SA’s management consulting industry in need of shake-up


Finding ways to grow the SA economy and reduce spending were two key objectives underpinning many of Pravin Gordhan’s proposals in last week’s Budget speech, in a desperate bid to improve South Africa’s fiscal position. Interestingly, numerous mentions of the need for key partnerships for inclusivity and sustainability made it clear that business can play a far greater role in ensuring SA’s economic prosperity.

Sham Moodliar, an expert in business transformation and the new CEO of Datonomy Solutions, believes that connected value creation (also known as Creating Shared Value) is the answer. This fresh business paradigm dispels the shareholder-only focus and instead radically reinvents collaboration across the value chain, thereby ensuring shared value for all stakeholders.

“We need different paradigms of engagement with all role-players in society in order to generate more sustainable growth than the myopic pursuit of shareholder value only, which over time produces disparity – our biggest time bomb in South Africa,” says Moodliar.

The management consulting industry is perfectly placed to become protagonists in connected value creation and to champion this new way of working that is a win-win for all, however the industry is currently falling way short.

“We only need to look at how management consulting firms run their own businesses and how they engage with clients. Their model is mostly geared towards generating as much short-term financial value as possible by selling to customers whatever they are wiling to buy rather than what will truly make a difference to their business. This often includes using employees as assets to be sweated to achieve financial goals,” says Moodliar.

Management consulting companies should be leading the way on connected value creation and helping their customers to innovate to create sustainable growth for themselves and their stakeholders at the same time, thereby contributing to stabilizing the economy. In fact 4 key points highlighted by Gordhan in the Budget speech will only be possible through this new way of working:

• The base of the Budget follows the National Development Plan (NDP), which calls for a social compact where communication flows freely and all economic role-players work in partnerships

• We are resolved to restore the momentum of growth to ensure that it is inclusive and sustainable

• We can build on the strengths and do things differently through innovation

• We need to move forward to mobilise the resources and capacity of all our people, enterprises, organisations and PPPs

According to Moodliar, connected value creation is the solution – not just for how to do business differently, but also to develop a blueprint for how we should organise ourselves to build our nation. He adds, “As far as management consultancies are concerned – those that aren’t truly invested in the outcome for their clients, employees and society wont be able to sustain themselves in the long-run.”

Sham Moodliar is the new CEO of Datonomy Solutions

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