She’s passionate about helping our clients solve a variety of problems – ranging from technical challenges, improving organisational culture to reviewing and improving systems and process.
We asked Hena about the work she’s been delivering with our clients and the trends and challenges she is observing across a variety of sectors.
Q: What are the trends you are seeing shaping consulting currently?
There was a time when consultants were the source of trends and forecasts, but today, we are often only a fraction ahead of our clients. In the last decade or so alone the most noticeable change I’ve witnessed has been the access our clients have to information. But what I’m also seeing is the access, volume and speed in which this information is available can be overwhelming, particularly in a world where our clients are leaner than they have ever been before.
Now our clients are looking for a partner, an ally, a listening ear to help them define their problems and what the ‘world’ would look like if they didn’t have those problems. Sometimes this results in Beca helping them to solve the problem, and other times, that listening ear is pointing them to a friend or partner we know would be much more suitable to help.
Being available to our clients locally is also becoming more important. Our clients are wanting to know that we are ‘right around the corner’ and that we genuinely understand their local challenges, because these challenges are much more niche and regionally specific than they have ever been. That’s why it’s great to have my team spread across the Australian Eastern-Seaboard capital cities.
What are the most common consulting issues you are seeing?
Technology is a reoccurring theme – how to make the most of it; how to apply it most effectively to the organisation etc. There is a lot of jargon out there – and it can be difficult to make sense of it and what it means for the business (if it means anything at all). We’ve been spending quite a bit of time helping our clients get back the headspace needed to understand the implications of new technologies and trends on their business. For example, we’ve been working with a client to develop an operational blueprint for incorporating technology within their business in a way that works for them and, most importantly, their customers – the people and stakeholders using their facility. I see this trend continuing in the near future.
What advice are clients looking for with regards to business performance?
I’m often being asked: How can I do more with less? Do I have a complete picture of the assets and tools available to me, and are they being used effectively? Do I really understand how my assets are connected together with the end user in mind, and can I make this work better to achieve better results? How do we transform our business? How do we respond to the macro trends?
The common thread with all these questions is organisational change, business and digital transformation. And it’s not easy or straightforward, because at the heart of all of it is people and human behaviour. You’ve probably heard this before, but for the first time we have five generations working within a workplace from 18+ to 60+ and their needs and working styles vary enormously.
We’ve been working with a variety of clients in the private and public sector to navigate solutions to these questions, while helping to keep people and their needs a focus.
If you could give our clients one piece of advice, what would it be?
Don’t be afraid to ask the question of the people you know and trust. The answers are not always immediately clear, but if you can be clear about the end state – what success looks like – then it’s just a matter of finding the right people to help you achieve this.
You may call me crazy, but it has always been my view that the role of our advisory practice has been about helping our clients partner with the right people to solve their problems – be that us, or someone else. In an increasingly complex world, don’t we all have some responsibility for helping each other to make life easier?