Inarticulate ramblings of a management consultant

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

Tag Archive for ‘planning’

How does it look from over there? The perspective of Asian buyers / leaders on M&A in Europe and the USA

Over the next six weeks, I will be publishing a series of interviews which I and a friend of mine, Abhay Pande, conducted whilst based in Singapore. These interviews were born of a shared interest and desire to get beyond the myth and legend of Asian corporate culture and business practice and actually get some insights from Asian leaders that we have in our network. The facts are plain enough. […]

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Productivity and Creativity – awkward bedfellows or birds of a feather?

The Guardian recently published a long but interesting piece on the history of time management (from Taylor forward). You’ll find the link here. For me, the bit that’s really interesting and that feeds well into the current discourse is the differentiation between productivity and creativity. If you have a moment, do a bit of research to see how these two concepts are portrayed. Even 20 seconds googling will provide you […]

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Lets stop talking about winners and losers in deals

I’m working on a couple of integration projects at the moment in various parts of Asia and, as often happens when you’re immersed in something, a sudden moment of clarity arises which is worth capturing and sharing.  One of the challenges for an aspiring CEO and his / her integration director is a recognition that M&A is not like some kind of military battle or occupation! Thinking of M&A in […]

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Bringing project management into the mainstream

With thanks for an excellent seminar last night by Thomas Martin of Forward Intelligence Group and previously Microsoft, and also a reflection from a number of other clients and colleagues, I’ve been observing an interesting series of phenomena in the last few months. A redrawing of some of the traditional boundaries between transformation and business as usual activities, specifically when it comes to allocation of CAPEX. It seems that there […]

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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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The hangover from post merger integration

I was with a new client today to discuss a new procurement initiative for a business which spans 14 countries in Asia. The initial transaction which formed this large and very successful operation was completed in late 2008, an incredible time to make an acquisition both in terms of price and expectation management in terms of shareholders. Since then it has performed extraordinarily well both in terms of growth and […]

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People versus Process

At the risk of antagonising a number of my close colleagues and friends who work with me currently or with whom I’ve had the pleasure of working in the past, I wanted to ask a challenging question. In 14 years of working with companies going through a post-acquisition integration process, there’s been an outstanding issue which to my mind has never been answered properly – Why is it that process […]

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The cult of the heroic project manager

I’ve spent a lot of time with a particular client this week and was reminded of the extraordinary nature and power of the heroic project manager species. Let’s define them for a minute…they live and breathe projects, they turn a rather dull programme management reporting task into a real, living document which gives insight. When they engage with a stakeholder, they do an extraordinary thing…they operate at an incredible level […]

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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 […]

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