Friday, March 30, 2012

As clueless as a consultant

I recently attended a meeting of mental health and medical professionals from different organizations and listened to a BT( I am not saying who a BT is…to protect myself from their fury!) summarize his/her analysis of the patient’s behaviour and give his/her suggestions.
It was an exercise which impressed the parents of the client and maybe a few of the professionals sitting round that table. But to me it seemed to be a mere academic exercise aimed more at impressing the people at the table  with eloquence than with results. The client’s symptoms, behaviours, etc were analyzed and suggestions given on power point slides.
 But when it came to the bottom line of whether the suggestions given by the BT in his/her presentation had ever been tried and what was the result…the answer was that the suggestions had been attempted but as the client became aggressive, it was stopped! The BT had been with this client for nearly two years and had yet to figure out something which worked for this client. Instead  he/she was closing the case after this elaborate analysis and presentation of behaviour of the client and handing it over to another agency stating that he/she will ‘consult’ to  the next BT taking over the case!  I of course, had several objections to many of this BT’s analysis and suggestions but everyone round the table seemed so mesmerized by the lengthy presentation of …..(I do not want to use the word I really want to use here)
This seems to be the story in so many cases that now I have coined this term, “As clueless as a consultant”.
I am not suggesting that all BTs are clueless. I have had the good fortune to work with creative, intuitive, flexible and highly intelligent BTs whose assessments, analysis and suggestions are excellent. Not only that, they also  have the flexibility to change the techniques etc when they find that one technique is no longer working…a quality which several BTs seem to lack. The good BTs are constantly observing behaviours, identifying the changes and what drives the behaviours and adapting accordingly. The bad BTs seem to make one analysis and give one set of suggestions and are not dynamic enough to change when needed. When faced with a problem behaviour, they lack creativity, imagination, empathy and ability to identify what truly is motivating a certain behaviour. Some even close a case after meeting with a client a couple of times and state that  ‘ the issues have been resolved’! If behaviours were so easy to change, then life would be so damn easy for everyone isn’t it!
I guess I am writing this to let off some steam. I am so angry about the whole charade which lasted for 2 hours, wasting the time of about 15 people.(30 hours multiplied by  35$ per hour per person). Maybe it was all not a complete charade …maybe some of it was useful information but I am really put off by the  consultant who has the audacity to present his/her lengthy( but ultimately useless )analysis and suggestions and also admit that his suggestions have not worked but he /she is closing the case anyway and that he/she will ‘consult’ with the next BT who will pick up this case.
There is one more beef I have with these clueless consultants: Not the BTs but all mediocre consultants in all fields.
 They go in and give their analysis and advice and get paid big bucks for it…but they are never around to see if their suggestions work or not; never around to face the consequences of the outcome of trying out their suggestions……Here I am not referring to BT consultants but to the private consultants hired by companies to advise then, how to run their company better or to problem solve or brain storm for resolving some issue. I know an outside perspective is good in some ways but why dont companies take suggestions of people working within their own company?

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