I have spent the last seventeen years in entrepreneurial and management roles and I must admit the last three or so have been the most interesting. Indeed we live in interesting times.
I spend part of my “free time” as a guest lecturer and as a trainer and the resident faculty usually wrap up the session with a “Thanks Andrew, for telling my students that the theory I’m teaching them is fine but…”. Don’t get me wrong, you need a sound theoretical base. Then you need to grab it by the proverbials and drag it into whatever reality you are struggling with and make it work for you. As a manager in a global corporation I was called upon to rightsize my operation when the fan was hit. It was painful. It was hard. It cost sweat, blood and tears and definitely impacted the old sleep patterns. But I adapted. I learned from other peoples’ mistakes and successes and found my own way. In another life time when I started my own company I set the ground for myself to learn from many creative mistakes of my own. In both cases I would have been grateful for some solid practical input that would help me with my perspective and if possible offer a few recipes and tips. There is so much pomposity by what have come to be known as consultants that people have lost faith in the role. Oh for some simple truths straight from the horse’s mouth.
I hope I can offer some pointers through this forum. When I consult (for want of a better word) I usually ask more questions than provide answers. I find that intelligent people in managerial roles, be they sales managers or general managers, process improvement managers or cost managers often get buried under that every day sheer-sluggery that saps creativity and represses knowledge, tools and techniques.
So, from one busy, oppressed professional to another, please feel free to join me in giving ourselves the necessary wake up calls, reminders or simply tips that should, in most cases, make us raise a palm to our forehead and say, “Of course, I know that!”. And then bloody well go and do it!
I hope you enjoy reading them as much as I enjoy writing them