Buzzword Bingo

We were at the MCA Awards 2019 last week. We were nominated in two categories but won neither.  But an enjoyable evening in the company of our clients, all the same.

The MCA President spoke well about the value that management consulting can deliver to the economy and wider society – and this is something we firmly believe too. The short-listed projects and the winners certainly showed a lot of consulting at its best.

The host for the evening, the BBC reporter and presenter, Clive Myrie, did an excellent job, starting wittily and brightly, though seemingly beginning to tire when having to read out yet more praise for another ‘passionate’ consultant or another ‘innovative’ project. Perhaps the self-congratulation of the consulting industry was too much of a contrast with the tragic events he’d recently been covering in Christchurch, New Zealand.

Resisting the urge to play ‘buzzword bingo’, it did make me think that we must never again use the cliché ‘passionate’ about ourselves. We want to be recognised as good at our jobs, great to work with, enthusiastic, resilient and determined. If that’s passion – so be it.

As for ‘innovative’, there’s little value to clients in being innovative for innovation’s sake. The project is about doing the best-value work for the client- not making the consultancy look good. There are times when cutting to the chase and using the tried and tested methods is the right thing to do.  Equally, there are times when you need to be creative, challenging and inventive. We will always try to get this balance right.

Now off to run find-and-replace on ‘passionate’ and ‘innovative’ in our CVs and case studies.   

Meet the author

Ian Bennett

Ian Bennett

Ian is an expert in change management, efficiency reviews, business cases and costing in the public sector. Ian has over 30 years of experience of working in the public sector, as a civil servant, an auditor and as a consultant, covering central and local government, defence,… Read more »