Consultants who show flair

Running English Heritage is one of the trickier jobs in the quangocrat's universe.

by Matthew Gwyther, MT editor

Management consultants have not enjoyed a good press down the years.

Their popular image is fixed in a deadly triangle somewhere between a squadron of dodgy double-glazing salesmen, a longship of marauding Vikings and MBA-equipped peddlers of the Emperor's New Clothes. Press coverage, when it occurs, usually centres on the colossal amount of money they charge for advice that any managers worth their salt ought to have been fully conversant with in the first place. If ever a film were to be made about consultants, its title would have to be Natural Born Billers.

The consultancy industry does little to address its terrible image problem: it just takes the flak and flies on - Business Class, naturally. One of the principal causes of this is that many of its number won't or can't talk in detail about the work they do. The highly confidential nature of many projects means that clients are often reluctant to go public because it would give away competitive advantage (or disadvantage) to rivals.

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