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Stuart Browne 05-Dec-2022 12:33:59 5 min read

The Meat and 2 Veg of Consulting

I listen to lots of stuff, devouring Podcasts and Audiobooks like Godzilla going on rampage in downtown Tokyo.

Recently we drove to Barry Island (of Gavin & Stacey fame) from the North West.

Once you leave the never ending 50 MPH limit on the M6, the beautiful winding roads through Monmouthshire open up before you.

As the countryside flashed by, my mind opened up like those scenic roads.

I was listening to one of my favourite BBC Podcasts - the Food Chain.  It’s about the culture, science and business of food. 

And it’s fascinating.

Having just polished off a Twix and can of Coke to keep my driving energy levels up (this self serving rationale seems to justify chocolate on any 150+ mile journey) I listened with a pang of guilt as the presenter rambled on about vegetables.

"Vegetables give us 95% of our nutrition intake…."

My mind was distantly flitting between the Podcast, work and overtaking things without killing me, Sophie and the dog. 

The latter outcome being almost worth crashing for.

As I drifted back into the left hand lane, I drifted back in to the Podcast for real. The topic was superfoods, clean eating and the notion of eating disorders that over-fascinate specific foods to the point of creating health issues.

Orthorexia - an obsession with proper or ‘healthful’ eating.

Here are some symptoms…

  • Compulsive checking of ingredient lists and nutritional labels
  • An increase in concern about the health of ingredients
  • An inability to eat anything but a narrow group of foods that are deemed ‘healthy’
  • Spending hours per day thinking about what food might be served at upcoming events
  • Obsessive following of food and ‘healthy lifestyle’ blogs on Twitter and Instagram

I had honestly never registered Orthorexia as a ‘thing’ before.

The presenter went on to explain that Clean Eating and Super Foods are just the latest fad names.  That the diet industry continually creates new ‘brands’ of diet to generate the next wave of income as each successive fad fails to deliver.

Apparently there’s no such thing as the perfect diet. 

Instead, different people have different needs depending on their lifestyle, metabolism, health and sociographics.

Woah..........where have I heard this before?

An industry that creates branded fads to convince customers to spend money. 

The customers generally find that the recommendations don’t actually work, because they’re not specific enough for their needs or just too impractical to stick to. Meaning they waste time and money on them.

So, they lose hope and confidence. 

Then, 2 years later, the industry comes along with some new fad that will solve their problems. And the customers can't resist temptation..

After all, something has to work, right?

Why not try one of these diets for your body...

Atkins diet, The Zone diet, Ketogenic diet, Vegetarian, Vegan diet, Weight Watchers diet, South Beach diet, Raw food diet, Mediterranean diet, Western diet. DASH diet, Flexitarian diet, Mayo Clinic diet, Ornish diet, Spark Solution diet.

My mind came crashing back to the world of management consultancy - more specifically technology consultancy where I’ve spent much of my career.

Why not try one of these diets for your business...

Business Process re-Engineering, Business Transformation, Balanced Scorecards, Six Sigma, Outsourcing, Target Operating Models, Offshoring, Near shoring, Right Shoring, Industry 4.0, The Cloud, Internet of Things, Blockchain, Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, Robotic Process Automation.

The consulting industry has to invent new branded fads to create a new slipstream that enables it to bill for services.

None of these things start with the customer need.  They totally skip their customers current health, pains and ills.  They're strategy agnostic.

The solution is the answer despite the need and they all follow the same pseudocode.

consultant-tech-diet-code

Clearly, this is also multi-threaded.

Hey VJ...

Recently, I posted an article on SAP S/4 HANA - and the fact that customers are struggling to find a business case for it.

The SAP Systems Integrators however are keen for new projects, so they promote S/4 HANA like a kind of healthy quinoa.

But quinoa that's stuffed foie gras style down their customers gizzards.

My S/4 blog got quite a few comments.  One in particular was excellent, and explained that there were in fact benefits...

vj-s4-linkedin

Now I don’t know Vijay and I’m sure he’s a super bright guy.

But he’s fallen for the SAP ecosystem fad diet hook line and sinker.

The business case for S/4 HANA is that it lets you do Real-Time, IOT, Blockchain, Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning.

Really?

Is that what most people are lining up to do?

And, even if they are, is S/4 HANA the only way that can do these things?

Mutual Exclusivity?

We’re doing a cutting edge Machine Learning project for a client at the moment and it’s all based on an Open Source stack.  No sign of SAP Leonardo or any of the other Ninja Turtles in sight.

Is Satoshi Nakamoto (whether a person or composite persona) sat on his (or their) hands at the moment, waiting for the enough of the world to upgrade their SAP ECC systems to S/4 before pushing on with grand Blockchain plans?

No.

It’s bollocks Vijay.

95% of your nutrition comes from vegetables.

The same goes for companies who have businesses to run, grow and transform.

95% of the stuff you need to do, you already know how to do without having to rely on the consulting industry to conveniently name a fad so they can help you - and bill you for the privilege.

Cut the Techo-Orthorexia

  • Stop checking ingredient lists and nutritional labels of software firms
  • Stop eat a narrow group of technologies that are deemed to be the ‘healthy’ choices.
  • Stop spending hours per day thinking about what technology might be served at upcoming events to inform your 'roadmap'
  • Stop obsessively following technology fads and ‘healthy corporate lifestyle’ blogs on LinkedIn

Instead, the remaining 5% of your corporate nutrition should start with what your corporate body needs, and not the next consultancy or enterprise software fad diet that makes them fat and you thin.

Apparently there’s no such thing as the perfect diet. 

So, rather than forcing the latest fad solution down your gizzard, think about basing this vital 5% of nutrition on a clear strategy and some concrete outcomes.

Maybe you'll also alleviate your IBS.

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Stuart Browne

Stuart has held leadership roles in the SAP ecosystem over an 18 year period, spanning consultancy, delivery management, practice development, sales, marketing and analyst relations. With an eclectic mix of skills and one of the largest SAP networks in the UK, Stuart has established a formidable reputation that has enabled Resulting to guide SAP customers through complex challenges.