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Effective Leadership

Employees Are Your Best Consultants

In my many years in the workplace, I have enjoyed and experienced many positions and projects. The one project that sticks in my mind is when I received an offer to work with some consultants to help streamline processes and workflow. As a passive participant, and knowing the employees involved, the one observation that has stuck with me over the years is that these high price consultants implemented what the rank and file employees suggested.

These high price consultants would interview the staff in private and gather their data. The consultants would then formulate their report and carry out these changes. Based on the consultants reports positions where eliminated head counts shifted and whole departments moved to facilitate a cleaner workflow.

Why did my company need to bring in these consultants to implement change? In the process of all this change that answer became apparent to me. Consultants are necessary because most managers were focused on protecting their own little fiefdom. If these managers has listened to the changes that the employees were suggesting then these consultants would not have been needed saving thousands of dollars. The self-preservation of the managers to hold on to their headcount and focus solely on their assigned responsibilities made the hiring of consultants a necessity.

The best managers are the ones who are not worried about their fiefdom but are the one’s looking out for the best interest of the company. If one of these manager’s had listened to their staff and approached the senior Leadership of the company then these consultants would not be needed. The workflow changes could have been implemented in a more efficient way. One manager, to take the lead, and acknowledge the observations of their staff.

If you are not reading between the lines the rank and file employees are also a major story in this. The attitude of the employees after the consultants were done was; that is exactly what we have said. Yes, these consultants eliminated positions. They eliminated manager and staff positions. I wonder if the best managers would listen to their staff, support their staff and share what their staff are saying even if it would ultimately cost them that position?

While it is not pleasant to have your position eliminated, to eliminate your own job demonstrates that a manager is ready for a much more progressive role in the company.

Written by: Darrell Downs MBA

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