Patrik Hermansson on Anderson MacGyver’s growth in the Nordics

19 July 2021 6 min. read

Specialising in helping clients navigate complex IT and digital transformations, Anderson MacGyver has spent the last year planning its own transition. According to the firm’s Nordics Managing Director Patrik Hermansson, the coronavirus lockdown has given the organisation time to define some big ambitions for its 2030 objectives.

Following a varied career, featuring spells in manufacturing, entrepreneurship and consulting in Sweden and Spain, Patrik Hermansson joined the Stockholm office of BearingPoint in 2014. Over the coming five-year spell, he would become a Senior Manager specialising in strategy, business transformation, and digital business development – before a new challenge presented itself from a firm looking to enter the regional consulting market.

Two years ago, Hermansson was contacted by a headhunting firm, searching for someone to set up Anderson MacGyver in the Nordics. While he has since come to know the firm in much finer detail, Hermansson told that the first thing which came to mind was a television programme about a resourceful secret agent.

Patrik Hermansson, Managing Director Nordics, Anderson MacGyver

He remembered, “Being born in the late in the late 70s, I knew about ‘MacGyver’ the TV series – so that was my first impression, and I know more now, but in a way, that’s still present in the pragmatism which is part of this firm’s identity. Anderson is our academic half (the firm grounds much of its intellectual property in academics), but at the same time we have this MacGyver element, which makes something very complex pragmatic and doable.”

Shaping digital agenda’s

Formally launched by Dutch entrepreneurs Gerard Wijers and Rik Bijmholt in 2013, Anderson MacGyver is a consultancy which advises business leaders on how to shape and drive their digital agendas. The digital transformation firm works to co-create digitalisation strategies with customers, before offering pragmatic and committed support to delivering those plans.

Having met with the founders, Hermansson could relate to their entrepreneurialism having previously established a consultancy of his own in Spain, and their offer of making him a partner and set up a Nordics office further appealed to that aspect of his skillset. Working with fellow partner Emelie Vall Sandberg, the Nordic office is just under two years old now, and enjoying a period of strong performance in spite of the challenging backdrop.

Speaking on his highlights from 18 months as the office’s Managing Director, Hermansson noted, “It was great to kickstart with a launching customer, that really helped us get our feet on the ground and build early momentum.”

The engagement started as a strategy task, but swiftly grew into a large-scale delivery programme to help the client digitalise its HR domain. The first task not only enabled the fledgling office to kick off with some quick wins then, it also embodied the duality of Anderson MacGyver’s ethos – starting with strategic planning work, before moving into procurement of technology, and then shifting into practical implementation.

At the same time, as previously noted by Anderson MacGyver’s global founders (“we nurture a family feeling between everybody”), come good times or bad times is one of the founding pillars of the entire company. As a result, the Nordics office was able to rely on the established Dutch presence for support throughout its nascent stages.

“We had a good base in Sweden from the very beginning,” Hermansson elaborated, “but of course being able to use the methodology from the group meant that when we began, we felt like a ‘big’ firm, even if we were ‘small’ locally. Then there was and is still the challenges of the last year – and being part of something bigger was a huge help in that respect.”

Hermansson contended that crises such as the coronavirus pandemic tend to hit the “new kid on the block” hardest, because “you cannot make that trustworthy connection and impact and new relationship the same way digitally.” While nobody could have legislated for the unforeseen impact of Covid-19 on the new business, then, the Nordics office definitely found truth in the old saying that there is safety in numbers.

He went on, “One of the better things about the last year, was not feeling so vulnerable because we were part of a group. It has been great to see how we have still managed to work with cross-border resources even during the current situation, working with mixed teams, Dutch resources in Sweden and vice versa.”

“Being a part of the Anderson MacGyver family has been amazing – and that strong culture has been crucial to our success.”

Future plans

At the same time, the Anderson MacGyver group also put the slowdown of the pandemic to use in terms of defining its own ambitions. Speaking with earlier in the year, the firm’s founders outlined extensive growth plans to that end. With more breathing-space for thinking about the future, they said that the firm now aims to be “active in more than 50 of the 100 most impactful organisations in Europe,” while growing its headcount “to about 300 consultants.”

The firm’s Stockholm and recently launched Dusseldorf offices are key to delivering on this anticipated growth. Hermansson contended that in some aspects, the short-term adaptations the Nordics team have made during the pandemic have long-term benefits which can be help ramp up its offering of products.

“We have sped up our work towards ‘productisation’ – our product strategy,” he stated. “Our intellectual property has taken huge steps in being productised, so we can increasingly leverage this in our delivery. This will be very important for the vision that in 10 years, 30% of our revenue will come from products.”

For example, Hermansson pointed toward Operating Model Canvas (OMC) – a concept constructed by Anderson MacGyver aimed at building bridges between businesses and tech and data organisation. The firm used to deliver OMC strategy on a physical A0 (also visualised in PowerPoint), however with digital tooling the firm has developed a method which can visualise data models for other users.

Because of advances like this, Anderson MacGyver is confident that its Nordics wing can enjoy success by both deploying the lessons of the last year, and embracing the chance to return to some kind of normality. Looking ahead, Hermansson insisted that the aim remains to see the office become “more or less” like the one in the Netherlands over the coming five years.

He concluded, “We will be considerably bigger than we are now, even though due to corona we have slowed down the growth targets. Taking a five-year perspective, we hope to mirror the success of the Dutch practice and have nestled ourselves as a recognised player in the regional digital transformation scene.”