The core message of “Fire the Consultants” wasn’t to actually to fire the consultants, but to stop what consultants are usually pushed to do, which is drive people to change. The results they achieve, if they achieve any, gained by driving people to change then disappear as soon as the consultant does.
The alternative is for consultants (both external and internal) to drive change instead. If they pursue the change and work to allow others to join the change (instead of being conscripted into its service), then the change will advance and sustain.
Yet, driving change is not enough. Often change efforts require the conscious use of a policy buffer, a personal or group agreement to behave differently than the organizational norm and a willingness to act to sustain that different behavior against attacks.
Thanks go out across the seas to Steve Holt (@skholt) for carrying the thoughts spawned from a summer thinking day two years ago all the way to Germany to share with the fabulous people who attend TOCICO. It is my hope that the concepts of driving change and policy buffers help them create the world they want by sustaining the changes they are making.