Ousiders come in to support ‘Insider-Outers’

It’s been an interesting week for Mister P.A.Y.E. As part of our annual recruitment drive to bring in the best talent and get  the current staff to take on the company’s most exciting challenges, we have brought in a global management consulting firm to deliver high-end services, unavailable in the company, the county, or even the UK!

I for one an excited about the project, it reminds me of a recent success of a similar type with another world class consulting firm:

They were employed to support the business in a cultural change to become more fact-driven. They were commissioned to provide us with a head-start by providing top-class analysts at reasonable rates, they would interrogate our data for insights which would drive the company forward.

Three companies were naturally, selected through an objective pitch process in which the eventual victors and two of their counterparts were put through their paces by the people who’d be working with them day-to-day (analysts, middle managers and the like), examining business questions, providing details of the project approach, detailing their analytical knowledge and attending a chemistry session.

They also undertook an exec presentation to our Director and some of their peers. This element of the presentation clearly went extremely well for the chosen firm, as they jumped from second place to first place after they presented to our Director.

Considering this firm’s connections* to our Director (I’m sorry i’ve got ahead of myself: I think I forgot to mention that our Director’s husband was on the board of the management consulting firm?) we had high hopes as to how good these guys were as the extra caution in the scoring to ensure that the process was fair and above-board would have meant that they were actually probably being score much harder than the alternative firms. Clearly the governance put in place to ensure our Director’s reputation could in no way be besmirched, meant that they were head and shoulders above the competition. When their appointment was announced we were all very excited about the world class support that we would receive with developing the scientific approach that we’d set out to achieve!

Needless to say the engagement was a huge success.

Whilst some might say that paying upwards of £1000 a day for consultants is untenable in running a profitable business. I would ask people to look a bit harder at the value they provide. Now they didn’t necessarily deliver much analytics work, the work to expand the team didn’t actually help us cover work whilst we recruited and the restructure they worked on lasted only four months before a new one was announced. But get hung up on these minor details and you overlook things like the fact that the team as a whole benefited from their expertise in creating excellent powerpoint presentations, some of which we even use today.

*There are those that have said to me that this is the same organisation listed in Private Eye No.1324 who have paid under £3m in tax in the UK in the last year. However, I don’t think this can be the case, because as you can see we have paid them fairly well for their fantastic work.

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