Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

Consulting

IP in consultancies…an interesting and current angle

I only wish I was accurate with my investments as with the timing of material in my blog! Below is a link to an article in the FT regarding the potential sale of Roland Berger, a mid sized strategy consultancy to PwC…it raises a bunch of very interesting integration issues…to do with the sale of a business whose only value is in its human capital. Potential value destruction disaster!!

Continue Reading →

Giving stuff away – the false value of intellectual property

Selling a consultancy is challenging and often not very financially rewarding. I’ve done it a couple of times and what looks like a great opportunity to generate some return for all the effort, is incredibly hard work and often not very lucrative. When you talk to advisers, they will talk about intellectual property a lot. A classic question would be, “what have you got which a buyer might be able […]

Continue Reading →

The chemistry and physics of communications

It is remarkable how bad many organisations are at something which is at the very heart of the human experience. We are all experts in communication, it is an activity which we live and breathe to such an extent that we’re mostly ‘doing’ it unconsciously. And yet, when it comes to our corporate life, there are very few times when the companies we work for, deliver clear, well written messages. […]

Continue Reading →

Prepare or free form?

Two consulting experiences with unexpected consequences: 1) You turn up at a client’s office usually from the back of a taxi with a colleague who’s been busy on something else, and the cab journey is the only preparation time you have for the meeting. Getting to an agreed agenda is almost the best you can expect from the time available and it’s with some trepidation that you walk into the […]

Continue Reading →

Time – an effective way of charging for consultants?

Like many of you reading this, I’m beholden to the clock….from a work perspective, time is the only key performance indicator which has commercial value in a consultants life. Everything else, like creativity, intuition, relationships and network, analytical ability, highly specialised knowledge about certain sectors or subsectors or processes or functions, or specific transformation events like mergers and acquisitions, is merely a precursor to the ultimate target, which is charging […]

Continue Reading →

Work or life – less of a balance, more of a succession of activities!

I’ve always struggled with the concept that these two dimensions should in some way be balanced. The definition of itself is wrong..the implication that work somehow isn’t part of life is surely incorrect? There’s also an implied assumption that these activities have a time equality on them in order to achieve that balance and that without this equality, our life is somehow reduced either in its value or in its […]

Continue Reading →

Selling by asking questions!

I wasn’t born to be a consultant…who is?  If any of you had met me as a child, you probably wouldn’t have noticed! My family background was extremely conservative, the attitude of ‘not speaking unless spoken to’ still prevailed to some extent and there was little opportunity to learn how to speak…you know, practice what worked and what didn’t work in an adult world. Like many kids, I was quiet, […]

Continue Reading →

Powerpoint – the bane of our clients’ lives

The very mention of the application will generate distress, horror or at best a sort of resigned numbness amongst those who engage with management consultants. It’s extraordinary what an impact this illustration and presentation tool has had in the field of work. Everywhere we look, PowerPoint is the tool of choice and indeed it is an excellent tool. But what do we see it used for? Often an excuse to […]

Continue Reading →

To Diagnose or not to Diagnose?

The usual story about consultants checking your watch and telling you what time it is, has preoccupied me for a while now…primarily because it’s often true. The presumption behind the story is that the client knows his issues well and doesn’t need any diagnostic. In fact, increasingly consultants don’t do diagnostic or analysis any more, at least not officially and primarily because clients don’t want to pay for this service. […]

Continue Reading →