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Omar Khan named as one of the Top 25 Consultants 2010

Consulting Magazine – June 2010

The annual Top 25 Consultants issue is here, and not a moment too soon. Editors just can’t get enough of this issue; or more specifically, reading the nearly 400 nominations we receive for this award each year…

It’s a wonderful exercise for anyone who has ever doubted the value of the consulting profession. Who wouldn’t want to read 400 consulting success stories written by co-workers, colleagues, clients and C-level executives.

The stories, of course, are inspiring every year. But in 2010, many of them revolved around the “trusted advisor” concept a bit more than previous years. Crisis brings out the best in consultants, and we had plenty to go around lately. While client budgets were strapped, their need for advisory work was greater than ever.

As usual, the profession answered the call. Time and time again, you stepped up to the plate and got the work done, often under difficult conditions when clients demanded more from consultants than ever before. They wanted results, and they wanted them better, faster and often cheaper than ever before. You delivered on all of the above. More than a few consulting firms had to trim staff in 2009, and many of you have worked harder over the last 12 months than at any point in your career.

Industrywide, utilization rates are at record levels, which makes the client satisfaction results all the more impressive. In this special 24-page section, we highlight the best of the best. The Top 25 Consultants of 2010 are recognized for extraordinary efforts in client service and leadership, as well as outstanding achievements in six client industries—healthcare, energy, public sector, technology, retail and financial services.

Top 25 Consultants, 2010
William Goodyear, Navigant Consulting Hana Ben-Shabat, A.T. Kearney
Niko Canner, Booz & Company Alan Colberg, Bain & Company
Baljit Dail, Aon Consulting Michael Dart, Kurt Salmon Associates
Julie Diehl, Alvarez & Marsal John Drzik, Oliver Wyman Group
Kate Fickle, PRTM Carlos Figueroa, North Highland
Dean Fischer, West Monroe Partners Joel Hoffman, Ingenix Consulting
Chandra Schekar Kakal, Infosys Technologies Omar Khan, Sensei International
Tony Madrigale, Capgemini David McCurley, Accenture
Tom McKelvey, Capco Peter Raymond, PricewaterhouseCoopers
Chip Register, Sapient Chantel Sheaks, Buck Consultants
Janmejaya Sinha, The Boston Consulting Group Linda Solomon, Deloitte Consulting
Lori Steele, IBM Dan Tiemann, KPMG
Chris Wright, ZS Associates

Omar Khan
Founder and Senior Partner
Sensei International
Excellence in Client Service

Omar Khan was born in Egypt, the son of Pakistani diplomats, and has lived in Germany, the United States, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia, the Netherlands, England, Japan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Dubai and Singapore. It’s no wonder then that Khan’s latest book (with Alan Weiss) is called The Global Consultant. He operates a blog of the same name.

Khan was a pioneer in Neuro-linguistic programming, and tapped that background when he founded Sensei International, a global leadership development and consulting firm with 20 people in the U.S., the U.K., Asia Pacific, the Middle East and South Asia.

In 1992, Khan created a firm called Training 2000 in Pakistan, fertile ground with enough business and hardly any consulting firms. “This was the heyday of re-engineering. Re-engineering process is one thing, but re-engineering people is another.”

This gave Khan his big idea. “If we took our people management skills and linked them with the process skills of a change management firm, it would be a potent combination,” he says. So that’s what he did, teaming with a British firm called York MDM to form Sensei International.

“Usually you have people that deal with human performance, and others that deal with business performance and never the two shall meet,” he says. “We are interested in delivering strategic business results by working through and engaging in human performance. We’re looking to build a bridge that we think has been overlooked.”

Khan says there’s no easy way to define Sensei. “We were doing this long before anyone knew what to call it.” Khan says. “Elements of what we do fall into strategy, we support operations, and there’s clearly an HR component. I think Sensei transcends the usual way the profession is defined.”

Clearly Khan is onto something. Khan says the firm’s been growing steadily and forecasts double-digit growth again this year. He was nominated for the Top 25 award by more than a dozen clients, which include American Express, 3M, Johnson & Johnson, Ritz-Carlton and Unilever. “This award is a re-affirmation of what we’re doing,” Khan says.

“Hopefully, we can continue to add to the value space—and maybe even create a new one.”