Enterprise communities type an integral a part of binding Nextcontinent’s various residents. Norman Weisser, who leads the community’s banking and finance group, sat down with Consultancy.org to debate how such communities work collectively and what the subsequent yr holds for its community of likeminded consultants.
Nextcontinent is a community of main impartial consultancies of their respective markets, who’re united by an entrepreneurial imaginative and prescient. Companies concerned are thought-about residents somewhat than ‘members,’ as the connection they’ve with the community is predicated not on monetary agreements, however on rights and duties.
Having began life as a European community, Nextcontinent has since snowballed into a worldwide grouping, and has complimentary expertise throughout many, many cultures. Potential residents are vetted by Nextcontinent earlier than admitting them into its pool of consultancies, which now complete 15 residents, working throughout 40 international locations and representing a worldwide turnover of over $1 billion.
Eurogroup Consulting Germany is a type of residents, and based on Norman Weisser – a associate on the agency in Germany – the group’s range and distinctive collaborative tradition has helped deal with the challenges 2020 have levelled on the skilled providers business. Having joined Eurogroup’s Germany wing 13 years in the past, Weisser specialises in IT technique and governance, with a deal with the monetary providers and particularly asset and wealth administration verticals throughout Germany and Austria.
Strengths of a worldwide collaboration
For Nextcontinent, in the meantime, Weisser leads the community’s largest ‘enterprise group’ – and has subsequently seen first-hand simply how the community’s mannequin is benefitting its members. “Now we’re in all places on this planet and that meant a giant change in how we collaborate collectively,” Weisser informed Consultancy.org. “We’re constructed on the pillars of belief – working collectively voluntarily – and whereas folks would possibly suppose to start with that the dearth of clear guidelines, processes and monetary hyperlinks between every of us makes us fragmented, it really makes us very robust.”
He continues, “As a result of in contrast to one of many enormous corporations such because the Large 4, the place you understand the others are there if wanted; the voluntary character of our group brings folks collectively a lot nearer as they actually need to get one thing out of the connection. Subsequently, the connection created between Nextcontinent residents is sort of distinctive.”
Whereas Nextcontinent’s group of residents would possibly usually be thought-about native gamers within the consulting business, being a part of a global community offers them a worldwide attain that may assist them win work. In addition to what Weisser calls the “advertising profit” of having the ability to spotlight the agency’s sheer measurement. “With S1 billion in turnover and $540 million in consulting, we’re among the many globe’s high 15 gamers.”
“Nextcontinent’s worldwide profile is ready to assist residents win work which might often go to the likes of the Large 4 virtually by default,” he provides.
In the previous few years of Nextcontinent’s speedy growth, its residents have seen that this theoretical base has made it a lot simpler to win main contracts at multinationals, often known as MSAs. Typically often known as a framework settlement, this can be a contract reached between a company and a choose record of most well-liked suppliers that spells out a lot of the phrases that may govern future transactions, enabling exclusiveness and fast supply of tasks.
In an interview performed final yr, Eurogroup Consulting France associate François Pouzeratte stated that buoyed by Nextcontinent’s world profile, the French citizen alone has “been in a position to signal between 30-40 huge MSAs” in recent times, spanning quite a lot of totally different sectors. In accordance with Weisser, Eurogroup has additionally enabled different Nextcontinent residents to do the identical in latest months.
“We simply helped, one among our South Americans, win one among their contracts,” stated Weisser. “We supported them with benchmarks, with knowhow and observe file – they usually have been in a position to herald our help as fellow Nextcontinent residents for a pitch. That’s undoubtedly an attention-grabbing profit to each one among our residents.”
FOTO: The 15 residents of Nextcontinent. We gaan deze foto vaker gebruiken de komende tijd, kan je de 15 logos netjes maken. Wellicht kant en klaar op hun website
New methods of working
Whereas Weisser famous that earlier than 2020, a variety of community constructing for Nextcontinent had concerned face-to-face conferences, together with private interactions – from attending a Romanian associate’s household celebration in Bucharest, to studying which soccer staff a London associate supported – nevertheless, the community’s transfer to distant interplay has been clean to say the least. Weisser admitted being shocked that logging on has labored virtually as effectively.
“I might by no means have thought how effectively it really works to go surfing.” Offering one instance, Weisser defined how he “acquired a brand new shopper fully on-line; it was digital from pitch to completion and shutting. I by no means met this shopper ‘in actuality’. Working remotely might be very profitable – the identical has labored for Nextcontinent.”
Nextcontinent had deliberate to carry a worldwide in-person assembly of its residents in London, in Could 2020 – nevertheless, when occasions conspired to forestall that, the community was in a position to make various plans. As a democratic community working internationally, Nextcontinent had already needed to discover methods of enabling distant collaboration earlier than the coronavirus lockdown – particularly because the becoming a member of of residents from the opposite facet of the Atlantic.
He elaborated, “We are going to attempt to meet once more sooner or later, however for now everybody is aware of the right way to cope with it. If Covid-19 had hit 4 years earlier – with the know-how again then, and with out the expertise we had interfacing with North or South Americans – it will have been a big problem.”
Key matters to deal with in 2021
Nextcontinent’s banking and finance group brings collectively leaders and consultants from the agency’s residents specialised within the discipline. The group shares information; exchanges greatest practices to be utilized on tasks and ensures that there’s a platform for advancing choices and shopper administration.
Constructing on its democratic strategy, “in early December we had a gathering to plan for our subsequent yr’s agenda – and everybody might vote with on-line instruments.” Not surprisingly, synthetic intelligence surfaced as key matter of curiosity, “and our residents in France, Brazil and North America who specialise within the matter will now facilitate workshops at the beginning of 2021 to share greatest practices throughout the community.”
When requested what different matters would possibly dominate Nextcontinent’s agenda for subsequent yr, Weisser stated that following a yr of very specific huge speaking factors, residents have been broadly proud of extra normal matters shifting ahead. One such space of focus would be the continued adaptation to distant working that shoppers and consultants alike will proceed to face in 2021.
“The subject of “new methods of working” unites us” says Weisser. “This can be a matter which Nextcontinent was very robust in earlier than the pandemic, nevertheless it has modified quite a bit in latest months. Now you need to additionally contemplate what you want within the residence workplace, the way you deliver shoppers collectively in digital conferences, and what sort of instruments and digital infrastructure is required.”
Elsewhere, insurance coverage, and funding banking matters – “one thing the place some huge cash nonetheless flows in” – additionally present vital factors of dialogue, in addition to “the mainstream digital stuff.” This contains synthetic intelligence, huge information, and ecosystems – with banks utilizing their trusted place in society to leverage person information in an interconnected set of providers the place clients can fulfil quite a lot of wants in a single built-in expertise.
“This and rather more presents us loads of alternatives and greatest practices to share with different Nextcontinent residents,” he concluded.