I guess we have all smiled wryly at the apocryphal story of the consultant hired to help. He asks to borrow your watch and then uses it to tell you the time! Perhaps you have experienced the frustration of failing to convince your boss of your plan of action to manage change or implement a new process, only to learn he finds external consultants more credible when suggesting the same change.
The message of “No More Consultants” is that as organisations, we already know more than we think, and by networking with partners, suppliers, customers and competitors we have access to even more knowledge – and to better decisions. So before we rush out and hire an expert or a consultant to tell us what we already know, how can we tap in to the knowledge within? Innovation is already widely encouraged in organisations; the business shelves of bookshops urge us to be more innovative and creative.
How often do we “break new ground”, only to find that we have created something which already existed elsewhere in the organisation? Sir Isaac Newton famously credited “standing the shoulders of giants” as the reason he had seen further than others. What if we could discover and stir the giants in our organisations to learn the lessons from their previous attempts?
No More Consultants shows the reader how to do just this. The book provides a way to tap into the capability of an organisation, or collaborative partnership between organisations – capability which exists but may not be recognised. The authors use examples and practical guidance to share the tools and techniques which enable you to find out what an organisation already knows and how best to tap into existing networks to fill the gaps. There are no experts. Rather, effective facilitation allows space for groups of people to share their expertise to create something which is greater than the sum of the parts. Knowing is not enough; doing something with what we know is what makes the difference. The straight-forward techniques we describe in this book will enable you to ‘go beyond just knowing’ in a very practical way. This will enable you to make better use of your existing knowledge and save your investment on consultants for another day, for an area where you know that the answers don’t already lie within your organisation.
It is a book for everyone – the businessperson, the business student, the doctor, the public servant, the academic and the ordinary person in the street wanting to exploit the knowledge readily available to them. We hope that you find it both practical and entertaining and. Our vision for this book was that it would be a best-seller at airport bookshops; the sort of book people could read in a single flight, but one which remained so useful that it remained on their desk, to dip into on a regular basis. The practical techniques, hints and tips described will be brought to life with compelling examples from the private and public sector, including BP, Oracle, UNAIDS, the NHS and Nationwide Building Society.
Hold on to your wristwatch!