Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

the day to day experiences of a consultant operating in weird and wonderful client situations

Career development

In the education of a new generation, innovation cannot be the exception…it has to be the rule.

I must admit to a guilty secret. There’s a television programme in the UK that I find utterly fascinating, not because of its intended purpose, which is to find ideas to invest in but more because of the whole interaction between those who have capital, experience and commercial ‘nous’, and those who have passion, zest and an unerring focus on what they are trying to do. It’s too easy to […]

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Induction – setting the tone for future performance and productivity

I’ve had the great pleasure and extremely interesting experience of being ‘inducted’ into my new employer over the last 10 days and very good it has been too. The term induction has always had elements of the “Borg Collective” for me (for those of you who remember the early days of Startrek!) and there’s no doubt that some companies have a more Machiavellian approach to this than others…when one hears expressions about […]

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Think like a theatre director – and become an excellent programme manager

It’s rare to see a connection between the world of performing arts and the world of programme and project management….until you start to look at people’s non work based cvs. At that point, you start to see an incredible richness of experience, talent and focus dedicated towards the arts. So the question for me is, are there some aspects of the performing arts which help develop or naturally lend themselves to the […]

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Domain knowledge – the only thing that matters in consulting?!

A frequent complaint that one hears about consultants is that ‘one team sells’ but another delivers…the implication being that the more senior folk are involved in winning the work, but when it comes to delivery, it’s often handed to the less experienced with the expected consequences. Like all professions that deliver a service, the tendency is to try and win at all costs and think about delivery at a later […]

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Re-employment, not retention – that’s the name of the game these days

It is extraordinary how age creeps up on you. In thinking about and discussing this blog with a colleague recently, I was suddenly aware of how over the course of 20+ years of work, the nature of my relationship with my employer has changed and more specifically how different it is from the new generation joining the workforce. So, like many of my peers, I’m left with a dilemma. Do […]

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Telling the truth or giving a public opinion…a political minefield!

With apologies for a slightly introverted blog, I wanted to raise an interesting issue which has been raised by three people this week who’ve somehow stumbled upon this random collection of thoughts and ideas in the last week. It appears that what people like most about this blog is the candour and openness of the commentary. Why is it so difficult these days to give an honest opinion without fear […]

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The role of a global function…adding value or merely cost?

For many of us and indeed for many of my clients, the activities of global functional leadership can be a source of frustration and occasionally extreme irritation. That’s not to say that the individuals within those functions are not performing to the best of their ability and don’t have all the right intentions for the business. Indeed one might say that to have reached that position requires talent, a strong network and […]

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Compensation structures – still stuck in the dark ages

As I get older and the needs of my family change, the inherent inefficiency of traditional reward structures becomes more and more obvious. What I mean simply is that the requirements I had of both salary and benefits when I was 20 or 30 are no longer relevant to me, indeed more importantly than their practical purpose is the reduced perceived value that they offer. Much has been written and […]

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Rights and obligations in the corporate world

I’ve been on a few flights this week and beyond catching up with my favourite shows on the BBC iPlayer (!), the article penned by Malcolm Henry which I reposted last week, seems to be having a disturbing effect on me! Malcolm was describing the debate in Scotland as to the establishment of a bill of rights and his proposition that a bill of obligations would be much more powerful. […]

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Moving from Subject Matter Expert to Consultant

Two interesting moments this week: I was asked by a client to work with his team to help them understand what it is to become consultants. Interesting mandate and many might say, why on earth would you want to do that? A powerful debate with a fellow consultant around the challenge behind being both a subject matter expert and a consultant. In preparing something for the first of these challenges, […]

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