Howard Partners, a portfolio of expertise in response to major business issues.
Our positioning as a partner in the transformation of organizations teaches us that the most successful players shape their operational model and engage their forward-looking thinking around 16 differentiating axes.


New models and vision

We need to balance the short-term (strategy) with the long-term (vision) to give new meaning to innovation

The new technologies challenge the current economic models. Innovation is such that, today, it is quite simply impossible to imagine what the world will be like tomorrow.


  • In an innovation approach, it is no longer enough to define strategic plans for the next 4 to 5 years (short-term). Innovation initiatives are often limited to incremental disruptions, aimed at “digitalizing” already existing organizations and processes, with the goal of productivity and enhanced customer experience.
  • Collaborators need to plan ahead, to look to the longer term, as does also Senior Management, to give meaning to their company and to innovation projects. The ability to define a vision and an ambition in the long-term has become, paradoxically, a challenge in an increasingly fast-paced world.

What is necessary is to introduce disruptive innovation (and not incremental innovation) into companies, via four main economic models: factories, retailers, data makers, servicers.

To this end, the key to success is to rely on the company’s intangible assets, i.e. its strengths and its ecosystem.

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Generalization of partnerships

The reinforcement of its own ecosystem in terms of Models, Commitment and Notoriety, must be generalized in order to consider the new expectations of society.

In response to the profound fracture in today’s society, the reinforcement of local and global partner ecosystems is all the more necessary for companies. This is because the latter cannot limit themselves merely to cost cutting but have to satisfy customers’ expectations of authenticity, ethics, respect for the environment, and local social gains, requiring a “long-term” philosophy of companies’ relationships with their partners.

Consequently, the roll-out of partner ecosystems has become an ongoing major issue for economic stakeholders, requiring them to rethink their economic and operational models in terms of Distribution, Diversification, Business, and Industrialization:

  • Companies respond by forging partnerships with stakeholders who, tomorrow, will be the best placed to distribute their products and services (e.g. distribution of financial services by the GAFAM, car manufacturers, mass distribution, etc.) to allow them to gain new access to clients
  • The opening and interconnection of digital platforms, together with the implementation of distributed models, authorize quite different forms of partnership:
    • Extension of the customer promise beyond the sole core business of the company in terms of offer, in order to leverage their customer base,
    • Access to additional customer portfolios to benefit from a critical size,
    • Creation of a comprehensive and integrated solution shared by different market stakeholders, in order to pool and enhance their know-how.

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Experience and customer relationships

Customer relationships are, first and foremost, bilateral human relationships between a customer and a collaborator.

Companies owe their very existence to their customer relationships: customer centricity guides their organization. The income generated is but a consequence of the attention they pay their customers and not a finality in itself.

Good customer relationships erase the complexity of the structures and tools of major groups. That said, companies are made up of men and women who deserve the same attention in terms of fluidity of processes, intuitiveness of the working environment, etc. The experience of some depends on the efficiency and working conditions of others.

The customer relationships model is built on:

  • Customer journeys based on uses (end-to-end), contact points, commitment, and behaviors (predicted or observed),
  • An extended omnichannel experience for positive and adapted interactions,
  • Centralization of customer knowledge (collected, internal, technical, external, deduced data, etc.),
  • Customer intelligence (segmentation, scoring, equipment appetite, etc.) at the service of strategy (winning new customers, boosting customer loyalty, etc.),
  • Fluid business processes, mirroring customer journeys, to benefit collaborators’ efficiency and process seamless,
  • Cross-corporate control (orga-process-tools) and steering to guarantee coordinated and faultless customer service,
  • Opening up to partnerships to augment the customer promise.

The customer-corporate relationship will have achieved its aim once mutual trust, recommendation and loyalty have been permanently established.

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Acquisition and Integration of Fintechs

Incorporating a Fintech into a major company is complicated but not impossible.

Fintechs have become increasingly popular over the last decade. Leading groups, whether in the banking, insurance sectors or other sectors of the economy, favorable to a form of outsourcing of their innovations, look approvingly on these initiatives, while awaiting the emergence of a future gold nugget or “unicorn”.

Just like the buyout of LeCompteNickel by BNP Paribas or of Leetchi by Arkea, the challenge of successful integration exceeds purely financial goals or employer and customer communication and image-promotion goals. Such operations succeed, not only because the operational and technological synergies have been implemented, but also because the innovation culture of the start-up has been perpetuated and, better still, promoted within the major purchasing company, which often has a more industrial and indeed a more Taylorism-oriented culture, based on all-risk control.

In short, the goal is to initiate a project for the integration of an entrepreneurial artisan model, with a mature, industrial company, while preserving as far as possible the assets of the start-up.

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