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Builder of Ecosystems: Accenture’s Leadership Identity as a Driver for Market Creation

Rich Phillips
Rich Phillips
February 2, 2024
5 min read

Accenture is a global professional services company that provides a broad range of services and solutions in strategy, consulting, digital, technology, and operations. It is one of the world's largest consulting firms and is known for helping clients with their digital transformation, technology implementation, and business strategy.

Accenture has often discussed the concept of "Industry X.0," which represents the digital reinvention of industries through smart, connected technologies. The company has highlighted the role of ecosystems in Industry X.0, where companies collaborate across traditional industry boundaries to co-create solutions and drive market growth.

Accenture is a leader in building ecosystems and markets. The company recognizes the power of collaboration and actively engages in building ecosystems where various stakeholders, including clients, partners, and startups, come together to co-create innovative solutions. They facilitate knowledge sharing through their services, accelerate innovation, and help clients tap into a broader range of capabilities.

As a leader in digital transformation, Accenture helps organizations leverage technology to reimagine their business processes and models. This includes adopting emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, blockchain, and the Internet of Things (IoT). By guiding clients through digital transformations, Accenture contributes to the creation of digital ecosystems that drive market innovation and growth.

A History of Change and Evolution

Andersen Consulting was founded in 1989 as the management and technology consulting division of the accounting firm Arthur Andersen. The division focused on providing consulting services separate from Arthur Andersen's traditional auditing and tax services.

In the early 2000s, a legal dispute arose between Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen regarding the division's desire for more autonomy and its dissatisfaction with the revenue-sharing arrangement. Andersen Consulting and Arthur Andersen reached a resolution and as part of the settlement, and Andersen Consulting gained full independence allowing it to operate as a separate entity.

To reflect its new status and to establish a distinct brand identity, Andersen Consulting underwent a rebranding process, and, in January 2001, the company officially changed its name to Accenture.

The new name "Accenture" was coined from the words "Accent on the Future." The rebranding aimed to emphasize the company's forward-looking and innovative approach to business and technology.

The rebranding proved successful, and Accenture quickly established itself as a major player in the global consulting and technology services industry expanding to include a wide range of solutions, from strategy and consulting to technology and outsourcing services. The rebranding played a crucial role in shaping Accenture's identity and positioning it as a dynamic and forward-thinking organization in the competitive consulting and technology services market.

But this newfound independence also helped define a new category for technology consulting – a category that would drive category creation for several new technology trends and usher in the era of the ecosystem.

The Era of the Ecosystem

The term “ecosystem” in the context of business transformation and strategy has its roots in ecology and was later adapted to describe the complex interrelationships among various entities within a business environment.

The term “business ecosystem” gained prominence in the business world through the work of James F. Moore. In 1993, Moore published an influential article titled “Predators and Prey: A New Ecology of Competition” in the Harvard Business Review. In this article, Moore applied ecological principles to the business environment, introducing the concept of a business ecosystem where various organizations, customers, suppliers, and competitors are interconnected, like species in a natural ecosystem.

Moore's concept highlighted the interdependence and collaboration among different entities in a business environment. He described how companies can thrive by understanding and strategically participating in the broader ecosystem rather than focusing solely on their individual competition.

The idea of business ecosystems gained traction in the late 1990s and early 2000s as organizations started to recognize the importance of partnerships, alliances, and collaborations. The rise of the internet and digital technologies further accelerated the interconnectedness of businesses, leading to the development of digital ecosystems.

And Accenture was there, helping to drive the concept of ecosystems and through solutions integration and market creation.

Human by Design

More recently, research conducted by Accenture revealed a significant technological transformation underway globally that could, yet again, drive new ecosystems to develop and thrive. The research suggests a significant movement towards technology, particularly Artificial Intelligence (AI), evolving to embody a “Human by Design” paradigm. This notable trend involves disruptive technologies increasingly mirroring human traits.

The research indicates that as human-centric technologies evolve, marked by improved capabilities and user-friendliness, these innovations will seamlessly integrate into every aspect of our lives. This trajectory points towards a future where technology becomes more ubiquitous yet less conspicuous at the same time.

Julie Sweet has been the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Accenture since September 2019 and has played a significant role in advancing Accenture's focus on the human connection to technology, positioning the company as a Builder of Markets in the digital age.

A photo of Julie Sweet, CEO of Accenture
Julie Sweet, Chairperson and Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Accenture

According to Ms. Sweet, “Innovation is the new competitive advantage.” She has highlighted the need for businesses to navigate the complex interplay between technology and human experiences. Accenture, under Julie Sweet's leadership, has continued to emphasize digital transformation services, helping clients leverage technology to enhance their operations, engage customers, and drive innovation.

