The Orlando Economic Partnership welcomes change and transformation consulting firm North Highland to the Partner level of investment.
In the early 1990’s, three Big Four consultants had a vision to create a different kind of consulting firm—a consulting firm that was built to empower consultants to create lasting, positive change for their clients, grow through their own professional choices, and invest time and energy into serving their local communities. That firm is North Highland.
“Our model allows us to invest in the communities where we live, work and play. We are able to grow our presence because we have the ability to service our clients locally and build long lasting relationships, while also delivering world-class expertise,” says Troy Sands, North Highland Orlando vice president and portfolio lead. “This philosophy is the fabric of our culture and integral to our history.”
Throughout the 90’s, the company grew, working with Fortune 250 companies and attracting talent from throughout the Atlanta region. The next big inflection point for North Highland came in 1997 when the firm opened its Orlando office.
Today, North Highland has more than 5,000 consultants worldwide, 50 of whom work in the Orlando office. The firm has 20 offices in major markets throughout the U.S. and U.K. including New York and London. The firm services clients across the world via Cordence Worldwide, a global management consulting alliance.
“North Highland saw an opportunity to partner with like-minded firms outside our current markets to provide our clients even greater access to expertise,” Sands says. “Our Cordence partners are an extension of our North Highland teams, and we operate together to build our clients’ capabilities.”
North Highland is known for helping clients solve their most complex business challenges through innovative offerings, unique insights and our depth of core consulting capabilities from strategy through delivery. As a leading change and transformation consulting firm, the consultancy is recognized for its deep expertise and collaborative, action-oriented approach, bringing together bright minds to create positive change and transform businesses through customer, workforce and operational lenses.
From day one, North Highland brings the right mix of people, creating relationships and becoming part of the client team.
“We are able to build on our team in Orlando and bring in deep expertise from our network in technology or change management for specific clients who need it, always operating with a one-team, people-first mindset.”Troy Sands, North Highland Orlando vice president and portfolio lead
Due to the firm’s strong local presence and key technology investments, the firm was able to continue to service clients with little to no interruptions when COVID-19 hit. Virtually overnight, the firm embraced 100 percent remote work and identified creative ways to engage with clients and each other.
“This way of working has and continues to prove successful,” Sands says. “Clients know we are in this together, and that we roll up our sleeves to work alongside them, whether that’s in person or in a virtual environment.”
Even before the pandemic, the shift to virtual ways of working and the digitization and automation of business functions was already underway. COVID-19 just accelerated it.
“Every business is struggling to get used to this new way of working and searching for solutions to change or adapt their business model to the new economy,” Sands says, which is especially the case for North Highland’s hospitality customers.
As a leading change and transformation consultancy, North Highland helps clients do just that and more. Beyond transforming a company, the firm is partnering with its clients to navigate the pandemic and determine what the future may look like.
To help the business community at large adapt to the pandemic, the firm created dashboards to track COVID-19 cases at the county level across the county for clients. Several of its hospitality clients used the dashboard to determine how to best deploy their workforce.
“As we look further out, it’s all about that new operating model – helping clients get from here to there and understand what tomorrow will look like,” Sands says.
“Customer expectations are changing, including when it comes to health and safety. Business is also undergoing a digital revolution.”Troy Sands, North Highland Orlando vice president and portfolio lead
North Highland weaves culture, process improvement, data and analytics, program and project management, business analysis and experience design together in solutions that address organization’s critical business challenges. With this, the firm helps clients develop the workforce by reskilling, retooling, redeploying, and reimagining talent to greater effect.
“Enabling those changes starts with people and we put people at the heart of those decisions,” Sands says. “It’s something we build into every client engagement.”
North Highland also takes its people-centric approach into the community. Every year, the firm hosts a workplace fundraising campaign, as well as a service day of giving back with each office volunteering in their community. In Orlando, the firm has helped organizations including My Brother’s Keeper, Clean the World and Give Kids the World Village.
“As a firm, we have a global philanthropic initiative around economic empowerment, which was implemented nearly five years ago, and we bring that to life in Orlando,” Sands says. “Our goal is to empower disadvantaged individuals to grow economically and prosper.”
To accomplish that mission, North Highland has provided pro-bono consulting expertise for non-profit organizations in the US and UK whose work drives economic self-sufficiency for at-risk communities. Locally, the firm is actively involved with LIFT Orlando.
“Being involved with community and giving back as well as understanding how we help the whole region grow is very important to North Highland.”Troy Sands, North Highland Orlando vice president and portfolio lead
North Highland believes that to truly succeed, it must be vested in each community where it has a presence.
“It’s important to know that the team you’re working with are residents of your community,” Sands says. “It’s about building relationships and longstanding partnerships with the community.”
The Partnership celebrates North Highland’s regional leadership in support of advancing Broad-Based Prosperity™ through its investment. If you are interested in joining or being a sponsor of the Orlando Economic Partnership’s regional efforts to advance Broad-Based Prosperity™, please click here to review available opportunities.