When I started my career 30 years ago I worked as an internal consultant. I quickly discovered a discipline for myself that helped develop the working relationships that supported good consultancy – don’t write to someone you can phone, don’t phone someone you can visit. Of course this was in the days when writing meant producing letters or memos on paper. This approach served me well ensuring that my work was based on good relationships leading to better solutions and better implementation.
Over the years, this discipline slipped. I am not sure whether it was due to an increase in workload, a decrease in the obvious need to seek opinions and advice as my management responsibilities grew or the development of email (which made writing to people much easier). Whatever the reason, I am convinced that my management and consultancy is the poorer for losing this discipline and I am going to make every effort to rediscovering this practice.