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Profession is through worst of times

Stefan Stern
The Financial Times - Business of Consulting Report, page 1
16 November 2009

The Financial Times reports PA's views on a range of business issues in its lead article in the Business of Consulting report.  The article quotes PA’s chief executive Alan Middleton and PA’s head of marketing and strategy practice Mark Thomas.

The article discusses how the industry is responding to economic conditions and cites PA’s new book The zombie economy: leadership in times of uncertainty.  The article talks about PA’s diagnosis of the economy as a “zombie economy”: banks, governments, companies and consumers have all had a near-death experience, and are still struggling to come to terms with the aftermath.”

Mark Thomas, author of the book says: “We use the term ‘zombie’ because these individuals and institutions do not cease to exist, but they do become unable to perform the function we expect of them in supporting growth of the economy,” writes Mark Thomas, head of PA’s strategy and marketing practice, in his new book on the subject. “Zombie banks cannot lend as we need; zombie consumers cannot consume as we need, and so on.”

PA’s chief executive Alan Middleton goes on to comment: “There is more focus on value, outcomes and shared risk and rewards. There is a lot of pressure under the headings of price and value,” he says. “Frankly, I think some firms may be buying business right now [selling at a loss].”

You can read the article in full here and also read PA’s comments in the report on consulting as a buyers’ market, on the state of financial services, on public sector consulting, on consultancy recruitment from the defence sector and on what responsible consulting means.  The report also features an article dedicated to PA’s work in Iraq, based on an interview with consultant Angus Jackson who spent four years working on a project in southern Iraq to help restore safe water supplies in the Basra region.

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