Azabu Insights aims to be the most elite consulting company for clients that want to truly achieve meaningful change in their organizations.
When I founded Azabu Insights, it was after a long career in business, consulting, entrepreneurship, education and non-profit management, mostly in Japan. I started the company with the belief that while I respect many of the top consulting firms (and we emulate a lot of what they do) that there was a better way to deliver consulting to clients that could give a much better result and could truly help them to achieve change and growth of their organizations.
The Problem for Consultants
For me there has never been anything more thrilling than consulting. I’m a person that likes to learn things and likes to help others to succeed. Consulting allows you to bring a life of experiences to bear to help solve a problem. In consulting you get to dive into projects, deeply studying a client problem, gathering data, and debating with all of the most knowledgeable people in their industry. Then, after having come to some deeper insight, you get to present that knowledge and ideally help a client to change.
The problem is that many things get in the way of this presumed great model and it doesn’t always work out. Team members can be stressed by internal issues, the relationship can become stressed with clients; a million things get in the way of delivering good work. Amongst other things, while running a non-profit that brought professionals to build playgrounds I heard these stories many times.
So, first I wanted to create a company where the smartest people could come and deliver work with the only stress being the goal of delivering great work that would help clients to achieve their goals.
The Problem for Clients
The problem of consultants not being thrilled to work is a problem for clients because they don’t get the best information to help them change. There are other issues that cause clients to question their relationship with consultants as well. Clients often tell us their consultants deliver strategies but don’t take responsibility to help them implement. They offer innovation but don’t have an innovation background themselves. They request senior level knowledge but often feel that the junior members are doing all of the work and providing all of the ideas for a project. They feel the “answers” “seem” right but don’t necessarily help them solve their business “problems” and move forwards.
Here again we wanted to create a consulting company where thought leadership would be driven by senior members and every idea would be built out and rigorously tested by the team. We wanted to present the best strategies but we also wanted to lay the groundwork to make sure those strategies could get adopted and take a stake in the change ourselves by driving to implementation. After all our goal was not to just provide ideas but to clearly help our clients change and achieve their goals.
We’ve tried to build our company with these goals in mind. Each process, each interaction has been gradually built up through a process of gradual improvement (in Japanese: kaizen). So while we want to be as good or better than any leading consulting company we do each action slightly differently than others. We also aim to collaborate much more deeply with our clients.
Through these methods we hope that our teams can be more committed to helping clients succeed and that clients will be able to see different ways of doing things and will achieve their growth goals.
We look forward to the chance to work with you someday.
CEO and Representative Director
MBA, Kellogg School of Management
MPA, Harvard University