-Manufacturing-, Circular- and Green Revolution. This combination speeds up even more the (exponential) technology developments.

The fourth industrial revolution connects the Cyber world with the Physical world, the white collar worker with the blue collar worker, Business Processes + Office Automation with the Operations Processes + Factory Automation. This connected world is maximal enabled by IoT/M2M, driving new business models and services with high added value. New trusted, secure, heavily encrypted ecosystems will support continuous, development and delivery of individual products and services for individual customers.
Future products and services will be maximum software oriented and so exponentially scalable. Control and use of the products and services will run as much as possible over smartphones and apps. From this type of maximum software oriented products and services a virtual shadow is created for example to execute real time on-line updates and preventive maintenance during the whole lifecycle of the product. Big data, data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence play an increasingly important role. This will also lead to possible “life time” engagement of individual customers, staff, suppliers and partners.

The current exponential technology developments need a totally different approach to consultancy. From a sleek, strong detailed approach based on methods & techniques, especially driven by (staff department) top-down thinking and limited execution power (a more coaching role), to a much more agile, autonomous, short cyclic, on big data, dashboards, and experiments based (project) approach driven by bottom-up thinking, and much attention for execution where the customer and the consultancy company are business partners, doing business together and taking entrepreneurial risks together. With organic multidisciplinary self-managing teams, which act more applied than fundamental. This type of consultancy will be much more focused on the reuse of previously elsewhere developed models, and the use of realistic KPI’s based on big data, data analytics, machine learning and proprietary automated tools. This approach should also bring an exponential acceleration in the execution of consultancy activities (“Release early & Release often“).

In the near future consultancy companies have to change their working methods to survive on the long run:
Active community thinking and intensive working on the own community, creating a so-called “pull effect”.
Acquisition of new projects (and customers) is maximum supported by targeted communication regarding executed projects
Explicit attention to staffing on demand and great attention to those who once have worked with us in one of our projects;
New product and service development will take place much more active in our community;
Actively bind, fascinate and involve (potential) customers and staff-on-demand in our community (“life time engagement”);
Consultants are next to top-down working on vision, agile bottom-up executors; they take risks together with the customer;
Consultancy companies have to act more like an internet startup and must be willing to cannibalize themselves (partially), to respond quickly to new trends, and help to aggressive redistribute resources;
The disruptive changes in the Consultancy Business Model will be especially in the areas of customers, partners, staffing, service development, new business models. And how consultancy is agile, result driven and entrepreneurial executed by extremely inspiring consultants with a fail-proof image (“Inspiration Engineer: craftsmanship = mastership”).

Such new entrepreneurial consultancy boutiques will have a dedicated, very balanced, multi-disciplinary hardcore team of 8-12 top-consultants. For project execution staffing-on-demand is key.
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Consultancy in de toekomst

Future Consultant is “INSPIRATION ENGINEER”, next to Entrepreneur and Investor!

The Consultant of tomorrow is primarily an “INSPIRATION ENGINEER”, next to Entrepreneur and Investor! Together with the Customer he takes serious entrepreneurial risks!

There is already a “deforestation” going on at the once “green pastures” of the (management) consultancy: 1/3 demand loss in consultancy agencies is quite normal, so 1/3 turnover loss also. The “warm-bodies-slide” is really coming to an end. Last year we saw a large number of high-profile bankruptcies or acquisitions in the consultancy middle segment. Also reputable consultancy firms have substantially reorganized and staff reduced. The shake-out in the consultancy world has already started. In the next 5-10 years, about 80% of all contemporary consultancy jobs will disappear.

This will cause that only a limited number of very large global consultancy companies (top end) will be left. The middle segment will be further decimated. And, there will be an increasing number of real wealthy top-consultancy boutiques with a size of 8-12 inspiring and enterprising employees (niche segment). Consultancy boutiques with a very strong focus, specialist knowledge and highly developed tools, which according to the global consultancy companies also make use of big data, data analytics, algorithms, custom applications and artificial intelligence to the max. Plus a large number of self-employed with highly specialized knowledge will be left. This will result in “Productization of Consultancy”. Only the really creative top consultants, which add real value and who make the difference, remain.

As I wrote in a previous blog: Consultancy will NEVER be the same!

The consultant of tomorrow is an “INSPIRATION ENGINEER”, who knows where the world is going. He is able to “read” the Customer organization and its products & services. He sees, understands and relives possible disruptive ideas and unique business opportunities. He inspires the Customer to define the next steps for future (exponential) growth scenarios. Then he will help to actually achieve these growth scenarios. He directs his fate and reward to the success or failure of the advice he gives. In doing so he sticks out his neck and takes responsibility for the real implementation and realization of his advices.

