Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles launches consulting unit

05 September 2017 Consultancy.uk

After a successful year, executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles announced their creation of a new consulting unit Heidrick Consulting, forming a relationship with leadership consulting and culture shaping businesses in order to establish a suite of offerings.

Having provided services in leadership consulting and executive search, which brought $582.4 million to the firm in 2016 – a 9.6% increase on 2015 revenues – HR firm Heidrick & Struggles has launched a dedicated consulting unit. The executive search specialists completed the purchase of Co Company in Autumn 2015, with the London-based advisory boutique, specialising in organisational performance services, settling on its four senior advisors becoming a part of the Heidrick & Struggles family.

Co Company Chairman Colin Price was, meanwhile, named the global lead of Heidrick & Struggles' Leadership Consulting practice. Heidrick & Struggles has laid down a scalable foundation for Heidrick Consulting, having also hired and acquired personnel who will be in charge of providing their clients with a myriad of leadership advisory solutions.

Executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles launches consulting unit

With the branding and corporate structure now in place, the new Heidrick Consulting arm is aiming to deliver a leadership offering to clients, including leadership assessment & development, organization & team effectiveness, and culture shaping services. The consulting business will complement Heidrick & Struggles’ core executive search business, targeting increased growth for the broader company through bettering the use of relevant tools and intellectual property, and finding methods to increase efficiency savings.

According to Heidrick & Struggles President and CEO, Krishnan Rajagopalan, "In addition to helping our clients around the globe identify and develop top leadership talent, we equip leaders with the skills, tools and insights to inspire and lead transformational change that delivers on their organisation's purpose," Rajagopalan claimed. "Our consultants draw from deep expertise in human behavior and organisational culture combined with data-driven solutions grounded in empirical research." 

The market for consulting services has expanded immensely with increased demands for leadership and culture, something the firm hopes to gain momentum from, having promised to offer services which will be integrated into a single business that aims to instruct clients on how to improve performance at the leader, team and organisational levels. The firm is the latest in a number of HR and executive search firms seeking to break into the consulting market by forging a dedicated offering in the sector. Korn Ferry completed a deal for advisory firm Hay Group in 2015 before offering clients access to its own dedicated consulting business, while in the UK, search firm Odgers Berndtson in 2016 entered the consultancy segment with the launch of an independent management consulting division.

Last month another major player laid its first steps in the consulting industry: Bloomberg launched its own business consulting arm in a bid to rival the intelligence units of the renowned strategy houses and the Big Four.

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Robert Park on the launch of his consultancy RWG Enterprises

18 April 2019 Consultancy.uk

Following a lengthy spell as a General Manager at an international materials corporation, Robert Park was keen to rediscover his inner entrepreneur. With the launch of his new consulting firm, RWG Enterprises, Park spoke with Consultancy.uk to outline his hopes for the future of the company, and how he believes his boutique will be able to challenge the market.

Robert Park commenced his career in retail, taking up a string of General Store Manager positions with companies – including Poundstretcher and The Gadget Shop – before making the 2005 move that would lead him to a 13-year stay with Morgan Advanced Materials. First taking up a role as Production Supervisor with the organisation, Park quickly worked his way to the upper echelons of the group. By 2013, he held the role of UK Operations Manager for the company’s UK ceramic core business, Certech UK, before seeing out his final four years at the firm as General Manager, leading the senior management team and strategic direction of the business.

Despite his success with the firm, however, Park found himself getting itchy feet. A change of career seemed increasingly appealing, and by February 2019, the time to take a new path had arrived.

Park explained: “I was losing the ability to to use the entrepreneurial flair that I had enjoyed in the past; the organisation was moving more towards a structured and common approach for doing things, and that made me feel restricted. I also really enjoy the troubleshooting, problem solving side of my role. However, having been in my last post for four years, the troubleshooting and firefighting was long behind me. I realised that I am really energised by tackling difficult issues or turning around things that are clearly struggling.”

New consulting firm RWG Enterprises launches

His criteria for a new career seemed to point conclusively in the direction of management consulting, and while his CV has no formal experience in the sector, Park believes his career to date has provided him with a wealth of transferable skills. During his time with Certech at Morgan Advanced Materials, he became a Senior Manager at the age of just 21, and went on to succeed in a harsh factory environment where six former candidates had previously failed to deliver results.

Later, he became the group’s youngest General Manager in its history, and was involved in the turnaround of numerous departments. He also developed vast experience dealing with a wide range of ‘people’ challenges, including re-organisation, talent development, talent acquisition and leadership development. Along the way, Park noted that he learned to deal with large, blue chip organisations such as Rolls Royce, securing major long-term contracts worth upwards of £25 million.

Now, he hopes to take that know-how and apply it to the diverse world of consulting work. Park elaborated: “I really want to be able to help organisations that feel that there is no hope or have lost faith in the business… Having been there myself I know how helpful it would have been to have someone to refer to in times of crisis… The firm will also focus on leadership development, as I spent a lot of time with the global graduate program during my corporate career… and I was really motivated to see these individuals grow and develop… helping them to find their own way through challenging situations.

New enterprise

Park’s new Derby-based consultancy, RWG Enterprises, will focus on five key operational fronts. As stated, leadership development and business rescue will be two of these areas, as well as manufacturing – where the firm will tackle challenges such as new product introduction. RWG will also offer financial advisory services and strategic business planning offerings.

While Park is understandably guarded about the firm’s initial engagements, he revealed that he has been “speaking at length to a well-known university and business school about providing mentoring and coaching support to students.” In the long-term, the aim is for RWG Enterprises to take on engagements from clients across the industrial spectrum. He added that as “the company is very embryonic”, it would be “foolish” to become too focused on target clients at this stage.

When asked how RWG Enterprises intends to differentiate itself from the rest of the pack, in an ever-more-crowded UK consulting sector, Park is undaunted by the task ahead. He stated, “I think the main differentiator is that we are small... I have operated at a very senior level for many years but I have enjoyed a very diverse background having worked in most functions within my last organisation. I also won’t take on any work or clients that I feel I cannot deliver value for, I am honest and ethical and am really motivated by seeing others become successful… The main thing I am focused on is 'can I add value' and 'can I help?'”