I worked for a business consultancy a decade ago and later in organisations who use consultants. It seemed to me that these people are merely good at bluffing. They talk the talk but when it’s time to walk the walk they find it necessary to hire contractors. That’s how I ended up working with them on more than one occasion.
In the UK I’ve seen consultants bring in recent graduates from Singapore and charge them out to work on technical projects. The arrogance of these consultants in charging fat fees for people with no qualifications or experience is astounding but we have to remember that these consultancies are frequently “partnerships” and the partners will be getting a slice of the fees.
I’ve seen medium sized projects balloon into monsters as every requirement generates two new consultants who then require people to work for them. All the time the project gets bigger and the end date gets pushed back. It seems to me that New Labour were partly responsible for encouraging these people. After the collapse of the .dot com boom I understand that they flocked into government departments like rats. The mantra there was “Organisational transformation”. Of course the consultants were TALKING BOLLOCKS but Blair swallowed the bullshit that government departments could be transformed through targets and other fashionable ideas. As citizens we saw the result with absurd situations such as not being able to book a doctors appointment more than 48 hours in advance as the surgeries fought to ensure that they met their “key targets”.
During the New Labour years the UK seemed in some kind of trance. Peter Mandelson would come on the TV or radio and talk the most abject nonsense and nobody would realise that he wasn’t saying anything. Just so with consultants, they have lots of important meetings and cause havoc within an organisation but they don’t actually do very much.
As Peter Mandelson and Alistair Campbell eventually spilled the beans on what was going on in government now senior consultants are telling all about the work of consultancies and The Independent has an article about this today. Best quote is: “We were proud of the way we used to make things up as we went along”.
The fault lies in all of us. If we visit the financial area of London known as The City we see that all the big banks and financial institutions have big expensive buildings with marble floors and that the directors turn up outside in chauffeur driven limousines. We have to ask yourself why we are giving our pension money to organisations which spend it on marble floors and chauffeurs.