Ken is a strategy consultant with more than 30 years of experience advising Fortune 1000 executives on matters of strategy, innovation, and organization. He is the former CEO of Marakon Associates, was a board of director for Booz & Company, and subsequently led Strategy&/PwC’s strategy practice.
In Ken’s role on the leadership team at the consulting firms, a quarterly task was to forecast revenues for the next year and the quarters ahead. The process involved asking partners to submit their projection for expected billings, and then to synthesize them by region, practice area, and by specific client. The consulting firm’s finance teams supported the executive committee and leadership team, with the process. The partner group then reviewed the results as a team.
The challenge in the process was that finance teams had to identify and follow-up with many of the partners, multiple times in the process. Often senior partners had to help the finance team, and nudge or “push” for timely submissions. The process felt bumpy, with significant unnecessary friction experienced among the group in obtaining and synthesizing the forecasts. In turn, considering the process of submission and synthesis was all “manual”, often over email, it involved significant effort and added to the haste and friction.
Ken is excited about a solution that provides partners a way to view the historical submissions by client, region, and practice area. As part of the solution, an automated platform would allow partners to also modify the baseline, and submit their own projections for the coming year/ quarters. Ideally, the platform would keep track of participants invited to contribute, and would send automated reminders and alerts to the participants, as-well-as their corresponding leadership, during the designated “forecasting week”. The digitally contributed forecasts, can be automatically synthesized by the platform into the aggregate numbers, ready to be reviewed by the partners, and the executive committee, as a group.
Ken’s vision is that the whole process can be complete, from start to end, within a matter of a week or so, with minimal friction, and smooth automation replacing most of the manual submission, reminder/alert, and synthesis steps of the process.