Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

Management information in projects – a meaningful source of data or post rationalised intuition?

Much of my work in recent years has been to work with senior managers who are looking for some kind of a magic bullet to give them an insight into their organisation…a data set which: They can trust where the ‘provenance’ is clear and consistent. The consistency in particular has to relate to qualitative experiences they’ve had with their employees or other relationships they have internally or externally Relates to their own experience either […]

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Working from home….management’s last bastion of control

The nature of the office workplace has changed almost beyond recognition in the last 30 years. The pace of change in terms of activity, responsibility, speed of communication, access to information and people, and complexity of the ‘transaction’ whatever the company might be engaged in, are all vastly different. Gone are vast numbers of manual tasks and with them activities and roles in the workplace. What is required these days […]

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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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Why bother with organisational structure?

For those of you who’ve worked with me in the deals / post merger integration environment, this rant will be very familiar and i apologise for repeating myself in this forum…but I was reminded once again of this in a conversation with an old colleague. Let me take you through the way the discussion normally goes, the participants being an HR person and me in a operational due diligence and […]

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What’s the value of a plan?

It may seem strange to those of you who know me that I’m in the profession of planning otherwise known as project / programme management. For years, my life was anything but planned, work opportunities seem to occur through a combination of chance and happy circumstance. Obviously it’s been easy to post rationalise my various moves (!) but the reality was very different. That was not however due to a […]

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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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Communications…how and why we continue to get it wrong!

Three truths about communication which are accepted by most: Non-verbal communication constitutes 70-80% of the message (tone and body language to be precise). Human beings are extraordinarily good at perceiving that which is authentic and that which is not. Leaders lead through the power of their communication capability. Every project manager I’ve ever met, when asked about the core skill required that distinguishes the average from the exceptional in their […]

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The messy business of retention in merger integration projects

I suspect that the phrase most often heard and rarely delivered against in the transactions world is ‘people are our most important asset‘. It’s right up there with ‘there’s a natural cultural fit between our two companies‘ and ‘this acquisition will be earnings accretive in x years’! Why does the tendency to make statements based on zero knowledge and little chance of delivery continue in a market situation which has […]

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