Write a 1,500-word reflective piece, based on your critical analysis of course content, on how your present views of the best way for an organisation with which you are familiar and with which you have been employed or acted as a volunteer will meet its challenges and how you will meet your own professional challenges within this context. Your answer should be shaped by your own knowledge and experience and your learning on this course.
Your answer will be very individual to you, but we expect you to demonstrate:
• your ability to think at micro, meso and macro levels of organisations
• your awareness of contemporary challenges, including those arising from societal changes and digital technologies
- your understanding of current management and organisational thinking, including systems thinking, design thinking and a human-centred approach.
I have joined Deloitte during Covid-19, as a result, I only know consulting from a Covid-19 affected point of view. In a previous essay, I talked about the micro and meso challenges of having a wholly online induction program. However, Covid-19 has also created opportunities for all consultancy firms, particularly when we consider the macro level. This is due to speeding up digitization transformation as everyone needed to, almost instantly, be able to work from home and clients did not have the skills to quickly create these transformations (Horgan et al, 2020). During this course, we have learned about different ways to identify challenges for organisations. Two of these tools are PESTLE analysis (Aguilar, 1967) which is a framework to identify challenges at the Macro level (Collins et al, 2021, Step 11.2) and Grant (2010) which is a framework to identify the market forces in an industry (Collins et al, 2021, Step 10.8). Using these two models I have created Figure 1 (below) which aims to highlight a few of the challenges that Deloitte experiences currently for the different market forces that are in play in the consulting industry. In the subsequent sections, I will deep dive into one of these societal challenges in more detail and explore them at the micro, meso and macro levels in more detail and how they fit into my personal goals and challenges.
The theme that struck me as appearing more than others is the challenges surrounding Deloitte’s response to environmental concerns and the challenges and opportunities it creates. Starting at the Macro level the Big four are competing, to be seen as front runners, with one another and with smaller environmental specialist’s consultancy firms. For instance, Deloitte (2021 a) made a significant investment during COP26 to showcase its environmental consulting efforts. This is not just due to just being an altruistic move, it is also to show the power of its tools (Deloitte, 2021 b) in making the transition to a carbon-neutral organisation as easy and painless as possible and thus be seen as a market leader in this rapidly expanding part of consulting. The obvious benefit of this is for clients that require these services to meet new legal requirements over controlling the environmental impact of their supply chain going to Deloitte rather than the competition (Hall, 2000 and Hall, 2006). However, it also has other unintended macro competitive advantages such as improving recruiting (Behrend et al, 2009), due to millennials having higher desirability for an environmentally ethical employer (Deloitte, 2021 c) and improving wellbeing due to social changes of delivering engagements online, this leads to less travel and thus more time that employees can stay with their families (Ye and Xu, 2020) as well as a cost reduction for the client.
However, this desire to be first and market-leading creates more challenges at the meso level. Kouzes and Posner (2011) argue that incremental changes are more long-lasting and less daunting. However, to get the competitive first-mover advantages at the macro level an incremental approach is not fast enough (Govidarajan and Gupta, 2001). The incentives for organisational leaders need to reflect this and reward bold quick to implement implantations that deliver substantial environmental benefits. While still balancing the time and resources that they spend on these initiatives with other competing targets and goals. What makes this even more challenging for leaders is that the implementation will be used for internal case studies to secure future work and will need to be distillable into an incremental approach so that it has more market appeal (Green et al, 2014). As a result, the approach taken to secure the Deloitte environmental transformation needs two features to be successful, good idea generation and good change management. We have learned about both in this course; however, I am going to dive deeper into Idea generation.
Good idea generation focuses primarily on the Time and Quality aspects of the iron triangle (Ebbesen and Hope, 2013). Other models do exist such as Grevelman and Kluiwstra (2010)’s Sustainable star methodology bring more attention to the trade-offs including environmental goals in project planning however as the project goal is sustainability, I feel the triangle is a better fit. Fortunately, in this course, we have been introduced to several human-centred approaches to innovation that can be used to come up with quality ideas that achieve our sustainability goals in a timely fashion (Collins et al, 2021, Step 5.2). One such approach we learned about was the Three Stage design thinking model (Brown and Wyatt, 2010) in which we would iterate between inspire, ideate and implementation to create and refine our idea (Collins et al, 2021, Step 5.4). This is not the best solution for our goals as we want to quickly get to a final solution rather than continually refining and prototyping. Fortunately, we also learned about the Double Diamond model (Design Council, No date) which has focused on delivering a single solution while still having the opportunity to have convergent thinking to experiment with lots of potential solutions to find the best one (Collins et al, 2021, Step 5.7).
At the micro-level this personally presents opportunities. From doing this course I understand more about the process and can quickly adapt to this way of working. I know for instance when to utilize divergent thinking and convergent thinking during the double diamond process (Mahmoud, Sadek and Hassan, 2020). I also can have more understanding of which ideas will be successful by applying the Brown (2008) test of feasibility, viability and usability. This is particularly important in this environmental context where we need ideas that are quick to implement to hit our macro time and quality goals. As a result, I can use figure 2 to suggest a Power BI dashboard that makes raw data shared from the supply chain more readable as it’s technologically easy, provides benefit to the business and is humanistically desirable.
