Organisational development & people expertise

Jane Newell Brown


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The danger with ‘management consultancy’ is that it often brings up everyone’s favourite joke. Of course it’s great being a consultant.

Just say what’s not working – you don’t actually have to deliver anything!

Sadly we’ve not found that to be very successful – clients tend not to ask you back if you take that approach.

Successful consultancy needs the capacity to take the ‘fifth’ chair – a position which explores the best solution for the business rather than any of the individuals or teams working in the business. The fifth chair is a ‘blank’ chair in a team of four – the role of this chair is to be thinking on behalf of the business, not the individuals or shareholders within it.

Strange as it may sound it’s almost impossible for business owners and managers truly engaged with the business, to take a back step and view the business from the perspective of the ‘fifth’ chair. They will always – rightly in many cases – see the issues form their perspective and the perspective of their division or team.

Typically our consultancy interventions involve taking that objective perspective and then developing that capability within the business so people can take it for themselves – a really business-changing intervention.