Practical Consulting: How to get more for your Money

Strategic Success: How To Have The Right Conversations has announced that ‘Practical’ consulting is set to become the new norm in the consultancy industry – we discuss why.

Their survey set out to find what companies want from their consulting partners and what they are all too frequently not getting. They found the most important attributes were:

1.    Subject matter expertise
2.    Specific industry skills
3.    Project management & execution
4.    Attentive client service

The study also found that subject matter experts (SMEs) in the UK feel that a total of £12.6 billion worth of consulting costs has been wasted due to the failure of any value realisation. A staggering figure and a lot of wasted hours. This story is all too familiar to the founders of TORI Global, as they themselves, were once at the wrong end of that statistic.

TORI Global was set up by a group of three C-level executives who had been working in Financial Services and were frustrated by the way management consultancies operated. Fed up of their lack of knowledge and experience. Fed up of their lack of transparency. So they decided to become the solution that they were looking for. They set up a transformational consultancy that would do things differently. Practical consulting is old hat to us, we’ve been doing things this way since we started way back in 2002. We use real industry experience and collaborate with clients to find a solution to their problem with them… sounds pretty ground-breaking doesn’t it?

“Almost one-third of the respondents cited cost, delivery of results, and knowledge transfer as the greatest sources of dissatisfaction.” – RGP

As our founders experienced first-hand, the RGP survey found that there is a lack of knowledge transfer from consultants to their clients. No wonder it feels like a waste of money! The impact of consultancy services has to last. It often doesn’t if you airdrop a solution in and then lift it out at the end of the project. This is why we collaborate with our clients to understand what they need and how best to get there and the we go on the journey together. We aren’t scared that if we give too much away you won’t need us anymore. There will always be a need for consulting or coaching businesses and even more so if trust is built in the consultant-client relationship. You are more likely to be build trust with the client if you aren’t holding anything back and genuinely want them to do well. 

We know it sounds like we’re just saying we want you to do well, but how do you know we actually mean it? We can prove it. What TORI is not afraid to do is put skin in the game, which is why we are outcome based. We care about the outcome for our clients and that is reflected in our financial model. If you win, we win. Not, “if you buy, we win”. Some clients like fixed fees which we provide too – we offer a number of different pricing options. No business should feel like it has wasted money on consultancy services. Besides, your project is unique to you – so why should we offer you the same solution and the same pricing model.

“Clients no longer want to pay fat fees for a bit of strategic advice from a senior partner and a lot of humdrum work from neophytes” – The Economist

So maybe it sounds like we’re claiming to be the only good guys in consulting (although we have been called superheroes before), but practical consulting is what we have offered from day one. It’s just taken 16 years for everyone else to catch up and finally recognise what is wanted and needed.

“Following this, a more surprising criticism from clients is that their consulting partners lacked relevant knowledge.”  – RGP

‘Experience. The difference.’ is our tagline. We’re not shy about saying that our experience is our greatest strength and something we are proud of. What better way to give you practical guidance and advice than having been in your shoes and on your side of the table? Subject-matter expertise shouldn’t be a bonus, but expected from your consulting partner.
Philip Freeborn, TORI’s Head of Banking, explains what attracted him about TORI’s model and what led him to join recently:

“For almost 24 years, I worked inside banks. I was always a reluctant buyer of consulting services because of their model (i.e. training consultants at the client’s expense and inflating costs with partner and senior manager time when they were not visible or close to the work). I tried to minimise my use of consultants given that in the vast majority of cases they had never worked in the industry and had a large learning curve. Given my position, I was even asked to oversee other executives use of consulting in my last organisation as I was unlikely to approve it.
Banks continue to cut back on consultants as cost pressure means that they are only likely to engage consultants on regulatory matters or where it is perceived they have differential expertise. Indeed, as referenced in a recent article in Consultancy UK on the new norm – practical consultancy it is clear that clients are looking for insight based on real experience.
That is why after leaving Barclays, I decided to join TORI Global, an organisation that is staffed by former COOs, CIOs, Heads of Operations and CPOs amongst others. I felt that clients want to know that their consultants know what it is like to do their job and at TORI Global we have generally sat on the other side of the desk.”

We are TORI Global, we are hands-on practical consultants with real industry expertise, who focus on delivery of results and knowledge transfer and not for the eye-watering price that the current market dominants so easily charge.
If you like paying huge amounts of money for someone to drop in, tell you something you already know and then leave you in the lurch then give one of our competitors a call. However, if you want to speak to someone who has sat on your side of the desk before and wants to work with you then Philip – or any of our expert team – would love to hear from you.

“The need for subject matter experts who are doers” – RGP