Leader – It’s time to start talking shop

Despite the efforts of organisations such as the IMC and MCA, mystery still surrounds the work of the management consultant. Consultants are reluctant to detail much of the work undertaken for clients, terrified of breaching confidentiality clauses. And if consultants are cagey when it comes to discussing triumphs and failures, the customers register a near silence. They believe that discussing their need for external help could be perceived as being a sign of weakness or that it would offer their competitors a precious glimpse of internal operation. Trying to chronicle such an industry can be difficult in this “dumb and dumber” environment. It’s the world of “No comment”, “We’d rather not say” and “If you print that, we’ll take you to the cleaners”.

If a small proportion of the hoarded non-competitive information was shared in this market, the benefits to all could be considerable. It is with that thought in mind that Management Consultancy magazine is aiming to open up the channels of communication for consultants. This magazine will be the exchange for the ideas, opinions and advice that drives the industry. In the summer, we will be launching an active website forum for consultants. The forum will allow you to comment, criticise and add to the features in each issue. It will also allow you to communicate with other consultants in a lively debate. Over the next few months we will build up a number of useful web resources for consultants. In addition to the monthly survey Management Consultancy carries out, the website will host a number of straw polls on a range of subjects vital to the way in which you work. For those of you without access to the web, we will be culling the best web contributions each month and carrying them within the magazine.

More details on the site will appear in the next issue but you do not have to wait until then to make your contribution. From next month, we will be bringing back the Letters Page. If one of our articles has annoyed, inspired or left you hankering for more, then tell us about it.

If you want to help to lift the shroud of mystery that hangs over the profession then write to Letters Page, Management Consultancy, 32-34 Broadwick Street, London W1A 2HG or e-mail Consultants spend a great amount of time discussing the merits of communication and working together.

It’s time to take those lessons on-board.

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