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Dealing with "fluff"

#1 Dealing with "fluff"
07/08/2013 10:26

Bushy Eyebrow Partner

OK guys, any advice for dealing with people who seem to thrive on "fluff" such as:

- Using Myers Briggs personality indicators as a "management tool"

- Constantly trying to promote ego-enhancing work such as coaching of client staff, even though that work involves only a handful of person-days (for themselves) when instead they should be looking to sell the next project to get a team staffed for a couple of months

- Naval gazing about particular types of work without actually getting much chargeable work in that field

- Becoming extremely busy (constant meetings, lots going on, always busy with emails and phone calls) but not actually accomplishing anything as such

- Doing their own thing and forgetting that they're meant to be part of a company, not the king of a micro-fiefdom within the company

Note that I am referring here to individuals that are not direct reports but who are (supposedly) part of a bigger company.

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#2 RE: Dealing with "fluff"
07/08/2013 10:55

Leadingpractice to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)


Aren't you talking about most sales people, consultants, and aspiring partners in consultancies? Seems to me when you get down to delivering stuff, a few of the plates that consultants spin to look great tend to fall. So while you are more productive, the external view and promotion prospects are less convincing.

Maybe you need a new career? Recruitment consultant, they do loads and loads....


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#3 RE: Dealing with "fluff"
07/08/2013 11:14

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Leadingpractice (#2)

No, I'm talking about real fluff here. I like sales people, I think they're creative and usually have a can-do attitude. I'm talking about people who aren't pulling in the right direction but who are senior enough that they ought to know better. Senior people who need to be staffing teams but instead are focusing on keeping themselves chargeable. Almost solo operators that are emasculating themselves in personal hobby work. People who are busy but useless. People who are letting go of opportunities to develop good projects into something sizeable, just so that they can flog some BS such as a MBTI workshop instead.

What does one do?

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#4 RE: Dealing with "fluff"
07/08/2013 12:31

shlobadov to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#1)

I hear that a good rummage around the general "belly button area" usually gets rid of fluff.

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#5 RE: Dealing with "fluff"
09/08/2013 12:10

Mr Cool to shlobadov (#4)

Hmmm. Worked at a firm that had a high fluff quotient back in late 90's. pretty quickly sorted it out through

stage 1) bonuses paid on margin contribution only

Stage 2) salary adjustments based on same

Stage 3) job retention based on same

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#6 RE: Dealing with "fluff"
09/08/2013 12:31

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Mr Cool (#5)

a quality approach... I like that, taking it back to the bottom line, that's what matters.

I think the underlying problem I may have here is that it's difficult to determine an individual's financial contribution... our pitches tend to be a team effort yet some people act busy but contribute nothing other than trying to manipulate it into the type of work that they enjoy most.

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#7 RE: Dealing with "fluff"
09/08/2013 17:54

Mr Cool to Bushy Eyebrow Partner (#6)

We had the same problem until we made everyone "bill" directly to the pre-sales project code for each sales lead. To work on a bid the owner of the pre-sales code had to agree to your charge. The cost if sales (successful AND unsuccessful) went against their annual P&L.

Soon stopped expensive fluffies getting on teams for bid work, also stopped poor salesmen chasing even worse leads, plus it improved the quality of bid teams (and wins)

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