Education Manifesto 2015
Can consultants help others to change - but not change themselves?
In taking on the stewardship of the Company’s Education Committee, I was acutely aware that I’ve been both a fan and a critic of consulting. On the one hand, I feel it’s a wonderful gift that I discovered the profession, or it discovered me. The combination of analysis, intellectual challenge, the complexities of helping people and organisations to be better, together with opportunities for performing - plus just a tinge of arrogance suit me superbly. On the other hand, I’ve been highly critical of the way so much consultancy is done, founding my own firm partly on the tongue-in-cheek-but-with-a-serious-point ‘Campaign Against Consultancy’. Inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Campaign for Real Gravy’ (like him or loathe him, the man has a definite and distinct consulting style!), this was about genuinely building client capacity and ‘doing yourself out of the job’.
This did lead, when I asked my office to send over some banners as I was speaking for the Company at Haberdashers’ Hall as part of the annual education initiative, to the below unfortunate juxtaposition and the Master taking me aside for a few moments of serious chat…
So – education, yes, but, in the spirit of ‘physician, heal thyself’, I wanted education for the profession, rather than a simple focus on the education sector. As the Chair (I insisted on the title; I’m just old-fashioned, I guess) of the committee, I’ve set out our theme as educating the profession: the future of consulting, focusing on market disruption and its implications.
Our goals are:
· Demonstrate strategic foresight by choosing specific issues for events that are relevant, adding value for members and demonstrating the impact of our thinking on the profession.
· A diverse attendance, attracting a wider group of consultants from the profession both practising and retired members of our Livery Company.
· Communicate learning and conclusions from events to share learning, influence practice and build the reputation of WCoMC. From each event we will try to capture a short TedX style video, notes or paper that can be made publicly available.
We will focus on educating ourselves and doing what the Company can do uniquely, engaging the institute, MCA, and big firms, plus Cass and other educational institutions to work with us sharing intelligence and marketing events more widely, while avoiding replicating events and activities that are better run by other institutions.
We expect to set out an ongoing series of informal and formal events focused on market disruptions and their impact on consulting – disruptors to the industry, world/markets, and people in the industry. We will take a systems view and find the outlying cases and build generalisations. Taking a global and long-term perspective. Seeking experts that big firms will respect and come to see and will be attractive to members, crossing matrices and giving a broader strategic view. Offer members the opportunity to understand ahead of clients. And, hopefully, have a good, enjoyable number of Heated Debates – with wine and finger food, of course!
Our plan for 2015 looks promising, to me at least! The events scheduled are:
Thursday 29 January
Seminar – change through wisdom
'big data and data security will change the world: how will they change consulting?'
- Alexander Stevenson – how big data can help us meet the challenge of an aging population
- Rob Wirszycz – who owns the data?
- Tom Ilube – big data; the security challenge
- James Weatherill, arbor education - open data - challenges and opportunities for consultants
- Damian Radcliffe - how will big data actually be used, and should we be worried?
(See Dr Simon Davey’s excellent article in the last newsletter - WCoMC On digital: thinking and wisdom in an era of information overwhelm - for more on this theme!)
Wednesday 11 February and Wednesday 11 March (two parts, building our thinking)
'scenario planning - the future of consultancy'
5-8pm, RedQuadrant office
Developing scenario futures to guide our own topic selection, with pre-attendance surveys to build engagement.
The education buffet supper – prize awards and special guest speaker:
A New England? The future of the organisation of government – Ed Straw
Seminar (academic voices), joint event with Systems and Cybernetics in Organisations
'Systems thinking and the organisation of organisations: why are consultants behind the curve?'
Monday 12 October
Seminar (emerging voices), joint event with Operational Excellence Society
"The changing face of global public services"
Liveryman Benjamin Taylor
If you are interested in supporting this work, please drop me a line at firstname.lastname@example.org