Comment on "Who is trying to join up the policies? Who would you trust to do so?"

I apologise to those readers who have been trying to post comments and could not do so. Hopefully the lovely people who look after technical support for Computer Weekly will find and correct the problem soon. In the mean time below is a comment from David Moss (who e-mailed when he could not post direct) on my blog entry on “Who is trying to join up the policies? Who would you trust to do so?


Dear Philip

Don’t seem to be able to submit a comment on your marvellous post.

What I was going to say is:

It’s extraordinary how, when the hour cometh, so doth the man. The answer to your two questions is available now and in post. He even drives a DeLorean.

Best wishes



My response to David is that former poachers can make excellent game-keepers.

An old friend used to joke (half in pride, half in sorrow) about his children “the Androids” – because they had been brainwashed into the Anderson way. He and I came from  backgrounds where there was no “right” approach – you picked the way according to the culture of the organisation and the nature of the problem. That was not, even then, the approach of most large management consultancies with their standardised methodologies for generating impressive analyses and reports and winning follow up business.

When I ran the ICL-DTI-DoE study into the Computing needs of the new Regional Water Authorities (in the 1970s) I was accused of being inconsistant because I used a variety of approaches to look at how different Water Companies, River Boards and Local Authorities ran their existing operations. What I had done was to discuss with my most senior contact, usually the Finance Director, (who had wanted to see what a “Business Graduate” looked like before letting his staff make a fool of him), the various methodologies we had been taught at London Business School. Then I would ask which he thought was likely to work best with his organisation – and whether he was willing to let me try it out, reporting informally to him before I drafted the final report. I had great fun. After the study was over I was shortlisted to run the financial systems of one Regional Water Authority and blacklisted by another. I then made the mistake (or was it?) of staying with ICL instead of trying to join one of the Management Consultancies who had been livid with what we did and how little we had charged.   

However, back to the original story – my old friend’s children are now parents, having left Anderson Consulting during its transmogrification into Accenture. They have since applied what they had learned in very different ways: one to carve a way to the top, the other to live an alternative life style.

The moral of this story is that you should not make assumptions about what Androids will do (or be like) when they escape from the hive.