Making Consulting sticky for a change

Change is now business as usual creating a new market opportunity for consultants

Covid-19 has brought organizations face to face with change. Few have been spared the need to find new ways of working and in such a short time. What looked like a temporary dislocation has become a journey into the unknown. Will the old jobs return or be replaced by new ones? Will remote working become the norm, and what is the role of the office? How should our business processes now work and where does automation fit in, and are we rethinking our supply chains? And what about the next recession?

All this at a time when the pace of change was already accelerating. Change is now business as usual. In these uncertain times business is going to need help making the change.

Most organizations are rooted in an Industrial Age mindset - ‘steady as she goes’ - and deal with change when it happens. As they position for a post-Covid and possibly post-BLM world they must become more adept at dealing with new things - technology, methods, business models and worker expectations, let alone competition for a slice of what could be a smaller pie. Most are not equipped for this Post-Industrial environment, in which the difference in worker behaviour can be likened to that between a conscript army and the SAS - one waits to be told what to do, the other acts on whatever confronts them.

Many organizations are not equipped to handle change in so many facets, often happening faster than their systems and processes can accommodate. They will continue to look to consulting firms for help with change management, strategy and confronting challenges, albeit well aware of the appalling failure rates of Transformation projects.

Organizations face three challenges in particular - technology, work practices and mentality. To fix these, they need to adopt:

1. Technology that supports change on demand and helps transition out inflexible systems

2. The ability to model and communicate what they do now and what changes are needed

3. Management practices that foster independent decision making by staff – taking them from conscripts to SAS.

Automate Change

Pre-Covid there was a growing interest in using business automation to improve company performance, but its uptake has been impeded by inadequate technology compounded by the flawed approach to business transformation. With automation now seen as one of the elements required to revive economies, automation technology must better meet the needs of business and, especially, it must be capable of supporting rapid change.

Similarly, the role of modelling business activity to support change is largely unrecognized. As with automation, the technology has historically fallen short in its role. It has failed to elicit the level of accuracy of information required to create reliable automated systems.

These problems have recently been addressed with the concept of Digital Twin software, a digital model of an organization and precisely what happens within it.

Now, rapidly changeable automation based on a Digital Twin model combined with a proven business change methodology creates the potential for an out-of-the-box solution to change.

The Digital Twin model is owned and operated by the business and configured by business-oriented people using its associated modelling technology. Adding operational data to the model enables automated systems to be created by business people with appropriate skills rather than the technical IT people who have been responsible for new systems in the past. The defining features of a model are its scalability and its integrity. Once a model is defined, the resultant systems are guaranteed to work, eliminating the need for testing and enabling exceptionally fast turnaround on changes and adding new features.

The AptumX team is steeped in change methodology and model-based automation, with proven success. We have created the first packaged solution that allows organizations to manage change as a core, business as usual competence using a Digital Twin model.

Productizing Change

From the writings of Gary Hamel and Michael Zanini in 2014, AptumX has created a Change Platform - a packaged combination of technology and implementation methodology that progressively makes any business change-ready with little or no disruption or risk …because implementation is done through business as usual channels.

AptumX provides a 3-dimensional picture of how business operates, through which changes can be made with the accuracy of keyhole surgery. Its Digital Twin model allows business to implement automation and other improvements progressively and rapidly. When complete, automation can be expected to deliver an order of magnitude improvement in productivity.

This packaged solution creates an unprecedented opportunity for consulting firms, who can not only transform their clients into a change-ready state over a multi-year period but then help clients to exploit continuous technological and wider change, and apply new business insights. AptumX creates the “stickiness” that every consulting firm yearns for.


AptumX brings together the business modelling and automation technology of software firm XSOL with the change experience and methodology of consulting firm Aptumus. Its creation was serendipitous, the result of the firm's founder and CEO, Tim Connolly, being introduced to XSOL founder and CEO John Blackham.  Tim and John quickly realized that together their IP can solve one of business’ major pain-points - the failure of transformation initiatives. The arrival of Covid-19 gave business a big enough jolt for the ‘frog’ to jump out of the boiling water - and to see the value of a productized Change Platform. Handling change has plagued business forever, but until Covid-19 there has not been the life-or-death moment needed to trigger action.

This is the reason AptumX is going to market in partnership with consulting practices who can implement and operate its packaged change solution as an outsourced service. It is a partnership designed to make Digital Transformation an ongoing source of revenue.