From De Tijd :
"Het Amerikaanse consultancykantoor Bain voert een strategische doorlichting ('strategic review') door van de activiteiten van Dexia. Dat vernam de redactie van meerdere bronnen."
This message throws me back to my professional years. Everybody knows the definition of a consultant : give me your watch, I'll tell you the hour of day, and I"ll keep your watch. Very often, consultants are the suppliers of terribly overpriced, and not always good advice ...
I have worked with them on various occasions, mainly when a "strategic review" of our activities was ordered. General management had to do that at least every other couple of years : if not, it ran the risk of being considered unprofessional by its shareholders, by the media, and by management or other gurus.
I also worked with them when general management did not want to follow strategic advice formulated by its own staff. The said staff then hired an external consultant to sell the message to the CEO. This method often worked like a charm. The difficult part was getting the consultant hired, not the transmission of the message ...
Words which I relate to consulting : kicking in open doors (I must admit that sometimes management had no inkling that the door was open, and was surprised by the results) ; pumping hot air ; ukases formulated by often totally inexperienced MBA prophets, living and dying by one management dogm (or more often, fashion) ; fancy packaging of average ideas.
But, more often than not, I liked working with them, and they had their uses, after all.