250,000 ways to be a management consultant

Tomorrow my blog should hit a quarter of a million views.
Yay me.

This actually means nothing at all.

It’s an arbitrary number that allows me to use the word “million” and thus transfer some glamour onto the act of typing things on the Internet.image

A million is a lot, but a quarter of it, and spread over 4 years, is substantially less. Still, a quarter of ONE MILLION sounds better than none.

When I started in this job as a performance management officer I had precisely none views because I had none blogs.

But what I did have was this book.


Just DRINK it in

I no longer have it, but you can guess what it is full of.


When I googled for this photo I made sure I included the word “steaming”

Thing is  this is still how people think in local government.
The thinking is still the same, and therefore the system is still the same.

If you want to make a difference is very difficult, and downright impossible unless you’re in charge.

As I’m not, and am in fact a low ranking petunia in the onion patch I’ve found that the very best way to make a difference is to make a difference outside of your organisation.

Yes! Here’s the 7 steps to making a difference where you don’t work…

  1. Get paid a salary in a large organisation. You’ll learn loads about how these places don’t work. Use the salary to pay your mortgage, buy food and the like. Use the time to…
  2. Keep your eyes and ears open, observe the difference between what people say is happening and what is actually happening. The gap between these two things is where the gold is buried. With which you…
  3. Use the lessons from these to make puerile and/or self indulgently maudlin posts of about 500 words. Add some mild swearing, stretch it out into a list that promises something unlikely like “7 ways to become invisible“. Then…
  4. Give it away for free. Totally free. Give it away. Think of the complete rubbish that organisations buy from “the real management consultants” like Deloittes or PWC. When people are under no obligation because something is free, then they won’t take rubbish. Get good by giving stuff away for free, it’s much harder to get people’s attention than their money. Then..
  5. Keep on doing it. Keep on making puerile knob jokes about organisational development, keep giving it away for free, and eventually for some reason people will start reading your stuff. If you type about systems thinking there’s not much in the way of competition. It’s not a crowded market. There are so few entertaining and useful things to read or print and stick up on the wall for people to point at. The late lamented Systems Thinking For Girls sadly seems to have died a death, leaving the new Squire To The Giants, the numeric Inspector Guilfoyle, and the frankly Welsh What’s The Pont. People will then…
  6. Use your stuff for whatever they want to. Just like you do with things you find on the Internet. If it’s interesting you might email it to like minded friends and colleagues. If it’s visual, you might print it and stick it up on the wall. All sorts. YOU’LL NEVER KNOW WHAT PEOPLE MIGHT DO. Bizarrely there’s councils all around the country with my tosh cluttering their work inboxes. Bank and financial companies with my scrawl on their walls. Rewriting Deming for the selfie generation creates entirely new content, for people that need something punchy, informative and, most importantly, short. Once it’s out there…
  7. It’s not yours anymore, the people who pick up a post about communicating value and failure demand might do more than make an amusing series of images and a clever gif. They might actually use it to create curiosity and change minds. In fact they do. Lots of people with less time on their hands and more talent and application than me use this tosh in a small way to help create change.

And for that thanks! It turns comics of a Zombified Deming into an actual impact, real change for the better.
If 90% of the countries on earth have somebody who’s read this blog, and they do, then that’s not because this blog is great, though of course it is, it shows that 90% of the countries on earth have people dissatisfied with the way organisations are ran and know there’s a better way.

So that’s what I do. I give stuff away for free so other people can do something useful with it. And I like knob jokes.

This entry was posted in public sector, strategic, systems thinking, thinking, vanguard method and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

27 Responses to 250,000 ways to be a management consultant

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love your posts and think you really are making a difference and encouraging people to ditch the bull and try and be honest about what works and actually motivates people. You certainly brighten up my day when a post arrives in my in box. Wish you could find a way to make a good living out of it all though. Knob jokes don’t seem to have much intrinsic value unfortunately


  2. Tobias says:

    Always a pleasure 🙂


  3. bazhsw says:

    Coming from someone who printed out your examples of good measures and bad measures for others to see last week I can confirm your comments!

    Thank you


  4. giantknave says:

    Yep, I love what you write too 🙂


  5. Charles Beauregard says:

    You and the other blogs you mention (www.noinstantpudding.com is also worth a look) serve a great purpose for me – to help get others curious.

    I gave up some years ago on actually trying to get another person to read a book. But I’ve found that people will sometimes actually read a blog post, and on occasion even come back to me and talk to me about it.

    It’s an important tiny first step in changing people’s assumptions, and for that I thank you.


  6. vietanimo7 says:

    You could do with setting some targets for your 1/2 million … obviously set by someone who doesnt know your work or how you work of course …
    I’ve been in insurance and housing and seen the same ‘consult’ stuff so can see where you are coming from. The only thing I can do is chip away … chip away.


  7. chariscroft says:

    Thanks for keeping going – it keeps me going too.

    Not that I’m making a difference (yet), but it gives me faith that I’m not completely bonkers and I can keep trying. Also – in line with your thoughts about sharing etc – I’ve sent it on to other people, who have liked it and are more able to influence where they work. So we just need to keep sharing and bits will work.

    Waiting for the day when I know it’s all out there when someone recommends this blog to me rather than the other way round – but I’m sure it’s coming!


  8. Liam says:

    Congratulations. I rate your performance as ‘excellent’.

    Great blog as ever and I do hope you keep posting for another quarter of a million views.

    Interestingly, I work as some form of consultant or advisor on ‘Deming an’ that’ but I am paid by and work in the public sector. The people I am working with are really keen to try something new and are working with me to try measures over targets, everyone having ideas over top down leadership, trust over traps. It’s great to know that there is space in the world for this type of thinking. And indeed, space in the world for this blog.


    • bazhsw says:

      Good for you Liam! I think I got my job because of ‘Deming and that’ but I can’t say I’m in your position. They say the right things but I can’t say the thinking has changed.


  9. synik3000 says:

    Will a big number mean a big celebration? Congratulations on doing something, and I don’t mean hitting a number.


  10. Pingback: Five Blogs – 8 October 2015 | 5blogs

  11. Thinkpurpose. Congratulations on your quarter century. This is a very perceptive post. As someone who has resorted to blogging in frustration at my inability to influence my organisation through ‘normal’ channels, I have noticed that writing publicly is equally ineffective in achieving that end. But it has allowed me to voice my inner thoughts about some of the mindlessness I become involved in, which has been very therapeutic and possible useful to others . Your 7 points are gold and I will continue to follow them for at least another few weeks.


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