By Zoë Stumpf.
This is our forecast for growth in the global management consulting industry in 2017. To put this into context, this rate of growth would make 2017 as good a year as 2016, but not quite as good as 2015.
This really quite positive prediction might seem a little over-enthusiastic to some. After all, we’re still reeling from a number of shocks, and the world has suddenly become a much less certain place. But this is a figure we believe in right now, for a number of reasons. Our recent global client survey of almost 2,700 clients tells us that they are more positive than ever before about their intention to undertake change initiatives, and their plan to use consultants to help them with these. Part of this is undoubtedly that clients have so much on their plate that standing still is not an option--it effectively means falling behind. Unless there is an even bigger macroeconomic upset--of the order of the subprime crisis of 2008, for example--clients are simply not being deterred from addressing their change agenda. And right now, you can see why clients are carrying on regardless: despite dire warnings of disaster, the UK grew faster than many other developed economies in 2016, and some forecasters, are predicting 3% GDP growth for the US by 2018, thanks to Trump’s policies.
Without the ability to travel through time, there is always a risk when it comes to forecasting, and with the unexpected becoming the norm, there is perhaps a bigger risk than usual in trying to predict the future. But right now, 7% growth is what we foresee for 2017. Hold that thought.