Around our offices, though, it feels like anything but the dog days of summer. We are busy welcoming new colleagues from Invoyent, a Chicago-based consultancy that works with many of the nation’s largest healthcare payers to plan, build, and run technology-enabled business solutions. Our just-completed acquisition of Invoyent extends our business consulting and healthcare information technology skills and the experience we can lend to healthcare organizations navigating rapid change. I invite you to read more about our expanded Healthcare practice.
In addition, some 40 interns are more than halfway through their summer assignments with us—each injecting fresh energy and enthusiasm into our teams, and in just a few short weeks, we look forward to welcoming about 50 new hires who have chosen to begin their careers with us. Our passion at West Monroe is to build the next generation of leaders. Thus, this summer period is a very exciting time for me personally with so many people around us who are just beginning their careers and their pursuit of discovering the “next big thing”.
I teach a portion of a class for our new consultants called “Consulting 101,” and one of the topics I cover is called The Hourglass Model. It describes that after successfully majoring in a field of study and earning a university bachelor’s or master’s degree, your next big, difficult decision is selecting career specialization. I talk about identifying that “next big thing”—evolving trends in business and technology around which one may choose a specialty. Every time I give this talk, I get the question: “What are the hot, up and coming next big things I should select from?” I always stop short of answering that question. What might be cool and interesting to me perhaps isn’t for someone else. Instead, I tell our new consultants they need to figure that out for themselves: be inquisitive, ask questions, read, listen, and be very observant. This is how they will find their unique path to building a career.
That said, I think this advice is relevant for all of us—whether you are an undergrad choosing a major, considering a master’s degree, a new graduate beginning your career, or a mid-career or senior executive looking for insight to guide your business forward, the list of “next big things” is lengthy—and it holds many opportunities for those who are looking for them.
This issue of Best of the West examines five such topics that may pique your interest. We offer these articles in the spirit of some interesting summer reading and hope you find them relevant—whether you are a prospective consultant contemplating your first career move or a seasoned executive playing offense or defense to advance your business. And while it’s always important to be thinking ahead, I do hope you find the chance to enjoy summer’s long days with your family and friends.