Thoughts on ways to improve the management of professional services firms

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Boeing, outsourcing & Ayn Rand

A brief follow up to Problems with outsourcing. There I mentioned Ben Sandiland's blog as a good source on Boeing's outsourcing problems. The 787 runs out of time and lies extends Ben's reporting.

In an apparently unconnected post on my personal blog, Ayn Rand, selfishness and reciprocity, I looked at one element of the philosophy of Ayn Rand. The link is the way in which disconnects between a short term focus on both personal rewards and key performance indicators can distort behaviour.

We management consultants are meant to be practical people. Yet the biggest problem and I have found, and the cause of some of my biggest professional failures, lie in the disconnect between apparently practical solutions and underlying values, processes and assumptions.

In general, it's pretty easy as an outsider to identify ways in which a firm can improve performance. Sometimes its impossible to get that across when the client's world view is diametrically opposed to what has to be done.

I still haven't worked out how to solve that one!  

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