What impact could Artificial Intelligence have on professional services firms?
The UK government formulated this important question in 2018. It desired an assessment of the readiness of mid-sized law and accounting firms for the arrival of AI as well as various approaches to help them prepare.

The UK Research & Innovation (UKRI) used their Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund to fund a consortium in a project ‘Next Generation Professional Services Firms’, or NextGenPSF. The consortium was formed by the University of the Arts London, Oxford Brookes University, Sheffield University, Lancaster University, Manchester University as well as the Managing Partners Forum, a networking organisation. Finally, consortium member NormannPartners provided the foresight and scenario planning methodological expertise.  The study took place during 2019 and 2020.

What did we do?
Led by UAL, the project team developed a bespoke methodology to give professional services firms actionable insights about AI and opportunities to explore what these might mean for their future services and business models. NormannPartners defined the way in which foresight could be brought into the study and designed and led workshops as well as the subsequent scenario detailing process.  NP also designed ‘use’ workshops, where firms could use the scenarios to test their strategy.

The initial stages of the study took place during 2019, in in-person workshops and meetings; the scenario detailing stage and the definition and facilitation of workshops with law and accounting firms took place virtually during 2020.  The project concluded in April 2021 with a publication, which brings together design thinking principles and futures thinking in a practical toolkit. For more information about the project, visit NextGenPSF or read the “AI Readiness Toolkit”.

Learn more
NormannPartners helps clients to use scenario-thinking to enhance their strategic dialogue.  We build practical and concrete processes for taking the learnings gained from scenario planning and applying them to test or re-design strategy. If you are interested to explore how we could help you in strengthening your strategy please contact us at info@normannpartners.com.