The folks at Deloitte, who have the good sense to sponsor this newsletter, have some news of their own this morning. They are announcing a planned $750 million investment to build out their ConvergeHEALTH business by adding ConvergeCONSUMER and ConvergePROSPERITY to serve the retail and financial services sectors.
The move says something about a bigger trend in management consulting. “Our profession is in its most significant moment of transformation ever,” says Dan Helfrich, CEO of Deloitte Consulting. “The image you have of a classic consultant who has an MBA and is at an airport Monday morning, giving advice and then walking away, is becoming a dinosaur.” Converge is designed to not just advise clients, but to help them drive rapid transformation. Says Helfrich:
“Our customers need a fast-forward button to get from advice to outcome…We all grew up thinking about waterfall product development. Companies have traditionally thought about transformation that way. I hire a strategy consultant, they make some recommendations, I think about it, and then I hire a software company to do it. COVID has shown us that’s not good enough or fast enough anymore.”
By the way, Helfrich says traditional billing practices at consulting firms also will change:
“The days of fee-based, hourly billing—I charge you for an hour of work by one of our consultants—they are rapidly going away. It’s becoming outcome-based or subscription-based. It will be interesting to see how quickly the industry pivots.”
Interesting indeed. Always hard to give up something that has been so lucrative for so many for so long. More information on Deloitte’s move here.
Also this morning, a special treat on our Leadership Next podcast (likewise sponsored by Deloitte). Ellen McGirt and I interview Hardy Pemhiwa, CEO of Cassava Technologies, which was founded by telecom billionaire Strive Masiyiwa to become the first integrated technology company to connect all of Africa. What makes this aspiration especially interesting is that mobile phones are Africa’s tech platform. Pemhiwa says three decades ago, more than 80% of Africans had never had a phone. But today, 85% of the people on the continent depend on mobile phones for life and livelihood. “We are the biggest competitors to Coca-Cola,” he said. “Because a person has to decide: Do I buy a bottle of Coke? Or do I spend the money on data? And I am glad to say, data wins most of the time.”
And when you are finished with Pemhiwa, check out last week’s episode of Leadership Next, where we ask top business leaders what lies ahead for 2022, including Amazon CEO Andy Jassy, Bank of America’s Brian Moynihan, L’Oréal’s Nicolas Hieronimus, UPS’s Carol Tomé, Occidental’s Vicki Hollub, and PayPal’s Dan Schulman. You can subscribe to the podcast on Apple or Spotify.
Other news below.
Editor’s note: Heartfelt apologies for misspelling “Ottawa” yesterday, and thank you to the countless people who (mostly) politely flagged the error.
Nvidia and Arm
Regulatory opposition seems to have killed off Nvidia’s $40 billion–plus takeover of SoftBank-owned Arm, the pivotal processor-design company. Arm will now reportedly see an IPO instead. Fortune
Nord Stream 2
U.S. President Joe Biden yesterday pledged to “bring an end to” Nord Stream 2, the mega-gas-pipeline from Russia to Germany, if Russia invades Ukraine. However, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz—standing next to him at the time—refused to speak the pipeline’s name, saying only that Germany and the U.S. “will act together [and] will not be taking different steps” in the Western response to the potential invasion. Fortune
Facebook owner Meta has renewed its warning that it might have to shut down the social network and Instagram in the EU, if the EU and the U.S. don’t produce a new agreement on the sharing of personal data. Two previous such agreements have bitten the dust owing to U.S. surveillance laws obviating the possibility of Europeans’ data being adequately protected according to EU privacy law. Fortune
Peter Thiel has left Meta’s board to spend more time with his (ideological) family. The investor will be stepping up his political support for “Trump agenda” candidates such as Blake Masters and J.D. Vance, and doesn’t want the company to get flak for it. Fortune
AROUND THE WATERCOOLER
Big Tech lobbying
The Biden administration has stepped up to champion U.S. Big Tech by lobbying EU lawmaker Andreas Schwab over upcoming antitrust reforms. Schwab is the European Parliament’s lead on the Digital Markets Act. In short, the Commerce Department wants the new law to have a wide enough scope that it doesn’t end up just covering U.S. firms. Financial Times
The average company can cut half its emissions “at a net-zero cost (a.k.a. the savings cancel out any cost incurred).” That’s one of several fascinating points in this piece from Fortune analytics editor Lance Lambert. Fortune
“Looking for a fund that charges big fees, lags its benchmark by a wide margin, and is now proving more wildly volatile than practically any fund or commodity on the planet?” asks Fortune’s Shawn Tully. “Then Cathie Wood’s ARK Innovation ETF (ARKK) is for you.” Fortune
The number of U.S. private-equity and venture-capital firms that are majority-owned by women and/or ethnic minorities rose by a quarter from 2020 to 2021, according to new data from Fairview Capital Partners. Here’s a fascinating piece on the subject—and on Fairview itself—by Fortune’s Maria Aspan. Fortune
This edition of CEO Daily was edited by David Meyer.
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