Benchmarking


At last!  After over a year of blood sweat and tears, a small forest of paper,  a well-used box.net collaboration space and far too many late night emails, Geoff Parcell and I have written another book together.

To the alarm of my wife and children, not to mention my mortgage lender,  this one is entitled “No More Consultants.  We know more than we think.”

So are we really saying that there is no need for consultants?

Jon Theuerkauf, MD at Credit Suisse answers that question perfectly for me in his endorsement on the back of the book:

“Look, of course we need outside input, if not we might as be staring at our belly-buttons.  The point that is being made in No More Consultants is companies spend pennies in mining their own internal knowledge and expertise compared to the multi-millions spent on going outside first!  How does that make any sense or cents?”

And that’s exactly it.   We really do know more than we think.  But we don’t think enough.  Geoff and I wrote the book to guide organisations towards making smarter, more purposeful, more targeted use of consultants.  After all, nobody ever got fired for hiring <<insert your favourite management consultancy here>>.   That might be true – but a whole lot of your staff might have become disenfranchised.  The same staff, who (after the glossy PowerPoint presentation has been delivered, and that large invoice has been submitted) will be expected to help implement the recommendations.  Recommendations which perhaps they could have come up with themselves.

If only they’d been asked.

As Jon so neatly puts it.  How does that make any sense or cents?

Hope you enjoy the video. And the book. And the Ning Community!

I was with the Henley KM Forum last week running a workshop with Christine Van Winkelen. I’m part of a project team looking at the relationship between knowledge management and innovation, and in particular, at the way in which KM practices can support innovation.

A number of the members organisations conducted local research drawing out their innovation stories, which were scanned for recurrent themes. As a group, we then put some “flesh on the bones” and created a self-assessment tool (maturity model) , based on the combined experience of the room, plus an analysis of current research. I thought I’d share the high-level headings here:

Recognising/finding high-value opportunities to innovate, Re-using Knowledge, Internal collaboration, External Collaboration, Learning from Innovation activities, Building a learning organisation.

Next step is for the member organisations to self-assess and identify areas where they can share and learn from each other using the “River Diagram” approach – setting off a number of new conversations, and a whole lot of new learning…

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