In the first of our blogs looking at the different roles a CDCer ( consultant development community ) will have on a project, Charlotte Denner describes her work in an Ideas Generation role.
The world of consulting is very diverse; the recurring phase that has stuck with me ever since I joined Capgemini almost a year and a half ago is “it depends”. This phrase transcends every element of consulting and no matter how long you have been in the industry for, the work is always varied. As such, being asked the question “so what do you actually do” is a very tricky one to answer. No two days are the same and your range of role and client experience can be limitless. However, there are certain types of roles that crop up regularly which you can expect to encounter during the CDC (consultant development community) Graduate Programme.
On this note, I will be sharing the experience and wealth of knowledge that I have developed for one such role – Idea Generation. This is a very flexible role, it can be found across both different types of projects and different clients and sectors. The fundamental responsibility of this role is in its name, if you are resourced for an Ideas Generation role you will be identifying and generating ideas for the project. But what does this actually mean day-to-day?
Working in Ideas Generation often results in some very good client exposure opportunities and the potential to experience both the more creative aspects, such as organizing and running workshops, as well as the more detailed elements, such as developing and progressing ideas and building the detail that sits behind them.
Successfully identifying and generating ideas usually involves working with both fellow consultants and client stakeholders – this brings together the ‘in-house’ client knowledge of the current state and the specialist consultant knowledge and objectivity needed to drive the outcomes that the client is seeking. One of the best methods for bringing together these elements is to hold and facilitate workshops; in an ideas generation role a lot of your time may be spend organizing and running workshops.
The other key element of an Ideas Generation role is refining the high-level concepts and ideas, gathered from workshops or other avenues, and developing these into more mature ideas. This is typically a two step process. The first is to refine the ideas and establish whether they are feasible and have a sufficient business case; often this can be achieved through trying to understand the scale of the problem versus cost of the change. The refined list of ideas can then be develop which usually involves working closely with stakeholders who understand the relevant areas and processes to drill down into the finer details of an idea. An Ideas Generation role often then hands over this product to be taken forward as individual initiatives where requirements for the solutions are gathered for implementation and delivery.
All in all, an Ideas Generation role provides good stakeholder exposure and the opportunity to develop core consulting skills. Having filled more than one Ideas Generation role during my time at Capgemini, I would definitely recommend the experience it provides.
Charlotte is an Associate Consultant within Business Model Transformation having joined Capgemini Consulting in September 2013. Prior to Capgemini she studied Molecular and Cellular Biology at Durham University. Charlotte’s main interests lie in Transformation and Performance Improvement, Project Management and the Public Sector. Since joining she has worked on an operating model project for a major UK supermarket and a large scale transformation project for a Government Department.