In celebration of Accenture’s 10-year anniversary, I have written about it’s history over the past months. Over this period, I have taken a chronological look at the roots of Accenture by taking a closer look at one specific period which shaped the culture and values of our company: from the Beginnings in the early 1950′s to our transformation which resulted in Becoming Accenture in 2001, to Building High Performance and our Accent on the Future.
As a wrap-up of this series of blog posts, I have highlighted the blog posts which discussed the foundational periods in Accenture’s history below:
- 1953: First commercial application of a computer in the United States: Andersen was hired to program the payroll for General Electric’s Appliance Park manufacturing facility near Louisville, Kentucky. General Electric hired the Administrative Services team to assist in the design and installation of the system.
- 1965: John Higgins’ Charismatic Leadership and Accenture’s Special Sauce: Higgins was the organizational genius of Andersen. “John was probably one of the most brilliant men I have ever met in my life. He was meticulous in everything he did. It was either going to be right or not at all”. The Special Sauce was a mixture of moxie, drive and the willingness to commit the necessary resources. While Higgins didn’t coin the phrase “special sauce,” his strong leadership provided all the key ingredients for the recipe.
- 1970′s: “Bargain of the Century” – St. Charles: Beginning in the early 1970s Andersen made the “bargain of the century” when it purchased St. Dominic College in St. Charles, Illinois for $4 million. Today, the facility continues to play a role in Accenture’s education programs. A trip to the St. Charles campus is still a rite of passage for newly hired consultants.
- Early 1980′s: Competition from IT Outsourcing: The consultants realized that while Administrative Services was growing at roughly 20 percent a year, the industry was growing even faster, and, therefore, the consultants were losing market share. A new breed of non-accounting firms with practices which had it’s roots in IT outsourcing was emerging.