The reward of Consultancy Companies will find less and less place based on an effort obligation (“hours and bills”), but more on the basis of a result obligation (“fixed project price”, “revenue sharing”, “cost reduction sharing”, “no cure, no pay”). In fact, there will be a revolution in the way in which the Customer Company will settle with the Consultancy Company. More and more (e.g. for Start-Ups) the Consultancy Company will become even an Investor. Project costs or remuneration arrangements are fully or partially converted into shares and/or loans. The Customer Company and Consultancy Company act together, share business risks for the mid / long term and will be associated entrepreneurs.

The mutual relationship and cooperation will change complete. Customer and Consultancy Company find each other no longer through “cold calls, sales demos and lead qualification” but through a strong commitment in the same communities / professional networks in which they together share knowledge, educate, learn and experiment. And from out these communities / professional networks they staff together their projects “on-demand”. They are part of the same community, time after time succeeding to bind and to fascinate each other. And to build together mixed multidisciplinary project teams that are capable to create success autonomously.

In the past, the consultant was mainly focusing on giving advice on the “use of methods & techniques”. He was more a facilitator, this role has completely changed. The Internet has turned into a large “toolbox” where you can find all possible consultancy “methods & techniques”. Including real elaborated specific customer examples, business models, process models, business cases, how to prevent pitfalls, tips for project implementation, etc. … This will lead more and more to “Productization of Consultancy”.
The consultant of tomorrow focuses on the really creative work. The agile development of new products and services, alternative business models and the smart use of mobile, IoT and M2M solutions. Maximum use is made of the available big data and data analytics tools to identify algorithms with much added value and distinctiveness. Algorithms which in addition to custom applications form the basis of new alternative business models, based on smart services that make the best use of artificial intelligence. This will be realized in cooperation with strongly committed communities (customers, employees, personal networks, users, (academic) researchers, partners, suppliers, professionals). From out these communities the defined customer projects are optimally staffed (staffing-on-demand).
This results in a “creative collaborate & experiment” of committed autonomous working multidisciplinary teams. In this world the “INSPIRATION ENGINEER” fulfills a central pivotal role and is one of the “critical success factors”. He unites two worlds. Today’s world with the world of tomorrow, the visionary with the pragmatic world and also the world of the office and its business processes with the world of the factory and its factory processes!

Veranderende consultancy wereld

Consultancy will never be the same! 80% of all consultancy jobs disappear, within 5-10 years!

Because of the success (views, likes, comments) of my POST (in Dutch) of June 25th, I created an Englisch version.

I’ve been working in the field of consultancy for more than 35 years, in all possible functions. I have build and run my own company (size +/- 100 employees) over more than 30 years. Our services were focused on vision & strategy development, the implementation of this vision & strategy via a strong and professional program/project management (especially of mega projects) and the development of customized software at a fixed price with serious warranties.

The last 25 years I directed and executed mainly activities for technology companies (including Telcos, ICT, automotive) and for information processors (e.g. insurers). I learned that technological developments follow each other rapidly, even exponentially. If a company delivers products and services that especially are based on digital information and ICT, you can readily assume that these products and services will follow Moore’s law also (which already applies for the computer chips sector for 60 years). So, in principle, the price/performance ratio for this type of companies will double up in 2 years!

But this exponential technological development I see only limited or not mirrored in the development of most organizations/companies. The latter develop mainly linear. If these organizations/companies want to use the exponential technological developments to the max, they also have to develop exponentially. This is a serious transition path which needs maximum attention for the “higher company purpose“. Knowledge becomes obsolete/is aging very quickly, which will lead to maximum use of “Staffing-on-Demand”, smart “Algorithms” and “Artificial Intelligence”. Plus the use of “Leveraged Assets” and a strong “Community & Crowd“ has to be created, developed, binded and fascinated. In all of this, the use of “Big Data” and the associated analysis tools are key. As well as in-depth specialization and use of “Artificial Intelligence”.

These disruptive changes also have an irreversible impact on the way consultancy will be purchased, implemented and evaluated. With the help of big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence and tools the executive “slave / monkish consultancy work” will be (almost) completely automated. In fact, there is already a “deforestation” going on at the once “green pastures” of the (management) consultancy: 1/3 question loss in consultancy agencies is quite normal, so 1/3 turnover loss also. The “warm-bodies-slide” is really coming to an end. There is already a substantial drop in demand. Customers have more knowledge and experience in house, or consultants adopted by them self. Self-employed reinforce the “cut-throat” competition.

Last year in the Netherlands, I already saw a large number of high-profile bankruptcies or acquisitions in the consultancy middle segment. Also reputable consultancy firms have substantially reorganized and staff reduced. The shake-out in the consultancy world has already started. In the last 5-10 years, about 80% of all contemporary consultancy jobs disappeared. Only the really creative top consultants, which add real value and who make the difference, remain.

