Question of the week
OK, your people are moving. But are they dancing?
MARCH 15, 2017
Ok, most business leaders don’t quite phrase their question in this way, but they do want to know how they make their organization more dynamic, more responsive to their customers’ movements, and more coordinated as a whole (the corporate equivalent of “swing dancing” – energetic, individual but in-sync, fun and known the world over!).
But while organizations say they want to be swinging with passion, most of the time, they’re simply doing the “stasis shuffle” – a kind of dancing on the spot. Because what the vast majority of people and teams in organizations – from the leaders on down – have learned to do is to appear as if you’re moving, but to stay firmly in one spot.
“They learned the stasis shuffle – appearing as if you’re moving, but staying firmly in one spot.”
That is why consultants are brought in so often. Consultants are ritualised, highly-paid scape-goats. They come in, perform an in-depth analysis, write a long report which few people actually read and then disappear, having barely created a ripple. Leaders can prove to their boards they’ve been proactive and diligent, employees can snigger and bemoan how little external consultants understand what they do, and everyone can sigh and go back to their shuffle.
That is why my colleagues and I do not consider ourselves consultants. And why we don’t write long reports. We do not want you to think of us as consultants. We want you to think of us as your dance choreographers.
“Consultants are ritualised, highly-paid scape-goats. But we are your dance choreographers.”
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