The study of history often helps to draw out ways in which we might respond differently to similar circumstances in the future, usually with the aim of achieving a more advantageous or positive outcome. However, the frequency with which single events, sequences of events and cycles of events reoccur with almost exactly the same result suggests that we, as humans, as society, as businesses, don’t really learn at all.
As a consultant this fact is incredibly pertinent because our purpose is to advise businesses as experts in a particular field, using expertise that has been built over a number of years of overcoming challenges. The difficulty as the size of a firm increases is developing and retaining this corporate memory. As those that actually worked on the problem move on, or indeed forget the specifics themselves, often this key information is lost and not accessible in future scenarios.
We’ve seen the consultancies that we’ve worked with attempt to tackle this in a number of ways, with differing levels of success. Case studies, process guides, SharePoint repositories stuffed with content – among others – work to a point, but somewhere the system always breaks. Either the information isn’t kept up to date, or there are a number of templates that could be used for a single problem, or the use of existing documentations just isn’t embedded across the firm. Most consultants will recognise the experience of landing on a client project and needing to hit the ground running, only to spend the first few weeks reinventing documents, processes and templates that will have been created many times before that.
At Woodhurst, we want to avoid this at all costs. It isn’t good for our clients, as precious delivery time is wasted recreating a plan on a page, and it isn’t good for our consultants who should be using their expertise to enable delivery and navigate challenges.
So we’ve created the Woodhurst Blueprint © – a tool that will allow us to continually build and evolve our corporate memory, with the sole aim of enabling our consultants to work more effectively with our clients. And most importantly, this tool, set of methodologies, template repository and overall historical record of our individual and collective memories will be embedded within all of us. The Blueprint will build upon our flaws, capture our successes and always keep us honest, which means we can focus on what we do best – working through the complexity of the challenge put in front of us to ensure, above all else, success for our clients.