The new president of FEACO program guidelines

November 9, 2011, Ezio Lattanzio assumes the presidency of FEACO, the European Federation of Management Consultancy Associations. Established in 1960, FEACO represents 14 Italian associations, including Assoconsult Confindustria, the association that brings together the sector’s most important Italian consultancy companies and is currently headed by Mr. Lattanzio.
The president’s mandate involves “orchestrating” a diverse chorus of voices, one that holds an important place in Europe by virtue of being the only such federation in Brussels recognized as an authority on consultancy and a defender of management consulting interests. Lattanzio offers his personal reading of the current state of affairs and, working outward, outlines new programmatic guidelines for FEACO.
The current scenario can be described by the key words “fluidity”, “contamination” and “discontinuity”: “The world and identity of consultancy is undergoing dynamic change: the demand, players, services and structural elements are all changing; the current process of transformation is constant and fluid, lacking any defined elements of stability, leaving very little untouched and requiring that we be ready to adapt. At the same time, the boundaries of consultancy are ever more contaminated: the big actors live alongside a sea of small ones, the demand for global services does not exclude a local presence, and consultancy today involves a wide variety of sectors, services, and modalities of development. Today our sector is not alone in facing a strongly discontinuous context in which processes of globalization and Europeanization are generating both problematics and opportunities that must be taken into account.”
FEACO has always taken a leading role in developing, representing and supporting management consulting for organized businesses. In terms of support, Lattanzio seeks to strengthen the sector’s quality, image and ethical integrity in order to consolidate high European qualitative standards following a CEN-type logic.
“FEACO must play the role of facilitator, removing obstacles that hamper European consultancy in facing the challenges of the global market; in this setting the Federation must compete with the sector’s leader, the United States, as well as new players among emerging countries.” In terms of development, the president plans to encourage member associations to relinquish their reliance on local, sectorial and geographic specificity. “Today we are asked to think “wide”, to broaden our vision; this does not mean compromising specific identifies, rather, it has the potential to enrich them.” According to Lattanzio, strengthening the various national associations involves equipping them with tools that accelerate their internationalization. “Liberalizing and opening the market will prompt a competition on the basis of added value, thus raising the qualitative level of the services on offer”. FEACO will use networking and research activities to promote the kind of competency hybridization that leads to mutual benefit. “Seeing as the boundaries of consultancy have been shifted and contaminated, we should adapt to this trend through cross-fertilization between large and small consultancy businesses.” In terms of representation, FEACO will actively defend the interests of management consulting in the European setting, “acting as an authoritative representative and guaranteeing high-quality and high-profile services. The European Commission is the world’s top customer for consultancy services, and European consultancy thus has access to a very significant opportunity”.
An Italian presidency will naturally have positive repercussions on the Italian system: “this presidential nomination represents an important recognition of the value of the service industry, also in relation to Confindustria, and it will facilitate the internationalization of Italian consultancy and businesses”.
The conceptual core of this presidency is thus consultancy understood as “a factor of growth and development” and a “GDP multiplier”: “Consultancy is innovative in its very nature, it is hybridization between the known and the new (in its form and/or content); it is therefore the best tool for growth in a context that has become increasingly fluid and discontinuous, a tool that must be employed at both national and European levels to promote growth”.