The focus of this month’s issue is consultancy.
Welcome to the September issue of TJ. This month seems to mark an upward gear shift in organisations. August is generally a quiet month with many parents taking holiday to spend time with their children. Hit September and things start to get seriously busy as new projects and events are organised for the coming months.
TJ is no exception. Our focus has been directed towards the awards, but now that the final judges’ results are in. The activity on the lead up to the Gala Dinner and the announcing of the winners on 25th November, becomes more rapid and definitely very focused.
The shortlisted candidates are listed on pages 16 and 17 and all will be invited to an interview at TJ’s offices in London over the next few weeks. Interview dates for each category can be viewed at http://bit.ly/1frlotD – failure to attend does result in a disqualification, so make sure your diary is free. If you need any guidance about the awards, email firstname.lastname@example.org and best of luck to all those shortlisted.
The external consultant comes under scrutiny this month with a variety of articles exploring best practice from both the client and consultant perspective. As budgets are cut and internal resources diminish, the role of the external consultant becomes more important to many organisations.
I work with many consultants, most of our contributors and awards’ judges are independent experts in the field of L&OD and have their own consultancies. In my experience they are talented, client-centric individuals who work hard with clients to achieve organisational goals. However, as with any business transaction, the principle of caveat emptor must be applied as undoubtedly there is good and bad practice.
Looking from the other perspective, many consultants find themselves hamstrung by organisations who want to improve and achieve goals, but who do not want to change what they do. Clearly, any successful business, activity, success lies in the communication between parties. As our new contributor Julie Drybrough urges on page 62, “Those of you in-house, take a long hard look at who you are working with and why. Talk to them soon. Test them a little. Those of you working as consultants, ask yourself: Are you challenging yourself and your clients or banking the money complacently?”
This month we start our regular Venue Review with a look at Lucknam Park in Wiltshire. Our aim is to offer an independent assessment of some of the best venues around and if you have a particular favourite please let us know.
Until next month, happy reading!