CAN MANAGEMENT CONSULTANTS ACTUALLY BE MEANINGFUL?

Greengage - the new kind of consultancy

The other day I read a post by the compelling Tom Goodwin, in which he suggested that management consultants often ruin things, with “no idea how to quantify joy, delight, meaningor anything that matters”.

That also brought to mind the oft-quoted, received wisdom, that “what gets measured gets managed” (usually – incorrectly – attributed to Peter Drucker), and the simple fact that a lot is wrong with this.

In 1956, V. F. Ridgeway wrote a paper called, “Dysfunctional Consequences of Performance Measurements”, in which he criticised the measurement mantra.  His argument was summarised by Simon Caulkin…

“What gets measured gets managed – even when it’s pointless to measure and manage it, and even if it harms the purpose of the organisation to do so”.

And now, over 60 years later, we are more comfortable than ever with the pithy, ‘winking’ soundbite: “Not everything that matters can be measured; not everything that we can measure matters”.

But where does that leave management consultants, who “strip out anything human in the pursuit of better metrics on a spreadsheet”?  Surely, SURELY, that is not what we actually want from them, in an increasingly-enlightened 21st Century?  (And let’s not get started on those 500-page reports, costing £100,000+, which no-one actually reads…)

We think not.  And if the movement – literally, and metaphorically – in the management consultancy space is anything to go by, a lot of the rest of the world agrees too.

So, we have started our ‘challenger’ management consultancy, to do exactly that… we start – and end – with the people

...please welcome GREENGAGE to the world!

Isn’t it time for companies, as Goodwin elaborates, to start seeing customers as the reason they exist – not this ‘thing’ that makes their planes heavier, their hotels dirtier, and get in the way of their stores?

We hope – especially if you want to improve efficiencies and spend time focusing on the important things (like those of joy, delight, and meaning) – that you agree!

Stephen Chandler

Chairman, Greengage