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  • Alexis Hultine

Navigating AI for Consulting: A Practical Guide to Tech with Purpose

Hello, and welcome to my AI series. Here, I share my enthusiasm for sifting through the tech landscape and zeroing in on what matters. My AI path started by soaking up knowledge at local developer meetups in Portland and grew into insightful exchanges with tech leaders at Microsoft and Amazon, enterprise CIOs, and digital agency leaders crafting AI innovations.

This isn't just a tech exploration. It's about getting real with AI—understanding its current state, the hurdles in its path to broad implementation, and its transformative potential.

Consider this series your handy compass for AI in the wild. It's about figuring out which AI tools are ready for action, which are worth keeping an eye on, and what's just industry buzz. Let's embark on this journey together.

Navigating AI for Consulting - A Practical Guide

Supercharging Independent and Boutique Consultancies with ChatGPT

In the landscape of knowledge worker productivity, AI is a game-changer, and for now, that means ChatGPT. That's why it's the star of this article.

My 14-year tenure at Deloitte was backed by large teams that shouldered the workload. Embarking on my solo venture meant devising new strategies for delivery.

Enter ChatGPT. What initially seemed like another tech trend to monitor has become core to my operations. Over the past year, it's become clear: ChatGPT empowers me to produce more, maintain quality, and accelerate output. It's reshaped my business approach and client delivery.

With ChatGPT integrated into my daily workflow, my small firm can punch above its weight, offering clients impactful results. Tsedal Neely's words resonate here:

“It performs functions, finds patterns, and makes predictions on its own. Instead of treating AI like the tools we always use, try thinking of it as a set of systems to collaborate with.”

As independent consultants and leaders of boutique firms, it's crucial to grasp what ChatGPT heralds for our industry.

The Reinvention of Consulting Analysts

The traditional consultant analyst role is on the verge of extinction. While larger firms reckon with this shift, I focus on the newfound parity ChatGPT brings to my small team. We're becoming a formidable alternative to the 'Big-4'—more agile, cost-effective, and just as capable. We’re a team of senior experts supported by ChatGPT as a supervised analyst.

Elevating Efficiency with ChatGPT

ChatGPT has assumed an analyst role, tackling tasks ranging from data visualization to workshop facilitation support. In just the two weeks, under my direction, it has:

  • Crafted and styled a bar chart from raw data

  • Refined client communication for impact

  • Synthesized workshop themes in real-time

  • Added humor to my thank-you note

  • Streamlined data manipulation in Excel

  • Designed website features with custom CSS

  • Drafted a workshop agenda

  • Deciphered niche healthcare industry jargon

  • Polished presentation taglines

Harnessing ChatGPT Effectively

To maximize ChatGPT's benefits:

  1. Invest in a Premium Subscription: It's worth it.

  2. Keep Up with Updates: New features coming almost weekly can redefine your capabilities.

  3. Practical Use Over Theoretical Perfection: Don't get bogged down in crafting complex prompts. Simplicity and practical application will get you what you need.

Leading the Charge in Consulting Innovation

We stand at the forefront of a transformative era in professional services. Our agile firms are not just keeping pace but setting the pace, outmaneuvering the industry behemoths. The transition of routine tasks to AI is not a threat but an invitation—to elevate our work to new heights of strategic value.

Embrace ChatGPT, not as a trend but as a trailblazer. It's less about staying relevant and more about defining relevance. Our shared goal? A consulting practice that thrives on client success and robust growth.

Sidebar for Responsible Usage

Using ChatGPT Wisely

Expertise Amplified, Not Replaced

ChatGPT shines when used within your expertise, bolstering rather than replacing your skills. Consider it part of your toolkit to enhance and finesse your work.

Supporting this is a study by Harvard Business School and Boston Consulting Group titled “Navigating the Jagged Technological Frontier,” which delves into the effectiveness of AI in consulting." Researchers labeled users who excelled at experiment tasks "centaurs."

Consider centaurs as the ultimate human-AI team-up: AI crunches the numbers and drafts content while the human tackles the big-picture strategies and creative calls. Centaurs merged technology with human insight for superior results.

Privacy, Bias, and Accuracy

Navigating ChatGPT's use requires mindfulness about privacy and confidentiality, potential biases in AI, and accuracy. Treat sensitive information cautiously and cleanse data, or omit it altogether, be aware of inherent biases, and double-check for accuracy. These steps ensure responsible and effective use.


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