Worshipful Company of Management Consultants opens Urwick Cup entries

29 July 2020 Consultancy.uk

The Worshipful Company of Management Consultants has launched a call for submissions for its annual Urwick Cup prize. The award commends the year’s top thought leadership involving the UK consulting industry, and this year will focus on the role the advisory sector has played in helping address the coronavirus crisis.

Today, there are 110 Worshipful Companies in the City of London. Representing London's ancient and modern trade associations and guilds, almost all of which are styled the "Worshipful Company of...", livery companies play a significant part in City life, and provide charitable-giving and networking opportunities. Initially formed in 1992, the Worshipful Company of Management Consultants (WCOMC) is a modern livery company which aims to connect the consulting industry with the tradition of the City livery.

The group is a pro-bono consultancy and mentoring organisation, offering support from members to Britain’s ‘Third Sector’, or the voluntary/charity sector. The advice it provides has been estimated to be worth the equivalent of £1 million a year. It also hosts a number of annual consulting awards, including the upcoming Urwick Cup; a prize handed to consultants and their partners for outstanding research or thought leadership. The research must have originated recently in the UK, and been published in the last two years, while being relevant to management consultancy.

The Urwick Cup

Named in honour of the life and work of management consultant, writer and educator Colonel Lyndall Fownes Urwick – founder of Urwick Orr Management Consultants – the Urwick Cup sees a panel of academics and others active in the area of management consultancy identify research that might be eligible for the award. They select a shortlist for the award of the Cup and the authors of these papers are invited to make a short submission to the Company’s Assessment Panel explaining how the research meets the criteria for the prize, from which the Assessment Panel selects the winner.

In 2019, the Urwick Cup was awarded to Karl Warner of Edinburgh Napier University and Maximilian Wager of The Nunatak Group Munich for their paper “Building dynamic capabilities for digital transformation” which was selected from a shortlist of six finalists drawn from over 20 entries as the best published research contributing to the practice of management consulting. The Cup was presented in November 2019 at the Annual Research Conference of the Livery Company’s Centre for Management Consulting Excellence, which was held at Goodenough College in London and attended by some 80 management consulting practitioners and researchers. 

In view of the ongoing restrictions due to Covid-19, it is likely that the 2020 Award Ceremony for the presentation of the Urwick Cup will be carried out virtually. As well as impacting the ceremony itself, the organisers have decided that due to the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on society, this year's Urwick Award will focus on how the management consulting industry has contributed to the nation's response to the pandemic – from providing support to the NHS and other bodies providing care and treatment, to key suppliers to these organisations, and to private sector organisations such as food supply and transport.

Bob Harris – the Chair of the Judging Panel – said “Colonel Lyndall Urwick was a pioneer in management consulting. We are proud to award this Cup each year in his memory to recognise the research or consulting assignment that has done the most to advance management consulting practice. For the award in 2020, we have decided to showcase the work undertaken by the management consulting profession in tackling one of the greatest challenges of our generation.”

Case studies are invited from organisations based in the UK who have undertaken management consulting or related business advisory work during this year in response to Covid-19.

The closing date for entries is 30th September 2020. Further details for entry are available via the WCOMC website.


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