Accenture acquires Cirrus to round out talent development story

More than ever, enterprise leadership teams are required to embrace change and adopt new management approaches. Many recognize the need for support as they drive ambitious organizational transformation projects - when embedding best practices into remote working environments or upskilling leadership teams to tackle evolving markets, for example.

Accenture, which already has an enviable track record of helping many of the world’s largest companies drive sustainable business change, recently announced an acquisition that will bolster its talent pool in the UK and Australia. The company has acquired Cirrus, a UK-based leadership and talent consultancy, that will bring 70 experts into Accenture's Talent and Organization/ Human Potential team to strengthen its development and coaching capabilities for leaders seeking business transformation. Cirrus works with many well-known brands - particularly in the UK - including GSK, Allianz, BT, EE, Bupa and Sainsbury's.

The consultancy has a strong track record, working with Three UK to reconnect its brand with its core purpose, grow its customer base, and boost customer satisfaction. To do this, Cirrus set about designing a comprehensive programme to develop leaders across the business, starting with clarifying Three's vision, identifying competencies to drive agility and using these to assess and develop leaders. Following this, the firm developed a comprehensive development programme, alongside individual and group coaching, and strategic masterclasses to ensure learning and development embedded into the workplace. The results are considerable, ranging from doubling the Three's customer base, to boosted profit and employee satisfaction.

The firm has many similar examples - including implementing a new leadership style through an extensive development programme for Network Rail. It has also provided leadership development and succession solutions for M&S to help the firm drive business in line with the brand's core values.

Bringing this experience and talent into Accenture's growing practice moves in lockstep with broader market demand for holistic transformation services. Increasingly, enterprises are looking for partners who can help with core technological needs, while driving greater organizational and behavioural change within their business. Many with the core understanding that their existing approach lacks the fundamental agility necessary to meet rapidly changing market conditions.

According to teknowlogy Group's latest CxO survey, almost 90% of enterprises in the UK believe they lack the agility and innovative power to adapt to the market. One third of this group highlight it as a major challenge for their business. With its ongoing investment strategy, Accenture is increasingly positioned to tackle this critical enterprise challenge.