So today we had a consultant on-site.
We get consultants from time to time. This one seemed to be a good one: knew the material, had plenty of experience, spoke the language, had a plan.
The individual in question also went through our current program: strengths, weaknesses, changes we will need to make. And therein lies the issue.
After the suggestions, the "you will need to do this", the "this is what my experience indicates", there were nods around the room, agreement. Senior Management present of course indicated that this was the course that we would need to take, immediately and with all effort.
The frustrating part, of course, is that a great deal of this has been previously suggested. And ignored.
Suggested by internal employees of course. By us, those charged with trying implement such things a a basis.
What is it about organizations that completely value the same advice if it comes from an external person than an internal person? Presented with the same facts, the same rationalizations, the same justifications, the one at the task day in and day out is ignored and put down, while outsider - for whom one is paying a considerably larger sum of money - is taken as almost god-like in their advice.
It eludes me, this willingness to pay more for advice and guidance that already exists. Are companies so lacking in trust in their employees that they must validate those opinions outside? Or is that employees are only expected to be able to X, while consultants do Y?
I am not completely sure. But I am reminded of two things:
1) To treat employees as if their experience is irrelevant and useless is to suggest to them they have no value where they are.
2) To bring in consultants and see what they do and how they are treated is to suggest to employees that there may be other options.