Each week we showcase a number of our members and tell you about the range of services they provide, their views on consultancy and their advice to new consultants. With a wide range of professions and expertise among members, this highlights the significant contribution they make on a day to day basis across all sectors in Ireland and internationally. I’m sure you will find it an interesting read.

We start by showcasing a number of Board members and will go on to showcase members and practices generally.

Martin Markey

MD at Competitive Insights Ltd
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What areas of consultancy do you specialise in?

Mostly advising on innovation to brand marketing strategy. Providing the breakthrough evidence that underpins it, challenges it or changes it - by engaging with stakeholders – customers, consumers, employees. We work with retailers in Ireland and I work with CEOs of charities in the UK.

What consulting engagement(s) have you found most rewarding and why?

Those that have uncovered unforeseen opportunities for the business and those that have highlighted a small number of pivot points to optimise their strategy.

What in your opinion are the challenges facing consultants in the coming 3-5 years with the changes in Europe and globally?

As with any business profession, understanding the forces that are shaping our future is key. In the main, change signals opportunity for the consultancy profession - to an extent every project is a change project. So, with all the changes foreseen and yet to come, there is an uplift in demand for consultancy services already which looks set to continue. At practice level this brings with it the challenge of attracting and retaining capable staff and the challenge of collaboration with erstwhile competitors (co-opetition) to gain a critical mass of expertise.

How do you feel being a member of IMCA can help you face these challenges?

The CMC designation, recognised internationally as a hallmark of quality, is a key differentiator particularly for consultants operating in a country or sector where they don’t have a track record. Networking is a crucial component of collaboration – building up the trust factor and the knowledge of the pool of talent available. The IMCA provides both the CMC designation and networking opportunities.

What advice would you offer someone considering a career in management consulting?

Management consulting can be an interesting and exciting career choice. As mentioned above consulting is about change - defining what changes are coming, deciphering how they are going to impact and leveraging the opportunities that arise. The core competency is expertise to help clients take the risk out of decisions and the need for constant learning and upskilling is a given in this. Joining organisations such as IMCA can be very important to get to know people and build relationships. The IMCA’s Young Consultants Group - set up to better understand the needs of future profession leaders - is still in the start-up stage and we plan to expand its role and impact - watch out for this!

Marrita Kavanagh

Director at Pinnacle Project Partners
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What areas of consultancy do you specialise in?

Programme & Project Management; Change Management; Transformation programmes; IT Systems Delivery; Financial Services

What consulting engagement(s) have you found most rewarding and why?

Those with the most challenges tend to be the most rewarding to deliver in the end! Having a good relationship with the client and the project team is also key to achieving a successful and rewarding outcome.

What in your opinion are the challenges facing consultants in the coming 3 - 5 years with the changes in Europe and globally?

Impact and cost of regulatory change in Financial Services. Keeping ahead of cyber attacks and threats. Helping clients to remain relevant and agile in the mobile world, particularly larger clients with legacy systems.

How do you feel being a member of IMCA can help you face these challenges?

Access to a network of professionals that one can reach out to for specialist services or advice to assist clients.

What advice would you offer someone considering a career in management consulting?

Keep your network alive and current. Manage your relationships well; it’s a small business community and your paths will likely cross the same people again and again through your career.

Frank Hannigan

Partner at Strategy Crowd
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What areas of consultancy do you specialise in?

We work on three areas - Commercialisation, Strategy Development and Innovation Frameworks. We work mostly with SMEs - both directly and through platforms like Enterprise Ireland's Go Global 4 Growth.

What consulting engagement(s) have you found most rewarding and why?

Working with EBRD has been deeply rewarding - I worked with leadership teams in companies all over the planet - from Mongolia to Montenegro. The impact is significant, you see companies in emerging economies improve rapidly over 18 months working with international business advisors.

What in your opinion are the challenges facing consultants in the coming 3 - 5 years with the changes in Europe and globally?

Providing valuable external perspective is the key challenge. Company strategy needs to evolve constantly to deal with mega-trends as they emerge - whether they be the rise of AI, the atomisation of supply chains or Brexit. The value created is significant; the challenge is to work with clients who understand that you have created that value.

How do you feel being a member of IMCA can help you face these challenges?

IMCA provides the accreditation – CMC – that prospective clients with the assurance that IMCA members have been recognised for the quality of their work as consultants.

IMCA should play a bigger role in attracting work for members. I think it will.

IMCA should foster more member syndicates to win business. I think it will.

What advice would you offer someone considering a career in management consulting?

We only allow consultants on to our panel who have worked as entrepreneurs or run significant organisations. I think great management consultants have experience as executives because they empathise with their clients - they have walked in their clients’ shoes.

Alan Costello

Owner at Ruby Consulting
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What areas of consultancy do you specialise in?

Strategy planning and Innovation management, especially for high growth start-ups and SMEs.

What consulting engagement(s) have you found most rewarding and why?

Working with three start-ups with cumulative investment raise of €6m, seeing real world problems being solved and jobs and value being created.

What in your opinion are the challenges facing consultants in the coming 3 - 5 years with the changes in Europe and globally?

Our clients need to operate on a global basis and we need to be ahead of them in learning experience.  Brexit provides opportunity in UK and Ireland if you look at it the right way.

How do you feel being a member of IMCA can help you face these challenges?

IMCA helps through networking, professionalism and a real sense of colleagues being available for advice and co-working opportunities.

What advice would you offer someone considering a career in management consulting?

Think of the projects you have been involved in and identify the corporate level value add or similar that was achieved.  That’s your consulting skillset.  Also, nurture your network!