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[com-prac] Re: Communities of practice and management consultants

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  • Louis de Merode
    Hi, John: My apologies for not answering earlier. I am swamped these days, good swamped so I am not complaining, but that slows me down doing what I like
    Message 1 of 4 , Feb 5, 2000
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      Hi, John:

      My apologies for not answering earlier. I am swamped these days, good
      swamped so I am not complaining, but that slows me down doing what I like
      doing, like talking shop with you.

      I often ask myself the questions you address in your paper, and I relate to
      much of what you write about very clearly.

      My reactions:
      In the first part you write as if the only alternative a consultant has to
      talking to his/her peers, is to read books. Actually, I learn my consulting
      stuff from my wife, my children, my clients just as well. Yes, there are a
      couple of things for which only consultants will do: contracting, the client
      relationship, the consultant's life-work issues, etc. But they are a small
      subset of the whole picture.

      Don't overstate the value of knowing who knows what. That knowledge does not
      necessarily transfer into timely access: I know few people who will share
      across consulting firms. I do have a small number of independent consultant
      friends willing to share their tools or advice with me, but again they are a
      small minority among the constants I know, or even of my consultant friends.

      Yes, CPs are important and hot. But internal consultants can do a lot. The
      value of the external consultant is his/her comparative perspective (extent
      of knowledge), the depth of her knowledge (internal consultants will be less
      specialized), and indeed the subtle contribution he can make as an outsider
      looking in.

      Keep writing!

      ----- Original Message -----
      From: John D. Smith <smithjd@...>
      To: Egroup Com-Prac (E-mail) <com-prac@egroups.com>
      Sent: Monday, January 31, 2000 1:03 AM
      Subject: [com-prac] Communities of practice and management consultants

      > I wrote up some notes in preparation for a conversation about "Why should
      > you (folks in a management consultancy) care about communities of
      > I've put it on the Web and am wondering whether you'd give me your
      > and criticisms?
      > http://www.teleport.com/~smithjd/lern/CP_consult.html
      > At the moment, I'm not worried about jargon, which I will try to remove
      > later. My intention is that it make sense TO CONSULTANTS, not to clients.
      > (An earlier version struggled to say some of the things that Louis de
      > says better in his article on the egroups site. If you could give me
      > references that I could just point to, rather than having to figure out
      > to say it, that would be great, too.)
      > What would YOU say on this topic?
      > John
      > --*
      > --* John D. Smith |(503) 963-8229 | 2025 SE Elliott Ave., Portland OR
      > 97214-5339
      > --* Politics of Learning | http://www.teleport.com/~smithjd/
      > --* "All the really great hacks have come from harnessing the attention
      > --* and brainpower of entire communities." -- Eric S. Raymond
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