Dodd-Frank) may be scaled back. These
deregulatory actions would likely unleash
financial services companies to take on more
risk while pursuing growth opportunities,
Srikant and others agree. Expected interest
rate hikes could boost lending revenues.
ENERGY: The President’s social media com-
munication and appointments suggest that
environmental regulations and standards
concerning fossil fuels (e.g., greenhouse gas
performance standards and fuel efficiency
standards for automobiles) will be rolled
back. The President’s election pledge to
make the country energy independent bodes
well for oil and gas companies and their
suppliers. “On the regulatory front, it is clear
that fossil fuels in the U.S. have a better fu-
ture with the [new] President than it did with
the predecessor administration,” DeLoach
notes. “The Trump administration is much
more likely to let the market figure out the
best and cheapest sources of energy and
thereby eliminate subsidies to renewables.”
MANUFACTURING: The President has made
it clear that he intends to focus on domestic
job growth particularly in the manufacturing
industry. The methods deployed to fulfill this
campaign promise obviously will pose new
opportunities and new challenges for the
industry, especially related to their decisions
regarding where they locate production fa-
cilities and how many new jobs they create.
Any policy-driven industry impacts will occur at a time when many manufacturing sectors are in the throes of longer-term transformation due to technological advancements,
such as advanced robotics and machine
learning. For decades, automotive manufacturers’ core competency was “bending
metal,” Iler notes. “Now, suddenly, they’re
RETAIL: If new trade tariffs materialize, retailers and consumer products companies
could suffer. “Go into any large U.S. retailers,” says The NorthPoint Group COO Rich
Iler, “and look at how many products are
made in the U.S. Not a lot…. The largest
retailers are saying, ‘Where are we going to
know. That used to be about understanding
markets but those insights are no longer
as relevant because companies know more
and more about the external environment.
Clients are now looking to consultants for
more specialized technical knowledge. In the
manufacturing space, where information and
physical assets are converging, clients are
looking for an engineering point of view. These
insights cannot be generic.
CONSULTING: What’s the other opportunity?
SIMON: Clients need help making their
organizations actually work, which ultimately
depends on cross-functional coordination.
If companies could coordinate across their
internal silos, there would be essentially
nothing for consultants to do. Consultants
traditionally entered a company and, in the
context of a project, created connections
where there were none and created new
norms to overcome functional boundaries.
The project’s success depended on them
by virtue of the fact that they were from
outside and didn’t have to play by the
rules and could therefore make it work.
After the consultants left, the new process
or capabilities kept working for a couple
of months. Within six months, though, the
company regresses 80 percent back toward
its previous state. In a year, the company
was 100 percent back to where they started.
I think the big opportunity inside the four
walls is for strategy consultants to enable the
organization to function across its internal
silos in a durable and sustainable way. This
is ultimately a behavioral problem so there
is a big opportunity for consultants to get
better at the behavioral change piece.