In addition to this, I have improved my confidence in presenting these ideas as I understand more about myself and others. I have already taken time to understand that I am an INTJ-T (16Personalities, no date) architect and the impact that has on my preferred collaboration style (Collins et al, 2021, Step 2.11). As well as understanding the people around me that have different personalities so that I can better engage with them and the culture of working at Deloitte (Collins et al, 2021, Step 3.4). Finally, I have an appreciation of the demands of leadership at the meso level which increases my proactivity to help and thus work on my passage two skills (Collins et al, 2021, Step 7.10).
In the preceding sections, I started by looking at some of the high-level challenges for Deloitte at the macro level to stay competitive in the ever-changing consulting industry. I then looked at the implications of one of these challenges, Deloitte’s response to increasing environmental concerns creates additional challenges at the meso and micro levels. I then explored different approaches to idea generation and their suitability to achieve both my micro goals and Deloitte’s macro goals.
16Personalities. (No date). Architect Personality INTJ-A / INTJ-T. Available at: https://www.16personalities.com/intj-personality (Accessed 15 October 2021).
Aguilar, F.J. (1967). ‘Scanning the business environment’. Macmillan.
Behrend, T.S., Baker, B.A. and Thompson, L.F. (2009). ‘Effects of pro-environmental recruiting messages: The role of organizational reputation’. Journal of Business and Psychology, 24(3), pp.341–350.
Brown, T. and Wyatt, J. (2010). ‘Design thinking for social innovation’, Development Outreach, 12(1), pp.29–43.
Brown, T. (2009) Change by Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. NY: Harper Business.
Collins et al. (2021) ‘Defining design thinking (Step 5.2)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204518 (Accessed: 15 October 2021).
Collins et al. (2021) ‘Expanding to new contexts (1) (Step 10.8)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204627 (Accessed: 15 October 2021).
Collins et al. (2021) ‘Knowing your people (Step 2.11)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204471 (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Collins et al. (2021) ‘Leadership at different levels (Step 7.10)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204570 (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Collins et al. (2021) ‘Models of design thinking (Step 5.4)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204520 (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Collins et al. ‘(2021) Recognising individuality and identity (Step 3.4)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204483 (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Collins et al. ‘(2021) Strategy and the macro environment (Step 11.2)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204637 (Accessed: 15 October 2021).
Collins et al. ‘(2021) The double diamond model of design thinking (Step 5.7)’, BZFM802: Management of Change: Organisation Development and Design. Available at: https://www.futurelearn.com/courses/management-of-change-organisation-development-design/2/steps/1204523 (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Deloitte. (2021 a). Welcome to Climate Exchange A collective exchange of ideas to inspire genuine change. Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/global/en/pages/about-deloitte/articles/climate-exchange.html (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Deloitte. (2021 b). Solutions D-Carb Sustainable Supply Chain Planning powered by SAP IBP. Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/ch/en/pages/risk/solutions/sustainable-supply-chain-planning.html (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Deloitte. (2021 c). A call for accountability and action THE DELOITTE GLOBAL 2021 MILLENNIAL AND GEN Z SURVEY, 2021. Available at: https://www2.deloitte.com/content/dam/insights/articles/GLOB144377_Millennial-survey/2021-deloitte-global-millennial-survey-report.pdf (Accessed 21 December 2021).
Design Council. (No date). What is the framework for innovation? Design Council’s evolved Double Diamond. Available at: https://www.designcouncil.org.uk/news-opinion/what-framework-innovation-design-councils-evolved-double-diamond (Accessed: 6 January 2022).
Ebbesen, J.B. and Hope, A. (2013). ‘Re-imagining the iron triangle: embedding sustainability into project constraints’, PM World Journal, 2(III).
Govidarajan, V. and Gupta, A.K. (2001). ‘Strategic innovation: a conceptual road map’. Business Horizons, 44(4), pp.3–3.
Grant, R. (2010) Contemporary Strategy Analysis. 7th edn. Chichester: John Wiley & Sons.
Green, J.F., Sterner, T. and Wagner, G. (2014). ‘A balance of bottom-up and top-down in linking climate policies’, Nature Climate Change, 4(12), pp.1064–1067.
Grevelman, L., Kluiwstra, M. (2010). ‘Sustainability in Project Management A case study on Enexis’, PM World Today.
Hall, J. (2000). ‘Environmental supply chain dynamics’, Journal of cleaner production, 8(6), pp.455–471.
Hall, J. (2006). ‘Environmental supply chain innovation’, In Greening the supply chain (pp. 233–249). Springer, London.
Horgan, D., Hackett, J., Westphalen, C.B., Kalra, D., Richer, E., Romao, M., Andreu, A.L., Lal, J.A., Bernini, C., Tumiene, B. and Boccia, S. (2020). ‘Digitalisation and COVID-19: the perfect storm’. Biomedicine hub, 5(3), pp.1–23.
Kouzes, J.M. and Posner, B.Z. (2011). The five practices of exemplary leadership (Vol. 225). John Wiley & Sons.
Mahmoud, E.S., Sadek, M. and Hassan, S.F.A.E. (2020). ‘Double Diamond Strategy Saves Time of the Design Process’, International Design Journal, 10(3), p.57.
Ye, T. and Xu, H. (2020). ‘The impact of business travel on travelers’ well-being’, Annals of Tourism Research, 85, p.103058.