This will be the cause that only a limited number of very large global consultancy companies (top end) will be left. These companies are using big data, data analytics, artificial intelligence and tools to the max. Also a large number of self-employed with highly specialized knowledge will be left as well as a number of boutiques with 8-12 employees (niche segment), with a very strong focus, all with deep specialist knowledge and highly developed tools, using big data, data analytics and artificial intelligence also to the max. The middle segment will be further decimated. This will result in “Productization of Consultancy”.

vision development
consultancy services

Veranderende consultancy wereld

Consultancy zal NOOIT meer hetzelfde zijn! 80% van consultancyjobs verdwijnt binnen 5-10 jaar !

Ik ben al meer dan 35 jaar in het consultancywerkveld werkzaam in alle mogelijke functies en heb al meer dan 30 jaar een eigen bedrijf. Onze diensten hebben vooral betrekking op visie & strategieontwikkeling en implementatie van deze visie & strategie, met een sterk en professioneel programma/projectmanagement (van vooral megaprojecten) en de ontwikkeling van maatwerksoftware tegen een vaste prijs met garantie.

De laatste 25 jaar hebben wij vooral gewerkt voor technologiebedrijven (o.a. Telco’s, ICT, automotive) en voor informatieverwerkers (o.a. verzekeraars). De technologische ontwikkelingen volgen elkaar razendsnel op, zelfs exponentieel. Als een bedrijf producten en diensten levert die vooral op digitale informatie en ICT gebaseerd zijn, dan mag je er gevoeglijk van uit gaan dat deze ook de wet van Moore (die al 60 jaar voor de chipsindustrie geldt) zullen volgen. De prijs/prestatieverhouding kan in principe voor dit type bedrijven dus ook 2-jaarlijks verdubbelen!

Maar deze exponentiele technologische ontwikkeling zien wij niet of nauwelijks terug in de ontwikkeling van de organisaties/bedrijven. Deze ontwikkelen zich nog voornamelijk lineair. Willen organisaties/bedrijven maximaal gebruikmaken van de exponentiële technologische ontwikkelingen, dan zullen ook zij zich exponentieel moeten ontwikkelen. Dit is een serieuze transitie met o.a. maximaal aandacht voor het “Hogere Doel”. Kennis veroudert snel, wat zal leiden tot maximaal gebruik van “Staffing-on-Demand”, slimme ”Algorithmes” en “Kunstmatige Intelligentie”. Plus de flexibele inzet van “Assets” en het ontwikkelen en binden van een sterke “Community & Crowd”. In dit alles staan het gebruik van “Big Data” en de bijbehorende analysetools centraal. Evenals diepgaande specialisatie en gebruik van “Kunstmatige Intelligentie”.

Deze ontwrichtende veranderingen hebben ook een onomkeerbare impact op de wijze waarop consultancy wordt ingekocht, uitgevoerd en beoordeeld. Met behulp van big data, data-analyse, kunstmatige intelligentie en hulpmiddelen wordt het uitvoerende “slaven-consultancy-werk” nagenoeg volledig geautomatiseerd. Sterker nog, er is reeds een kaalslag gaande op de eens zo grazige weiden van de (management) consultancy: 1/3 vraag uitval bij consultancybureaus is heel normaal, dus ook 1/3 omzetverlies. Het “mannetjes-schuiven” is echt over. Er is nu reeds een forse vraaguitval. Klanten hebben meer kennis en ervaring in huis, dan wel consultants zelf aangenomen. ZZP-ers versterken de moordende concurrentie.

Afgelopen jaar hebben wij reeds een groot aantal spraakmakende deconfitures dan wel overnames in het consultancymiddensegment gezien. Ook hebben gerenommeerde consultancybedrijven fors gereorganiseerd en personeel afgebouwd. De shake-out in de consultancywereld is reeds begonnen. Over 5-10 jaar zijn 80% van alle hedendaagse consultancyjobs verdwenen. Alleen de echt creatieve topconsultancy, die waarde toevoegt en er toe doet, blijft over.

Dit zal ertoe leiden dat er een beperkt aantal zeer grote consultancybedrijven (topsegment, global players) zal overblijven dat maximaal gebruikmaakt van big data, data-analyse, kunstmatige intelligentie en hulpmiddelen. Plus een groot aantal ZZP-ers met zeer specialistische kennis en een aantal boetiekjes met 8-12 medewerkers (nichesegment), met een zeer sterke focus, hele specialistische kennis en hoogontwikkelde tools, die maximaal gebruikmaken van big data, data-analyse en kunstmatige intelligentie. Het middensegment zal verder worden gedecimeerd.

vision development
consultancy services