undconsorten has once again been named a Hidden Champion for Leadership & Organization by the Scientific Society for Management and Consulting (WGMB). How do you feel about this?
Axel Sauder: We are thrilled to have done it again! This really is a very special honor for us as a company. When we are certified to have a higher level of skill on our core topics than the established consultancies such as McKinsey, BCG and Bain, then that is the strongest competition you can imagine. This makes it all the more wonderful to be ahead in the eyes of our clients – three times in a row. Of course, it is also a great award for long-term oriented consulting work.
What are you personally particularly proud of?
Jens Müller-Oerlinghausen: I think, apart from what Axel said, it is especially nice to see that we are ranked first in the areas of “teamwork”, third in “communication” and fifth in “expertise”. For me, this means that our consulting approach – the close cooperation of ‘client & consorts’ – is truly embodied and effective. By the way, this was the initial inspiration for our name when we founded the firm.
What has changed in the last two years, since the last Hidden Champion award?
Axel Sauder: We see that the issues of agility and digitization, especially with their effects on organizations and employees, are becoming much more prominent. Many companies now have the first steps of this transformation behind them and are suddenly faced with completely new tasks that have arisen precisely due to the process of transformation, such as questions like what does our management model look like, how can we further scale the progress we have made, what do we need to do to adapt systems and processes to the new organizational reality? Many also learn in this case that there are no simple ready-made remedies when it comes to agility, but rather you need to develop intelligent and suitable solutions.
Axel Hüttmann: We also notice that the transformation of the HR function is continuing steadily, also because strategic HR topics such as talent management, leadership development or learning through technology, but also through employee expectations, are changing. It is therefore not surprising that the focus is increasingly on employee experience (EX), consistent customer orientation and developing high-performing teams.
Has the award already had a noticeable impact?
Jens Müller-Oerlinghausen: We received a number of new requests from clients in January and February due to the Hidden Champion award. We also notice in recruiting that it is important for many applicants to work with a Hidden Champion. Last but not least, it was simply great for our whole team to feel the appreciation of our clients for what was a lot of commitment, dedication and energy on our part.
What’s the next step?
Axel Sauder: The award is, as Jens said, an appreciation and confirmation of our work and we want to continue on exactly this path – in other words, to shape the upcoming transformations together with our clients. At the same time, we also want to grow internally as a company and offer our employees the opportunity for personal and professional growth. We have gained motivated new Consorten in the last few years, who, through open discussions, encourage us to constantly question and develop ourselves further.
Axel Hüttmann: Personally, I think this culture of questioning and trial and error is very important for the company. I believe that this is one of the most important prerequisites for the success of projects and ultimately also one of the reasons why our clients have “bestowed” us this award.