The shifting composition of transformation teams: Leveraging the hybrid consulting approach

Transformation delivery has become a critical focus for organisations striving to stay competitive. The nature of the modern workforce has evolved the paradigm in how companies approach these transformations. Recent research from the Harvard Business Review highlights the increasing reliance on flexible labour models — integrating employees, consulting firms, and independent contractors — to drive successful transformation initiatives.  

HBR’s study highlights in early 2020, permanent employees constituted 62% of the teams responsible for transformation initiatives at major companies across various industries. The remaining 38% comprised individuals from staffing (independent contractors) or consulting firms. However, by 2022, the landscape had shifted dramatically: 45% of transformation teams were now non-employees. This change underscores a broader trend towards a more flexible and diverse approach to assembling transformation teams. 

The HBR further predicts that by 2030, the average number of permanent employees within transformation teams will fall below 50% for the first time. 

This accelerated demand puts increasing pressure on talent provision and human capital management strategies which we believe our Hybrid Consulting approach helps to alleviate. 

Our hybrid consulting approach brings together the best of both worlds – the skills, agility and flexibility of the contingent worker market, combined with the accelerators, proven methods and greater accountability of traditional consulting. 

This is fast becoming a proven, successful approach for an organisation’s human capital strategy – and when delivered correctly – can drive increased benefits above and beyond the delivery of a project, programme or service. This increase in demand has been driven by a number of factors which depending on the organisation, range in priority however we believe are equally important: 

  • The ever-evolving human capital management trends, encompassing hybrid working, boundaryless programmes, a new order to the worker-organisation relationship and the formal understanding of prioritising impact and purpose. 
  • A shift and maturity in buying behaviour which focuses on outcomes, not effort, and taking an increased/shared responsibility for delivery. 
  • The challenge of delivering digital transformation, keeping up with digital consumerisation and evolving to the new digital workplace,  
  • Building dynamic operating models that have the ability to pivot to business demands while keeping controls, governance and structures in place. 
  • The drive from the board to understand how the business is accelerating growth and achieving efficiency and productivity gains, while improving the experience for all stakeholders. 
  • Growing delivery and transformation maturity across disciplines and capabilities within your organisation above and beyond delivering the outcome. 

The hybrid consulting model represents a strategic approach to transformation delivery, effectively leveraging the strengths of a contingent workforce and build/deploy dynamic operating models to align to business demand.  

As companies continue to navigate the complexities of business transformation initiatives, the ability to integrate internal and external talent will be crucial and taking a strategic lens to this flexible labour challenge is critical to success. 

By leveraging a Hybrid Consulting Partner – such as Definia – we enable organisations to acquire on-demand and highly skill talent, within a structured and integrated approach which: 

  • Shares risk 
  • Increase quality assurance 
  • Mitigates the risk of IP loss 
  • Overall increases ROI to enhance their transformation capabilities and achieve lasting success.  

The future of transformation delivery lies in the flexibility and adaptability offered by hybrid consulting, and companies that embrace this approach will be better positioned to thrive in an increasingly competitive and ever-changing business environment. 

If you would like to talk more about an upcoming project and how Definia can help you, reach out to the team today.


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