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The knowledge network in consulting

Category : Community
I’ve always felt that the more you learn, the more you realise you don’t know about the world.

We live in the information age where we can celebrate a vast array of information and communication technology but how can consultants leverage their knowledge networks?
 
In this blog, I will give you insight to the knowledge network of a consultant and how I look to leverage my networks to enhance value on client work.
 
At Capgemini and in consulting in general, networking is crucial. Social events, training sessions, interactive workshops and conferences facilitate consultants to network. It also allows you to share experiences and see what’s new in the market, keeping your finger on the pulse.  A major differentiator between consultants and contractors is their knowledge network. Consultants can leverage large networks and take advantage of the immense depth and breadth of knowledge in the consultancy. Therefore, when a client buys a piece of consultancy work they are buying the experience and knowledge of an organisation not just fvan individual.

Starting out on my consulting career, my ability to address client questions is supported through Capgemini’s knowledge network. I can ask experts in the field who have longstanding contacts in their industry or capability. I’m also free to dig deep into project collateral and credentials stored in online communities within Capgemini Consulting.

Within the CDC, there are plenty of opportunities to share best practice - such as MySkills sessions where fellow CDCers share information and teach new skills. This is the foundation of up-skilling consultants with on-the-job knowledge. Some examples of MySkills sessions run by and for CDCers are on the topic of Excel formulae, social media, Web Development, SharePoint design etc.  Not only do we have CDC-specific training and experience shares but we have Capability Team-specific training. In Customer Experience and Analytics (CXA), we have Lunch & Learn sessions on Fridays on various topics that will enable better understanding of new tools in the marketplace. Digital Operating Model, Organisation Design and Change Management are just a few sessions hosted by the Business Model Transformation (BMT) practice.

Capgemini is a collaborative company, working in teams alongside other consultants and clients on a daily basis. Personalised learning and capability growth methods flourish in this environment. Some prime personalised examples range from a simple one-to-one coffee catch-up to a large conference with keynote speakers or workshops.
This is not to say that codified knowledge is not utilised. If personalised methods evolve around knowledge sharing between employees, communication and personal networks – codified knowledge looks at storing and recycling project collateral in the form of document assets. These assets can be found in previous case studies of similar project deliverables.
 
An example of utilising this knowledge network occurred recently when I analysed the current state of an organisation and compared it to the best-in-class benchmark for that particular industry. I found that Capgemini senior consultants had experience in re-structuring parts of a similar organisation, and I was able to build on this knowledge repertoire and create a future vision for that organisation.  My solution was built on previous case studies applied and tailored to my client. I reached out to experts in the field and sifted through previous collateral. This is a perfect of example of combining and extracting value from codified and personalised networks.

Working at Capgemini has shown me that knowledge networks are critical in my own development and in the strength of the delivery we show to our clients.

Capgemini is a large organisation and as a result has a large knowledge network it can count on.

Capgemini Knowledge Network in numbers:


About the author

Andrew Smith
Andrew Smith
Andrew is an associate consultant within the Customer Experience and Analytics team.Prior to joining Capgemini Consulting, Andrew obtained his degree in international business and management. He is passionate about the FMCG industry and leveraging digital technology to improve customer experience.

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