Tune that name
What’s in a name? A lot, actually. A lot of money, for a start. In the last couple of months enormous amounts of time and energy have been lavished on consultancy rebranding, first with the multiple pile-up of post-merger PriCewATerhoUSeCooPers logo, and now the shiny new Andersen Consulting “Ac” logo. But what of the losers in all this? Imagine all the “& Lybrands” cruelly torn from the front of offices the world over and consigned to some dusty cellar. And what is Ross without his Touche, or Whinney without Ernst? Do Haskins and Sells still long for the days when they used to hang around with Deloitte? And what of dear old Peat?
Once universally used as the shorthand name for the whole of KPMG, now sleeping in a doorway with Marwick and McLintock. It strikes Justin that there is an opportunity here for an unscrupulous bunch of consultants to create a serious-sounding consulting firm by simply gathering up these discarded fragments of brand equity and sticking them together. How about “Lybrand Haskins Whinney”? Or “McLintock Ross & Sells”. Of course, none of you would stoop so low … would you?
Mmmm … consultants
In our journey to the edge of the consultancy world we have often come across members of the outward bound tendency. Ruggedised executive training falls into roughly two categories: experiential training (kill your managers by dragging them up mountains, dropping them in rivers or throwing them out of planes), and team-building (get your managers to kill each other by asking them to build a bridge). This has always caused a certain amount of friction with those executives who pursued their desk-bound careers precisely because they wanted to eat loads of expensive lunches and never take any exercise. Now we’re pleased to announce that at least one trainer has seen the light. Dan Collins of Fresh Tracks, who normally threatens you with tall ship sailing, abseiling or scuba diving, has discovered the ideal motivational substance: chocolate. Instead of dragging the cholesterol-challenged round the countryside, he gets them to design and produce a box of chocolates. Presumably the more active members of the team can then dress in black, leap out of helicopters and deliver them to women’s bedrooms.
I’m going out now
There used to be a time when this column was full of the heady excitement of polar exploration. Barely a week went by without some group of management consultants or their proteges upping sticks and following in the footsteps of Scott and Amundsen. Then there was a long lull … but we are pleased to announce a renewal of Arctic activity with the achievement of Geoffrey McGonigle, who, by completing the Ernst & Young disability challenge, becomes the first disabled person to reach the magnetic North Pole (although it could be argued that Scott and his boys weren’t in terribly good shape when they rocked up there). Geoffrey, whose disabilities resulted from a road accident and a stroke, trekked 30 miles to the Pole from Resolute Bay together with expedition leader Rikki Hunt and team members David Hempleman-Adams and Rune Gjeldes. Congratulations to Geoffrey, and the rest of you get your snowshoes on.
Dig for Victory
And here are some candidates coming along now: young management consultants from Ernst & Young here seen out in the bright outdoors renovating the obstacle course at the Longridge Scout Boating Centre in Marlow. It looks lovely in the picture, but apparently seconds later the heavens opened, allowing the 35 participants a lovely taste of life at the Glastonbury open-air rock festival. Now I know some of you have a question, and that question is “why?” And the answer is: it’s a test, a test of character.
All those young consultants who had the gumption to hide when the boss came round looking for volunteers have been marked down for fast-track promotion.
It seems there’s no holding back the Young Consultant these days. No sooner do you take your eyes off one lot than another mob have rushed into the fields, doing Good Works (it must be all this good weather we’re having …).
The Children’s Farmyard at Woodrow High House, Amersham played the lucky host to 45 employees of KPMG Management Consulting who turned up to put up new fences, renovate the farmhouse and landscape the land around.
While not wishing to mar any of these noble efforts with our pitiful attempts at humour, we merely note the odd fact that when organisations such as the Scouts and The Children’s Farmyard get hold of a few dozen Young Consultants for a day, they tend to use them for manual labour.