"Advisers need to show their worth at a time when demand for their services is at an all-time high."
Businesses are increasingly turning away from their board and peers when it comes to advice around business strategy, instead turning to external expertise from professional advisers.
Research from Grist suggests that the C-suite now value the input of advisory firms and individuals over their peers when making key business decisions, with business leaders saying they have looked to external expertise and thought leadership to inform critical business thinking during the pandemic.
44% of executive respondents this year said they were keen to receive insight and guidance from advisory firms compared to 34% in 2018. Meanwhile, industry peers completely dropped out of the top three sources of advice for the C-suite, with just 33% of respondents valuing their colleagues’ opinions, down from 48% in 2018 and, replaced by independent industry experts as the most valued source of insight and guidance.
The content of this thought leadership has also shifted over the past two years, with the report highlighting that due to the uncertainty and challenges caused by the Covid-19 pandemic, business executives are now seeking much more short-term advice and support to navigate the unprecedented and often unpredictable nature of the challenges they face.
Previous thought leadership content was largely focused on long-term trends and the future of industries but the attention of firms has now shifted to the near term with half (49%) wanting insight into the near future - the next three to 12 months – compared to just one in five (22%) seeking content about the mid or long-term future – one year and beyond.
Managing director at Grist, Andrew Rogerson, said: “With the coronavirus pandemic affecting businesses all around the world, the value of external support is rising, which could be due to internal teams focusing on ensuring business as usual can continue where possible.
“With advisory firms climbing into the top three sources of insight for the C-suite for the first time and senior executives reading more thought leadership now than ever before, advisers need to show their worth at a time when demand for their services is at an all-time high.
“Not producing thought leadership simply isn’t an option. What advisers need to do now is think about how they can make their thought leadership different and better and utilise this to effectively meet the needs of prospective clients.”