Small consultancy firms consisting of one or a few units located at the same location might be able to make use of it since the social density is high. This is typically the case for highly specialized consultancy firms. But larger firms typically have a problem in capitalizing on this value by offering it to customers with a higher price tag. In essence, it is about offering access to a firm’s collective intelligence instead of just offering the skills and competencies of individual consultants.
I believe that we will soon be able to make a much clearer distinction between true consultancy firms and those who are merely consultant brokers. This distinction will be reflected in pricing as brokers or self-employed consultants who cannot demonstrate how they collaborate in social networks will be forced to compete much more on the price tag. A consultancy firm needs to be able to demonstrate to customers how they generate additional value from internal and external social networks instead of just saying they can do it.
I will elaborate on this subject in coming posts, specifically how consultancy firms can and need to make use of social technologies to generate additional value from their internal and external social networks and thus motivate a higher price tag, but also how they need to adjust their business models accordingly. Customers will be able to position a consultancy firm as either a true consultancy firm or as a consultancy broker by looking at their business model and asking form evidence on how the firm capitalizes on their employees’ social networks.