As one example of early digital ecosystem thinking, BCG partnered to create ventures, including Platinion in 2000. Today a key part of BCG globally, Platinion helps companies lay the technology foundation of architecture and platforms, enabling the digital capabilities at the heart of transformation.
After the dot-com bust in 2001, many companies cut their expenses and became skeptical about new consulting engagements. BCG made a point of explaining how its projects would create value. Proposals included quantifiable statements about the benefits of the project and how they would come about; the teams then tracked their progress against plan. The process worked so well that the firm in some cases made its fees contingent on creating this value.
The global expansion gained steam, with offices opening around the world. More important than the continued opening of new offices, however, was the beginning and scaling of a global operating model. Instead of working as a collection of local offices with their own internal processes and websites, the firm standardized many of the operations. That made it easier to assemble teams from multiple offices to serve clients. As one example of the new global mindset, BCG built on a long tradition of local efforts and organized the Global Social Impact Initiative (now practice area) encompassing social impact, climate, and sustainability. In the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion practice, BCG similarly built on local efforts and launched global initiatives for Women@BCG, Pride@BCG, and other global and regional affinity networks. BCG also established the Public Sector practice in Australia, and soon expanded it into a global practice area.
The increasingly global teams needed not only geographical breadth but also specialist expertise. As a large and diverse firm, BCG had pockets of knowledge throughout its operations, and the firm often called on those consultants for big client challenges, but new technologies and businesses demanded expertise in additional areas. To fill these gaps, the firm created and invested in expert and specialty career tracks and lateral hires, instilling BCG’s collaborative culture into the new hires.
The 2000s was also a decade in which the firm nurtured close relationships with large clients that sought the distinctive BCG approach across multiple projects. This was the beginning of the Transformation Practice, ensuring that clients achieved holistic change and also enabling the client organizations to continue to build capabilities. The enablement work that had been a hallmark of BCG from the very beginning was formalized in this decade as a key focus area and initiative.
Consultants spent more time on-site with clients, and new communications technologies made them readily available at other times. BCG invested early to manage the demands of this new reality and ensure that predictability, teaming, and open communication remained hallmarks of the firm. As a result, BCG continued growing even during the Great Recession of 2008, tripling its revenues to $3 billion.
By the end of the 2000s, BCG had reached 6,900 employees and 67 offices.