How to do consulting differently? George Ghali, Slalom, meets GEM & SFU students during Seattle Industry Tour

IMG_2893It was our pleasure to meet George Ghali, managing director of technology enablement, and almost complete team of senior consultants at Slalom. This consulting company offers a service that links business and technology but for them, technology is not seen as a solution but as a tool in order to succeed. It’s especially Slalom’s new way of doing consulting business that will be remembered in our minds.

Slalom consulting

George Ghali describing company’s goals and activities

Slalom started its activity in 2001. It has now 18 offices in 3 different countries (Canada, United Kingdom, USA) with more than 4 000 consultants around the world.

Mr Ghali explained us that Slalom is a company that interacts with 3 main stakeholders:

  • Clients from global brands to emerging companies (Boeing, Universal, Motorola, Visa, Coca Cola, HTC, Microsoft)
  • People
  • Community and local companies beacause they believe a successful community leads to a successful company.
Slalom

Professionalism and friendship go very well together at Slalom

Slalom was several times recognized for being one of the best companies to work for and has won many awards. Thus, it has recently received the Glassdoor Best Places to Work 2016. We asked Slalom’s employees what they like the most about working in this company and all of them answered the same word: “people”. They really enjoy working with people who shares the same values and expectations. Their co-workers are always people they could not only work with but also buddies to hang out. They spend most of their time at work so it is essential to create the best and stimulating environment, otherwise they would not be that motivated to come to the office. That is why during a recruitment process, they really take time to learn as much as possible about an applicant. Slalom attempts to discover his/her true personality by getting to know each other in an informal setting, around a cup of coffee for instance. It is crucial to be surrounded by fun people. Even if Slalom is a consulting firm, they want to break away from the boring image this profession may have. That is the way Slalom differentiates itself from the other consulting companies: it is able to combine a fun working environment with a great professionalism.

Slalom

Employees at Slalom were very open to share their stories

Slalom is well known for offering a great and valuable service to their clients. Currently they work for Microsoft (Slalom has been elected Microsoft partner of the year 2015), Amazon, Salesforce, Marketo and others. We had the opportunity to hear about many projects Slalom’s consultants had. For instance, they helped to personalize Starbucks technology, they also implemented mobile games to help students to make the right investment. What is important to remember is that Slalom’s clients are Slalom’s providers too so it is a circle than doesn’t have to be breached.

Slalom

Several senior consultants from various fields were eager to discuss almost any subject

After having accumulated many years of experience, Slalom decided to try a new approach on consulting. Instead of sending its consultants halfway around the world to solve distant businesses’ problems, it was decided Slalom’s clients would now be local ones. There were many benefits to this shift in strategy. First and foremost, working with local companies increased the importance of community within the company. Because consultants now help the local economy thrive, they feel a greater attachment to their clients and to their work. This new focus on its community changed Slalom into a consulting company that cared and mattered, which brought them many new clients. Another perk of switching its strategy to a local one, is that instead of being far from their families, consultant were guaranteed to be assigned to local companies. Thanks to this, Slalom was able to attract a large base of senior consultants who were tired of being shipped to other countries on a regular basis by their former consulting firm. This brought know-how and experience to the company, who was thus able to guaranty higher quality consulting, along with new clients these experienced consultants were able to bring with them.

Written by Clément CHEVAL-ENEE

Slalom

Slalom’s offices are spread out over 4 floors so it took us a bit of time to finish the tour.

Slalom

If you ever visit Slalom, you should take the stairs to get this amazing downtown view.

Slalom

At Slalom, you can find inspiration everywhere…

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Filed under Business Schools, Entrepreneurship, Higher Education, Innovation, Management, Strategy, Study Abroad, USA

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