Month
October 2009

Why hire an employee when you can rent one?

Leveraging on “Are we better off leveraging experts?”, this is a question a US consulting firm caught my attention with this week when they followed me on Twitter In their web site they asked “Why hire an employee when you can rent one?” Their message pitched to sell their value also just makes so much sense as it goes to the very heart of the issue. This small firm, called Kettle River Consulting, with its unlikely yet instantly recognizable self branding name, grabs readers well with some clever well placed business basics. One is a challenge they suggest you chew on to Make Your Server Room Get Along with Your Board Room. In their offering on managed services, they present their case to engage with a compelling argument that the cost is less than staff costs of full-time employees. In their offering on managed services, they present a case to engage them with a compelling argument that the cost is less than staff costs of full-time employees. They expand this by saying, [...]

Are we better off leveraging experts?

“When making long term decisions, management may be better off leveraging experts rather than relying only on internal resources.” Use of consultants in business is commonplace for many reasons. Consultants are often used to focus undistracted on change work, especially as they are bonded to bring about change. They can be seen to be more capable to be effective when perceived as having no vested interest or legacy systems baggage. They can also provide expert advice on finite or given change objectives and bring high end objectivity on such things as blue ocean opportunities. Using consultants for decision management is also useful to mitigate risk of internal limits. On a past consultancy engagement, I got some valuable experience on what all care and no responsibility means. While advising a large US based multi-national on a change process, part of this work involved my attendance at a high level internal think tank as an invited observer. There my client, the VP for Planning, made an impromptu request of me to present his corporate strategy on a change program we had been working on together. His compelling reason was that is was far better I delivered it, as a so-called credible expert advisor, so they could be objective to discuss any buy-in issues. This also highlighted another high value I brought. In the event that the plan failed to get buy-in, it would then be easier just shoot the messenger without any collateral damage. [...]

Exploiting BPM value

Anyone who offers a free service must also be questioned. But there is value in offering to review to have fixed some of the very poor implementations that have come from ill founded scuttle approaches that result from freebies. This exploitation phase in such expedient cases is so often never done…… [...]

Competency: Not just a Cobbler’s Art

In the competency stakes there are several stages to achieving mastery. To understand this is to understand your value and what you must do to maintain it. As you become more capable the ground will likely shift as you realize what it means. Consider the cobbler starting as an apprentice. When he begins his indentures, even the smallest task needs someone to teach him the skills. He is understandably quite unaware of how to even approach competency, let alone what it may look like. You might say he is unconsciously incompetent. But his next stage, not surprisingly, is being conscious of his incompetence as he accepts, on faith, what his mentor and teachers say he still needs to know. Once he develops skills he moves to an unconscious state once again as he makes it. But it still takes time and effort for it to sink in that he is is actually there. Consciousness does not return until the next emancipating stage clicks in, which may well be the point that sees him graduating as a qualified craftsman. But what of the final stage to achieve mastery? In the competency stakes there are several stages to achieving mastery. To understand this is to understand your value and what you must do to maintain it. As you become more capable the ground will likely shift as you realize what it means. Consider the cobbler starting as an apprentice. When he begins his indentures, even the smallest task needs someone to teach him the skills. He is understandably quite unaware of how to even approach competency, let alone what it may look like. You might say he is unconsciously incompetent. But his next stage, not surprisingly, is being conscious of his incompetence as he accepts, on faith, what his mentor and teachers say he still needs to know. Once he develops skills he moves to an unconscious state once again as he makes it. But it still takes time and effort for it to sink in that he is is actually there. Consciousness does not return until the next emancipating stage clicks in, which may well be the point that sees him graduating as a qualified craftsman. But what of the final stage to achieve mastery? [...]