Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

The Personal Myth

Originally posted on People-triggers:
“It ain’t so much the things we don’t know that get us into trouble, it’s the things we do know that just ain’t so.” —Mark Twain Some (very reputable) psychologists are absolutely convinced that DNA is destiny. Other (very reputable) psychologists are convinced that your personality is shaped by what happens to you as an infant – or perhaps even in the first few minutes of…

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Hard and soft

Talk about the most pejorative of terms you’re ever likely to come across! Traditional corporate culture would have you believe that ‘hard’ things are factual, financial, real, rational. ‘Soft’ things are woolly, emotional, irrational, hard to prove, based on feelings and impressions rather than hard evidence. Soft things are easily manipulated, they’re the domain of the HR function, we’ll pay lip service to them but the real decisions get made […]

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Originally posted on /'kül/:
I. There is nothing wrong with having a strong opinion. There is nothing wrong with writing a pointedly subjective review. In many ways, fiction is often more interesting to read–and sometimes more truthful, or enlightening–than non-fiction, because we tend to lower our guard around imaginary things that we expect can’t hurt us. (Consider the great psuedo-essay, The Lifespan of a Fact.) But none of this detracts…

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Challenging taboo subjects

Challenging the taboo subjects You know how it is sometimes, you’re in with a client and you unwittingly stumble upon a subject that generates a sharp intake of breath and a moment of silence. That’s often followed by statements like: “I wouldn’t go there if I were you”, “ that is a very sensitive issue and I’m not sure that we should follow that line of questioning”, “I understand that […]

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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, […]

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An Opposite Angle: When Asia’s giving the orders

While we’re learning more about Asian style and culture as a result of companies shifting manufacturing and other operations to China and other Asian countries, there’s a big gap in our understanding about the allocation of capital, how Asians make decisions, and how they run their businesses that could turn out to be our undoing. For more than two centuries, capital has traditionally flowed from European countries and the United […]

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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 […]

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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. […]

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