posted 17 Dec 2009 in Volume 13 Issue 4
No more Consultants – We know more than we think
Title: No More Consultants
Authors: Geoff Parcell & Chris Collison
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons Ltd
Date: September 2009
The foreword of the latest offering from Learning to Fly authors Geoff Parcell and Chris Collison, No More Consultants, begins with a reference to cult classic film The Matrix, with an excerpt of dialogue between Morpheus and Neo: “… You take the red pill, you stay in Wonderland. And I show you how deep the rabbit hole goes”. It then suggests that the book itself is the “perfect red pill… showing you all the secrets of consulting’s wonderland and rabbit holes, with no bad side-effects.” I have high expectations.
The authors make reference to the old adage that consultants will borrow your watch to tell you the time, and then walk off with the watch. The aim being to encourage us to use our own powers of self-assessment to find out exactly which problems we are looking to solve within our organisations, before deciding how best to overcome them.
The authors utilise the ‘river diagram approach’ to enable readers to build a self-assessment framework and measure levels of performance, thereby maximising the potential of their internal know-how and expertise, rather than coming to the conclusion that an external consultant is the best way forward.
The book covers a wealth of activities that will help you along the way, including deciding who to involve, setting levels and variables and applying the new approach. It also features detailed stories from organisations and initiatives where this strategy of knowledge sharing and performance improvement has been applied.
The book is equally useful when read chronologically, or used as a reference to dip in and out of as necessary, with an engaging writing style and clear, concise and user-friendly prose. Indeed, one hopes that the authors – both of whom have successful consultancy businesses – are not doing themselves out of a job by providing such refreshing advice.
As well as the printed hard copy, Parcell and Collison have embraced the current surge in popularity of Web 2.0, with an online community to enable individuals to share their experiences at www.nomoreconsultants.org – a nice touch and a well-maintained site, to go with a thoroughly readable and insightful book!