On the 8th September 2014, I attended the Management Consultancies Association (MCA) panel event on ‘The Future of Consultancy in the Public Sector’. Contrary to much of the political narrative suggesting the public consulting market has continued to shrink, a report released by the MCA highlighted that the local government market has grown by 20% between 2012-2013. From a personal experience, iMPOWER has reflected this growth and development but I know from many friends working in other consultancies that their local public services practices have shrunk or no longer exist in a meaningful way.
In response to the question ‘where do you see the future of consultancy in the public sector’ the panel responded consistently about the importance of ‘customer insight’ and the nature of relationships between citizens and local public services. One of the main reasons I decided to join iMPOWER was that the organisations view of the world mirrors this future – ie: real change happens from the ground up and this involves understanding the ‘whole system’ with its plethora of stakeholders, all often interacting as part ever evolving complex systems.
This focus on customer insight (or user insight, citizen insight, etc…) is critical. It unlocks a range of possibilities to influence and enhance the prosperity of our communities. Having a deeper understanding of the people public services serve is the next necessary step in making those services better and more sustainable. Having had a week to reflect on the MCA event, it feels like an exciting time to be in the business of supporting local public services be the best versions of themselves they can.
photo via photopin