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Ngozi Adebiyi: Lessons From the Big 5

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In the world of consulting, the following firms are usually referred to as the Big 5 –
• Accenture (formerly Andersen Consulting)
• Deloitte Consulting
• Ernst & Young
• KPMG
• PriceWaterhouseCoopers (PWC)

According to Wikipedia, The Big Four are the four largest professional services networks in the world, offering audit, assurance services, taxation, management consulting, advisory, actuarial, corporate finance and legal services. They handle the vast majority of audits for publicly traded companies as well as many private companies. The Big Five became the Big Four after the exit of Arthur Andersen in 2002.

As similar as we seem to be, the animal kingdom also has its Big 5!
They are described as the most popular animals to view whilst on a safari (a trip usually taken by tourists to observe and photograph animals in their natural habitat).

The big 5 earned their name based on the difficulty to view them while on a safari, difficult to hunt on foot and also the degree of danger associated with sighting them. It’s important to note that their size does not necessarily determine their title!

The big 5 are:
1. African lion
2. African elephant
3. Cape buffalo
4. African leopard and
5. Rhinoceros

The big 5 are not so common collectively – Of the fifty-four countries in Africa, all five of them together can only be found in twelve African countries – Zambia, Zimbabwe, Uganda, Kenya, Tanzania, South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Ethiopia, Rwanda, Malawi & the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

What’s your big 5?
1. Define your context – Cerebral or animal kingdom-like?
Is it huge like the elephant, fast like the leopard, king of the beast-like ala the lion, solitary like the rhino or intelligent like the buffalo?

2. Should you be making a conscious effort to find your big 5, whatever it may be? Size is not a determinant neither is popularity of trade or number of people who are involved.

3. In what area of work, business, career, knowledge, skills or handiwork would you be classified as Big 5?

4. Be mindful it might be a skill – sewing, baking, cooking, designing, photography, writing. It can also be what you want to change or do something about like social activism.

5. How deliberate are you to give in to your big 5 passion if it defies the traditional norms defined by career and entrepreneurial goals?

Find your big 5 and nurture it – intellectual or out in the wild!

Photo Credit: Dreamstime|Fsstock

Ngozi Adebiyi is the Lead Consultant at OutsideIn HR & Career/Leadership Coach @ OutsideInCoach. Our focus is practical interventions that address the challenges of businesses today. We specialise in HR Business Partnering & Leadership Development with the goal of revolutionising HR in Nigeria & consciously unleashing inner greatness! [email protected]

6 Comments

  1. dami

    May 31, 2017 at 2:15 pm

    very apt! thanks maama

    • Ngozi

      June 1, 2017 at 1:13 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Dami!

  2. Jay

    May 31, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Since when did it become the Big 5? I’m only aware of the Big 4 and Big 3.

    Big 4:
    KPMG.
    Ernst & Young.
    PwC.
    Deloitte.

    Big 3:
    Bain & Company.
    McKinsey & Company.
    Boston Consulting Group.

    That being said, very informative article! Nice read.

    • Ngozi

      June 1, 2017 at 1:15 pm

      Thanks for the feedback Jay.
      As mentioned in the article, the Big Five became the Big Four after the exit of Arthur Andersen in 2002.

  3. Big4here

    June 1, 2017 at 3:17 am

    Big 4 is now a thing of the past ejor…IBM is considered a powerhouse in the tech space and their hook on big us govt contracts catapults them to big 4 status.

  4. nunulicious

    June 1, 2017 at 6:33 pm

    I was going to discountenance your article when I didn’t see Mckinsey there on your list. But the crux of your message is food for thought. nice.

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