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#1 Irony
09/11/2009 00:12


How ridiculous is this? - My project used to work very well. The whole team was very close and pulled together to make sure that we delivered a quality solution.

Then a new SM joins, and shakes things up by bringing many of her own people onboard and establishing new ways of working between previously close teams (which nobody agrees with). Most are too scared to challenge this.

Consequently morale plummets, and lots of people cant be bothered to go the extra mile anymore or are simply concerned with doing the bare minimum according to the project plan as that is how performance now seems to be measured.

So in recognition that engagement has significantly decreased and the team is not working as well together, the same SM, launches a "people agenda" to sort out the problems which she has caused in the first place!

A typical example of high performance delivered.

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#2 RE: Irony
09/11/2009 00:39

ex-enture to EF (#1)

Someone needs the guts to tap her on the shoulder and suggest her new ways of working or management style may be the problem.

She's obviously not aware of this, and so just keeping quite isn't going to help. At the same time she seems to be wanting to resolve this through 'people agenda' initiatives.

Obviously you don't want to offend her if you report in to her, but there are subtle ways this can be communicated in a sensitive manner.

Have some balls and do something about it. If you ever want to get promoted and make SE you need to be proactive.

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#3 RE: Irony
09/11/2009 06:17

ex-EF to ex-enture (#2)

Why did you answer your own post dude?

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#4 RE: Irony
09/11/2009 07:56

Mutiny on the Bounty to ex-EF (#3)

1. Get a petition signed by everyone on the team, explaining why they think performance may have declined lately. Why not recommend some changes to the 'people agenda' in particular removing everybody else from the agenda and focusing it solely on her?

2. Randomly include your name and comments somewhere in the petition also.

3. Send the petition anonymously to a partner.

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#5 RE: Irony
09/11/2009 17:53

Mars A Day to EF (#1)

Perhaps this is her way of stamping her authority and way of working on the project, although in a rather disruptive way? As consultants you are supposed to be a flexible resource, able to work across different teams, so why are you all out of joint because someone has come along and shaken things up? Sounds to me like it was no bad thing.

Rather than trying to undermine the SM, why not be part of the solution rather than perpetuate the problem and get on board with this 'peopel agenda' and drive it in a direction your people will be comfortable with? Leadership requires an ability to collaborate as well as dictate after all.

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#6 RE: Irony
09/11/2009 18:31

Mutiny on the Bounty to Mars A Day (#5)

Hmm. The fact that she has even set up a 'people agenda' indicates that she is extremely aggressive in her approach. It implies that the problem is with the 'people' rather than the management or processes.

It could just be a case of another bossy boots career woman wanting to make her mark and show how suitable she is to become a partner because she's so good at 'sorting people out'.

It wouldn't even surprise me if she's actually deliberately caused a problem so that she can subsequently fix it and triumphantly demonstrate what a good leader and hence candidate for being promoted into the senior ranks she is.

Your best bet is to rally the troops. If they fear this 'people agenda', they will support you in eliminating it. Their best bet is to unite and collectively express their concerns to someone even more senior. If I were a new SM and had a whole team gunning for me, I wouldn't fancy my chances. Let the partners know what you all think! You've got a winning chance here! Rally them together and take her on! Strength in solidarity!

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#7 RE: Irony
09/11/2009 23:42

Hullaballoo to Mutiny on the Bounty (#6)

"......the same SM, launches a "people agenda" to sort out the problems which she has caused in the first place!"

Isn't that the whole history of consulting summed up in one example?*joke*

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#8 RE: Irony
10/11/2009 08:25

Cynic to Hullaballoo (#7)

Ahh, the number of times I have seen this little series of events in the past!

I like to call it "Consulting to the consultants".

Basically you end up with one of the consultants on the team taking it upon themselves to provide consultancy/advice to the team itself.

It makes for a very, very grim situation. You need to get away from that crap fast.

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#9 RE: Irony
10/11/2009 08:25

Mr Cool to EF (#1)

If the SM is not running the engagement as a whole, then there is a slim possibility of going directly to the engagement owner and explaining the impact she is having on the team and the potential for extending the client relationship as a result (and the EM’s bonus!) I would suggest you do this only if a) you have an existing relationship with the engagement manager, or b) you are personally in line to get a promotion on the back of this engagement and this is now in doubt because the engagement is at risk due to her actions – in which case you have little to lose.

In all other circumstances I would put a year’s money on this being a situation where the messenger gets shot. Simply recognise that the time has come to move onto another project – its part of the consultancy way of life.

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