Don't hire a consultant ... and then tell them what to do

There is a growing sense of confidence among many consultants that I know.  Not only are clients gradually becoming more confident to retain their services, but also the decision-making process within client firms, which had almost ground to a halt during the downturn, is beginning to speed up too.

Bill Gates on professional firms

During a press interview a few years ago, Bill Gates famously identified Microsoft's key competitors as being 'a kid in a garage' rather than other businesses that most would have seen as the real competition.

And with the benefit of hindsight, he was, of course, absolutely right.  You only have to look at the way in which Facebook, Instagram and all the other spectacular success stories of the social media age to realise just how right Gates actually was.

Plan - during periods of success

What a great weekend for British sport.  First the Lions in Sydney; then Chris Froome in the Tour de France; and finally Andy Murray at Wimbledon.

It's strange how success (and failure) goes in cycles.  When things go wrong, there is a general wailing and gnashing of teeth - and wholesale changes soon follow.  A new coach; a change of regime; a call for the rescheduling of fixtures etc.  Sometimes, the desired results follow.  Often they do not.