X : What are your thoughts?
Me : Thoughts? The last people in the world I would ask advice on reducing management consultants in Government are ... management consultants. There's all the skill and capability that you could need within the civil service to answer that question ->
... the problem is that management consultants are used as a comfort blanket, a "shield" against risk i.e. someone else to blame. You'd have to change not only the attitude to risk within the Civil service but reintroduce the concept of "Good enough for Government" i.e. ...
... the idea that only the exceptional is "good enough" for Gov rather than a phrase meaning "any old tat".

Back in 2010-14, when I was involved in "Better for Less" etc then I was keen on a blanket ban on management consultants once Spend Control was up and functioning ...
... with the creation of internal consultancy capability. My view hasn't changed. I'd reinforce Spend Control, turn it into the intelligence function it should have been and put a future date 12 months from now at which a blanket ban on all management consultants would start.
Anyway, this was my big fear in 2015 when @MTBracken "left" ... that we would fall back into the bad old ways of using the parasites -
... unfortunately, I've watched in horror as we've gone down those bad old paths once again and we've diminished spend control, diminished challenge, diminished the civil service and have McMuppets on the rampage handing out "strategic advice" ... arghhh.
X : I'm not sure internal consultancy is the best term.
Me : Fair point. As long as we keep the "internal" and have a blanket ban for a period of time and introduce a process of real challenge on why Gov would use external advice.
X : Would you ever consider being involved in a review of Gov's use of management consultants?
Me : Can I bring a chainsaw?
My loathing of what I consider to be mostly a parasitical field with little benefit is very well known. The entire imperative of mapping is to "rebel against the consultants that enslave us" by giving people the ability to communicate, learn and challenge effectively.
If you want a metric, one I'd like to use is "Number of days since last incident of the use of management consultants". We should celebrate those who achieve 10, 100 and 1,000 days.
X : You're a bit biased?
Me : I loathe them. The old wheeze of one group of consultants giving terrible advice to a Dept at great cost whilst another group from the same firm advises Gov on how terrible the Dept is and why it should be outsourced. Nothing is beneath them.
X : A bit rabid?
Me : Yes. I was @liammax rottweiller. He is a complete sweetie and is much missed by Government in my view. He had the right balance whereas I'm Old Labour ... more red than red, more blue than blue ... so yes, I have a pathological hatred of waste etc.
There you are, there's a solution. Make @liammax a Conservative Lord, put him in charge of Cab Office and give me a chainsaw to "manage" the "management consultancy" problem.
X : Do you dislike all management consultants?
Me : No. But I want to see challenge to why we use it, evidenced learning from it and value for money. The current industry is mostly woeful as far as I am concerned.
i.e. £500k on defining a "purpose" ... twice ... and that's the tip of the iceberg - independent.co.uk/news/health/nh… ... I'd hate to see what has been wasted on COVID.
X : So why a blanket ban?
Me : Shock treatement to an addiction for risk avoidance to enable systems of challenge, learning and value for money to be put in place. It wouldn't have to be permanent.

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More from @swardley

21 Nov
The most desperate thing about the US is if you talk to ordinary citzens, even those on the republican side then you quickly discover it's a socialist country in denial. US citizens actually do believe in care for others, an ethics of care, a national health service etc.
I had spent decades travelling to and visiting the US and I had always thought the society was just very right wing and transactional. It took me ages to realise that whilst the politics (both Rep and Dem) are shades of right, the people in general aren't. It's very bizarre.
X : If you travelled so much and it was quick to discover, why did you take so long?
Me : Because I didn't listen, I just assumed. Hell, I spent six years believing everyone learnt how to map at business school. I hadn't done an MBA, so I had to create my own way of mapping ...
Read 11 tweets
21 Nov
Oh, I do like amusing grouping names.

An entitlement of Googlers.

A sinister of Facebookers?

A rabble of tweeters?
A maelstrom of McKinseyites?

A threadbare of IBMers?

A famish of Oraclelites?

Someone must have an amusing list.
A lost of mappers.

A cacophony of story tellers.

A confused of managers

etc etc
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
X : Are you expecting a return to Austerity in UK?
Me : After the largesse, the preferred contract schemes, the eye watering contracts ... well. I'm not expecting the wealthiest to pay for this - that would be very One Nation - but I am expecting the poorest will be asked to pay.
... I would like to be pleasantly surprised, a wealth tax maybe,excess profit tax? I'm just not expecting that. I'd guess we will hear lots of stuff about responsibility, mucking in, getting the economy going and the usual victims to be landed the bill through service cuts etc.
ah ... "restraint" ... that seems to be the new choice word. It's a pity such restraint, or even some basic challenge wasn't put in place when gifting some of these generous contracts - bbc.com/news/business-…
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
X : Thoughts on Trump?
Me : The claims of fraud, foreign Government interference, cheating, people being lied to, law suits etc etc?
X : Yes.
Me : Heard it all before over brexit. Biden should just get on with the job, he has the mandate. The public has spoken.
X : What about the electoral college?
Me : To overturn a public decision? That's a dangerous path. That would be like a Government going "We asked you to make a choice but we've decided not to enact it" ... or "best out of three?" ... don't mess around with democracy like that.
X : You think Trump should stand down?
Me : He lost. He clearly lost. You can dress it up in "integrity" all you want but you simply undermine public trust in the system. Yes, he should stand down, he should have stood down some time ago.
Read 6 tweets
20 Nov
"one rule for him and his friends and another rule for everyone else" - bbc.com/news/uk-politi… ... heaven help us ... Cummings, Contracts, International Law and now bullying. We do need to retain some resemblance of public trust i.e. we need to give some value to integrity ...
... I do understand that for a collective (i.e. the Conservative party) there is a real need to have some form of success / of being right in order to maintain that sense of belonging and safety within the party but there are wider issues at stake.
X : Do you not think this Gov has integrity?
Me : It doesn't matter whether it has or not, it only matters whether it is seen to have or not. At this moment in time, the political Gov, accidental or not, seems to be emphasising a message of "it's ok to be a sociopath" ...
Read 4 tweets
20 Nov
Interesting thread, well worth a read ... however something is missing

The problem is this is all about tech growth and investors but ...
... one thing we talked about back in 2011-2014 was the symbiosis between the tech scene in the City of London and UK Gov IT.

GDS wasn't just about changing Gov, it was about growing the tech scene as well ...
... so, it doesn't surprise me that GTA (Georgia Tech Authority) rated A in its digital efforts - gta.georgia.gov/press-releases…

People continuously underestimate the effect of Gov IT in spurring the local tech economy when there is often a symbiotic relationship ...
Read 7 tweets

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