Monday, March 01, 2004

It’s enough to drive you crazy if you let it 

Lots of people don’t like management consultants. Lots of people have a good reason for this. Lots of people have been sacked, screwed around or just patronised by consultants. As a consultant, I am painfully aware of this, and try to behave in a way that kills off a few stereotypes. I also know that the work that we do is truly valuable. Sure, I’ve been on one or two dud projects, but the vast majority of what we do is enormously useful to the client. Unfortunately many people, and by extension clients, are put off by what seem like high prices, and their own concerns over what hiring consultants says about them and their competence. The best clients are those who are secure in the fact that they are not expendable, and are therefore comfortable enough to be open to new ideas. The worst are the kind that think they are open minded, but are kidding only themselves. Or haven’t got a clue what they are doing in the first place.

What brought this on? Well, one long term client just decided, for the second time in recent months, that a project for which we have proposed does not exist. “We’ve decided not to go that route.” Would it not have been better to make that decision before you wasted everyone’s time and energy? How long before your boss realises that you are screwing the whole thing up and pulls the plug? Does the phrase “couldn’t run a bath” mean anything to you?

Listening to: Leonard Cohen, as if I wasn’t depressed enough already.

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