With pressing issues relating to sustainability, economic slowdown and wealth inequalities between nations, more and more focus is placed on the fine balance between public and private sectors and their role and contribution to such topics. But how can firms face such development and how does the current scenario look like?
Lattanzio KIBS, founded in Italy in 1999, is now operating globally as a strategic consulting firm delivering innovation for public sector. The company adopts a multidisciplinary approach in delivering value to its customers and provides an integrated range of services.
At the 20th anniversary since its foundation, we have sat down with Massimiliano Bonne, Partner at the Brussels Liaison Office, to learn more about what it takes to successfully operate in the consulting business environment today.
Public and private sectors present unique differences in terms of governance: How does Lattanzio KIBS operate in these areas? How do you deliver value to your stakeholders? Do you see a pattern of convergence between the two or are they pursuing conflicting objectives?
Public and private sectors are indeed different and singular as far as their operational behaviour and management is concerned. From our perspective, nonetheless, they can and have to count on each other to reach common goals and stable growth. Our vision already speaks for itself: empowering the public administration is fundamental in order for it to offer an easier and safer environment for the SMEs and the individuals to invest and grow. Our services intend to provide link and connection between the private sector on the one hand, and the institutions and public bodies on the other – being it at the local, national or international level. Innovation is a key factor in the process: we are used to combine multiple sources to know-how and expertise to adapt to the various kinds of businesses that call for our support, but our pillars are transversal: excellence, reliability and networking!
The internationalisation process at Lattanzio started way back: how has the company changed since then and how do you reconcile cultural diversity and business expansion?
Since the beginning in 1999, the company has always been able to run afore the times, grounding its activity on the belief that targeted and well-directioned public administration reforms are the fundamental conditions to modernise the country. This was also key in the modernisation process applied to support the growing markets of East Europe, where Lattanzio established fruitful cooperation with local partners (Romania, Ukraine, Croatia and FYROM).
In less than 10 years, the firm has been capable of expanding also beyond the national borders and increase its international affairs up to the 50% of its turnover, setting and managing projects not only in Europe but also in Africa and Asia. Following this flow, Lattanzio KIBS has strategically appointed operational seats around the world. Apart from the national headquarters in Milan, Rome and Bari, at the moment the Group can count on its offices in Brussels, Washington DC, Astana and Bucharest. This lets the company deal directly with the World Bank and the Inter-American Development Bank, on the one side, and to have be at the forefront of the European lobbying.
Tell us more about the Brussels market that you are responsible for, it appears to be quite complex and diverse. What are the main challenges for your team and how do you deploy your operations locally?
Brussels is a very unique crossroad and a definite “place to be” for the international relations. Being the heart and the very capital of Europe, it offers a multifaceted clientele and a diverse business. Here our job is mainly focused on the necessary networking activities that help get the pulse of the vibrating politics characterising the EU. Our agenda is made of meetings with stakeholders, events with relevant public in the economic and social field, and a continuous information exchange at the different levels of the EU governance and policy making. In addition, Brussels offers us the chance to approach and deal with our partners and competitors, as we are active in the management of projects as EuropeAid Framework Contracts and bids delivered by DEVCO and the European Commission. To address these issues, the members of our team are trained to be actively listeners to news and trades, always keeping an eye on the clients’ particular needs and demands.
Looking at the future: in your opinion, what competencies and sustainable initiatives do you think companies should be building in order to remain competitive in the long run?
The present and the future are evolving at an unprecedented speed, leaving much of the ‘old school’ business out of the market. The challenge that companies are facing, is to be resilient and able to adapt and conform to the external demand in a timely and responsive manner. Before striving to be competitive, nonetheless, companies need to be consistent and reliable. Appealing to our own identity and to the quality of our services is the main ingredient to be able to play in the market, the only stone upon which a company can build itself. We are a consultancy and our job is to walk side by side of the clients. After 20 years of active contribution to the strengthening of enterprises and public bodies, we can affirm that we possess the experience and the capacity to decode present challenges and shape our services around-the-clock. To this extent, we apply and develop ad-hoc technologic tools and digital platforms to closely follow our clients’ needs and progresses. In other words, we aim at combining a dedicated and committed human know-how with an integrated technological component, that enables us to cut down times and extra resources.
Lastly, a topic that is quite relevant to companies today. How do you build, manage and integrate knowledge given your multidisciplinary approach?
Our main strength has always been the capacity to adapt and step ahead the changes of such a dynamic world. In order to fulfil this commitment, our group is framed in such a way as to offer specific know-how and services of excellence. Our reality is made of diverse business units, each communicating with the other within an elastic but stable structure: Lattanzio Advisory, providing for Strategic Consultancy and Management services; the Monitoring & Evaluation unit – capable of evaluations of public policies, international projects, private sector performances; Lattanzio Learning, offering innovative teaching modules and (e-)learning approaches to develop skills and integrate competences; the Communication section – developing visibility campaigns, but also delivering about EU funds and financing opportunities; the ICT Lab, hub for technology innovation and transformation; Lattanzio Safety & Quality Environment, specialised in services for workers’ health and assistance, but also in organisational management and control models; and, last but not least, the ‘Audit & Risk Management’ department, concerned with risk management, internal audit and Cyber Security activities. All at once, Lattanzio KIBS approach to strategic consultancy is unique.