[com-prac] Re: Communities of practice and management consultants
- 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.
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
----- Original Message -----
From: John D. Smith <smithjd@...>
To: Egroup Com-Prac (E-mail) <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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?
> 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 D. Smith |(503) 963-8229 | 2025 SE Elliott Ave., Portland OR
> --* 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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