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Hi Chuck,

Nice post. I think you see this because so many consultants are focused too narrowly on one solution offering. It’s the old “I have a hammer so everything looks like a nail” dilemma. My way is the “best” way for all. Companies also need to establish a consistent workforce strategy that changes based on business need and not the latest article published.

As we continue towards the “free agent” workforce this may become a bigger and bigger issue. It will be interesting to see how the Company/Consultant relationship continues to evolve.

There is no one-size-fits-all answer. “Best Practice” is a myth.

Marketing firms know that people respond to sound bites, bullet points, purple prose (amazing, unbelievable, surprising, etc.), numbered lists and other such pitches. Most problems are solved by willpower rather than wisdom, because all the knowledge in the world is useless without action.

I think it's just human nature to want to find the "magic bullet" that will solve all your problems. We're dreamers. But you would think that after a few (several dozen?) disappointments we would learn. *Sigh*

This is a great article - I love all of your points.

I have a few others I'd like to add.

* Business people are often too busy to learn new methods, let alone implement what they learn.

* Too often I have seen one engaged super star find a solution to a problem but they get little buy-in from their colleagues, who just want to do what they always do each day, make a buck and go home.

* To make real change in any organization it has to be top down and fully supported, not just lip-service.

* Finally - but a biggie for me, training and development is often used as a reward for employees rather than planned to meet the true needs of the organisation. Not all problems can be fixed with training - and it is (to quote the hammer analogy) often the only solution put into play.

Agree. But as most managers, hr included, are too lazy to read anything with more than 10 pages because they are too busy (firefighting) there is a business need. In the same way it is not hard to learn how to paint my own house, fix my own car or mow my lawn but I pay somebody else to do it.

There are 1000's self help guides out there, called books, but unless managers bother to read them they need to pay the nice consultant to fix their problems

Could not agree more. I like simple "how to" articles but only when they are free. For fun. I believe that problems cannot be solved by articles or consultants. They are solved by real leaders who stand out not because of what they say or what they read, but because of who they are.

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