At the start of my fourth week, I thought it would be a good time to sit down and reflect on why I made the career move to Elixirr…
First off, I’m psyched about how our firm has rapidly evolved and what we represent in the market. A little history: Elixirr started in 2009 as a sourcing advisory firm. Based on the expertise we brought and the real results we achieved for our clients, it wasn’t long before they started pulling our team into broader operating strategy conversations – which ultimately led to developing business strategies for our clients and working side-by-side with them to efficiently drive their strategies through the execution stages.
Fast-forward to today, and Elixirr is providing the same strategic consulting services, but in a business and technology environment that is rampant with high-speed innovation and constant market disruption. It’s an environment that demands a very fast pace of thinking and action – something the team here delivers extremely well.
Having spent my entire 24-year career consulting for large corporations, I’ve experienced several major waves of technology-driven change in both business and the consulting industry: the move from mainframe to client server computing, the e-commerce and dotcom bubble, the ERP transformation wave, the shift to global delivery models… and now, the wave of innovation and disruption, where nimble startups are threatening the market share of established incumbents every day.
Not surprisingly, the consulting market has already shifted – the needs of our clients have changed. The nature of a consulting engagement today is much different than it once was, and at Elixirr we really understand this point. Clients want short, highly-focused and agile projects, and they need fast delivery of outcomes. This means that the level of expertise and commitment required to meet these needs has escalated.
In such a fast-paced and demanding environment, I believe Elixirr is the consulting firm that will excel and come out ahead of all the others. Why? Please read on…
Since joining, the question I’ve been asked most is: “So, what’s Elixirr’s niche…what’s your specialty…when should we call on you?”. That’s a hard question to answer because the truth is, we don’t have a niche – very deliberately! We don’t limit ourselves to a few specific offering areas or industries. Rather, our approach is to hire really talented people and position ourselves to work with our clients on their most difficult problems, whatever those may be. We hire a unique mix of 3 types of backgrounds:
- great management consultants
- serious industry experts
- real-life entrepreneurs
As a result, we’re able to provide our clients with a team made up of this awesome combination of talent. This means we can relate to our clients, get deep into their biggest issues and challenges, and collaborate with them to define and execute their solution strategies.
Our business is built on trust and relationships. Interesting fact for you: we don’t respond to RFPs, as we don’t believe this is an effective approach for our clients, nor for our own business. Our philosophy is that in order to really understand a client’s business, you have to get closely involved with their leadership team. Without doing this, how can you expect to help them identify their top challenges? How can you be in a position to expertly guide them on how to embrace and creatively put to use applicable new ideas and offerings in business and technology to gain competitive advantage? How can you help them implement not just the right operating model, but the sustainable model that will enable their business to thrive in the future?
The answer is you can’t. And neither can we… so we don’t do RFP paperwork! Instead, we work directly with our clients to identify and scope the right problems to focus on, then work collaboratively on these engagements that will deliver significant business impact for them – those that will shape their future organization and improve overall competitiveness and performance.
Aside from that, what makes us a different type of consultancy? Two things very unique to the Elixirr model:
- We’ve invested heavily to create a very strong open innovation network across Silicon Valley, London, and Tel Aviv. We have close personal and working relationships with Silicon Valley’s leading venture capital firms, innovation enablers, startups, labs, and academics. As a startup ourselves, we understand both sides – we can help our clients approach business challenges in new ways (by embedding design thinking, rapid prototyping and iterative customer testing into their ways of working), and with an entrepreneurial mindset. On top of this, we’re able to connect clients with the emerging technologies, startups and VCs relevant to their specific challenges and areas of opportunity. This beats the traditional, cookie-cutter, methodology-driven consulting approach to business problem solving – every time.
- In addition to our consulting business, we have Elixirr Capital – the investment arm of our firm that invests money and the hands-on skill of our own people in startups. We only invest in those startups we believe have the potential to be “game-changing” businesses, with the singular aspiration of making them successful.
By walking the talk in this way, it helps us to continue to deliver innovation and entrepreneurialism to our clients. Our team stays plugged into what’s happening in the rapidly changing world of business and technology innovation, and they’re executing on it every day.
We are a small, nimble leading consulting firm in the UK and South Africa. Now we’re expanding our US business, and I’m excited to be leading the charge. Three weeks in, and I’m blown away by the team. Their passion for helping our clients change the game in their industries (and for changing the game in our own), is very real. And from what I’ve seen so far, we certainly have the industry, consulting and entrepreneurial experience to do it.
All of this combined makes Elixirr a pretty awesome place to be… that’s why I’m here.