What a year it’s been in 2013! At SEI, we started the year off with a bang when we rolled out our new website, complete with a new community section and posted our first blog entry on Feb 8th – The SEI Blog: A Focus on Candidate Engagement. Through this blog, we’ve allowed you to hear the voice of our most critical assets – our consultants. We’ve had the opportunity to share some of the inner workings of SEI, given you insight into some of the exciting service offerings and projects we’ve worked on with our clients, and highlighted some of the awards and community activities we’ve been involved in over the past year. Here are some of our most popular postings from 2013:
Continuing growth of technological capabilities is changing the business landscape at an incredible speed for a wide range of industries worldwide. This ongoing evolution and the digitization of every aspect of our lives – the way we communicate, work, drive, buy our coffee – results in a vast amount of data being produced every day. According to McKinsey, a global management consulting firm, the world’s data is now doubling every two years.
And the consumers of this digital tsunami are coming from every corner of the business world. Not just departments within newer companies that were born in the digital age but those in older “traditional” companies hoping to compete in a brave new world. The marketing department now wants to run digital campaigns with web analytics built in. Sales teams want seamless and real-time connections to customers as well as to competitors. Everyone wants the latest mobile device and to try out the cleverest new app. And they all want it now.
How do you analyze the cause of failure in a project that has gone off track? How do you examine an almost infinitely complex system (like a modern corporation) and find where the failure occurred?
System dynamics, a modeling technique developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), is designed to tackle the analysis of complex systems through diagnosis of causes at the root level. While systems thinking has a multitude of useful applications across an organization, it is exceptionally well suited for diagnosing problems at the project level— helping project managers pinpoint internal feedback loops and understand how time delays in various activities can impact the overall behavior of a working system.
For any company of sufficient size and complexity, managing changes to both systems and processes requires a tentacle understanding of the interrelated components and partners involved. Many leaders default to the assumption that major business disruptions or innovations require an army of experts to map and plan for the change, a task frequently handed over to large teams from outside consulting firms. Is this really necessary?
Making a hiring decision is one of the riskiest propositions in the consulting business. A bad hire can end up threatening a valued client relationship your company has worked so hard to build, so saying “yes” to a candidate carries a high amount of risk. Saying “no” also carries the lost opportunity risk if you’re too restrictive on your hiring decision. The goal of a strong interview process is to minimize that risk for both the company and the candidate by focusing on three primary areas; skill set capabilities, cultural fit, and motivation.