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The new realism: Changing the way we talk about consulting

Fiona Czerniawska and Charlene Li.

All our research during the pandemic suggested that the thought leadership produced by professional services firms was becoming more important to clients. If we look at our most recent client perceptions data and ask clients about the relative importance of thought leadership when considering which firm to hire, thought leadership has dropped from being the third most influential factor in 2021 to the seventh this year.

This is leading us to wonder if professional services firms are missing a trick, and if they’re not producing the kind of material clients want, even need, to read.