As a November 2019 article in The Economist suggests, strategy consulting is under significant pressure.
Whereas it used to be one of the main pillars of the large consulting firms—McKinsey & Company, the Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company and so on—it has become a marginal activity now, accounting for about just a tenth of their revenues.
As the article explains, clients no longer want legions of consultants to provide them with advice. Instead they want them to put products and technologies in place that keep them ahead of the competition.
Lack of Relevance or Wrong Approach
The observations in The Economist article may suggest two things: that strategy consulting is no longer relevant or that it isn’t done the right way. While some may argue for the first, it is clearly the second which is going on.
For full disclosure: part of my job is being be a strategy consultant, meaning that a significant part of the work I do, is strategy consulting. While this used to be something to be proud and giving a bit of status, it seems to have gradually turned into something to almost feel embarrassed about.
I know of colleagues who avoid the word strategy altogether because they feel it makes them look old-fashioned or incapable of doing anything concrete that really helps organizations