Building ecosystems and markets is closely connected to supporting the transformation of technology and the human connection. The collaborative and innovative nature of ecosystems, coupled with a focus on human-centric design, ensures that technological transformations within these ecosystems contribute positively to market development while enhancing the overall human experience.

The Builder as a Leadership Identity Archetype

An organization’s leadership identity encompasses a unique blend of traits, values, and behaviors that define how an organization approaches growth and market opportunities. It represents the collective focus of a company's leadership team, driving the organization's culture, vision, and position. A company’s leadership identity can directly impact various aspects of performance, including the ability to attract and retain talent, achieve strategic goals, and foster robust connections with stakeholders.

Bold Narratives has pioneered The Leadership Identity Framework, a groundbreaking blueprint designed to empower organizations in the market.

A graphic illustrating the eight Leadership Identity Archetypes.
For more information about the Leadership Identity Archetypes visit

By aligning their leadership identity with their objectives and culture, companies can create a more impactful presence. This framework outlines eight distinct leadership identities that govern an organization's potential influence and its role in the global landscape.

One of the eight leadership identity archetypes is The Builder. A company that is considered a Builder plays a crucial role in fostering an environment where other companies can thrive. This is often achieved by strategically building ecosystems that create a collaborative and mutually beneficial network.

Accenture exhibits several characteristics and attributes associated with the identity of a Builder. As a global consulting and professional services company, Accenture has demonstrated a commitment to growth, innovation, and market creation. Here are some key ways in which Accenture aligns with the characteristics of a Builder:

  1. Ecosystem Development: A Builder actively seeks to build market ecosystems and form strategic partnerships. They may establish incubation programs or accelerators to nurture and support startups. These programs provide mentorship, resources, and often funding to help new companies develop and scale their operations. Ecosystem building can also manifest itself as a platform or marketplace where different companies can collaborate and offer complementary products or services is a common strategy.
  2. Market-Focused: While a Builder is seemingly focused on the customer, what distinguishes a Builder from other leadership archetypes is its focus on fostering market creation and expansion. The Builder actively seeks opportunities to evangelize new markets, new industries and trends that are driving change. Its primary focus is on establishing the conditions by which markets are successful and thrive.
  3. Transformation: Builders envision a world where businesses and organizations can successfully navigate digital transformation and change. The Builder positions itself as a partner in this journey, helping clients adapt to and thrive in a digital environment. Transformation involves a comprehensive reevaluation and overhaul of the way a business operates, delivers value, and interacts with its stakeholders. Market transformation extends the concept beyond an individual business, encompassing changes that impact an entire industry or sector.
  4. Commitment to Knowledge Sharing: The Builder fosters a culture of knowledge sharing and collaboration. This can include organizing events, workshops, and forums where companies within the ecosystem can exchange insights and best practices. Builders understand that staying ahead in the market requires a commitment to ongoing education and staying informed about industry trends.
  5. Focus on Technological Innovation: Builders leverage technology as a strategic enabler. They invest in cutting-edge tools and systems that enhance efficiency, innovation, and the overall competitive position of the company. The Builder pioneers the adoption of emerging technologies. This leadership not only enhances the competitiveness of companies but also sets industry standards.
  6. Measurement Driven: Builder companies cultivate a data-driven culture throughout the organization. Employees at all levels are encouraged to rely on data when making decisions. This culture of data-driven decision-making ensures that insights are leveraged at every level of the company, from frontline operations to strategic planning. Data scientists, analysts, and professionals with expertise in interpreting and leveraging data play a crucial role in helping the organization derive actionable insights.

Accenture's mission is to “deliver on the promise of technology and human ingenuity.” The company aims to help its clients transform their businesses, drive innovation, and create value in a digital and fast-changing world. Accenture is known for its focus on technology, strategy, consulting, and operations to address complex business challenges.

Accenture exhibits the characteristics and attributes of a Builder through its entrepreneurial leadership, market focus, commitment to innovation, transformation, and data-driven approach. These qualities position Accenture as a company that actively shapes the future, embraces change, and seeks opportunities for sustainable growth in the rapidly evolving business landscape of its customers.

At Bold Narratives, we help companies, nonprofits, and government agencies identify and own a leadership identity best aligned with their vision and culture. Owning and investing in your leadership identity will help your organization: 1) efficiently communicate your position, 2) influence standards and trends, 3) accelerate growth, and 4) motivate your employees.

To learn more contact us at or schedule a meeting with our leadership team at