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Are Manuel’s management consultants wrecking BA?

I’m sure readers will be aware that our once favourite airline, the dreadful BA, has been having a few small problems over the bank holiday weekend.

Apparently, all useless BA’s computer systems crashed. After hiding for most of the weekend, BA’s boss, Spaniard Alex “Manuel” Cruz, finally emerged to implausibly claim that a brief “power surge” somewhere in the UK blew all BA’s computer systems in every single one of the 100+ countries where BA has operations. Hmmm. Slightly flimsy story there Manuel. Why didn’t you just try “dog ate my homework” or “mouse crapped on computer cables“? That might have been more believable.

Manuel, of course, denies that his decision to save money by firing around 700 British IT experts and replacing them with much cheaper IT people in some sweaty Indian dump had anything at all to do with BA’s numerous computer systems failures culminating in the bank holiday’s disastrous systems collapse.

Yeah, Manuel, we all believe you. Honest we do.

Last year BA had seemingly endless bad publicity over things like computer failures, strikes, reducing the size of its seats and cuts to its on-board services.

So, what’s going on at Manuel’s (sorry, I meant “Alex Cruz’s”) flying version of Fawlty Towers?

Having spent over 25 years working for and competing against some of the world’s best and worst management consultancies, I can smell management consultants at work. I can smell incompetent BA bosses bringing in incredibly expensive management consultants to cut costs. At a guess, I’d say that the world’s most prestigious (and expensive) management consultancy, McKinsey, were at work in Manuel’s flying Fawlty Towers.

To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, “management consultants know the price of everything and the value of nothing“. It’s typical of management consultants’ short-term cost-cutting projects to slash staff and services without considering the consequences for the organisation they’re working in. Many companies have been bankrupted by their management consultants’ “productivity improvement” programmes.

Land and expand!

British companies spend around £5bn a year – an incredible £100m a week – on management consultants to tell their managers how to do their jobs. Government splashes out a further £1bn a year – £20m a week – of our taxes on their favourite management consultants.

A few years ago our supposedly “cash-strapped” NHS was squandering around £600m a year on management consultants. As the NHS had about 38,000 managers, it was splashing out around £16,000 a year for management consultancy help for each of its 38,000 managers.

If you’ve ever been in an organisation that used management consultants, you’ll know that the key management consultants’ trick is “land and expand” – sell a small project and then use that to keep on selling ever more work till you’ve siphoned off millions from every organisation stupid enough to let you through the door.

I’ve written a book warning organisations how their management consultants fleece them:

But rather then spending a tenner on my book, Britain’s bumbling bosses would rather throw millions at their chosen management consultants.

Here’s a short (3 minutes) YouTube video I made warning about management consultants’ main tricks.

Naturally both my book and video have been ignored by the idiotic, management-gobbledigook-spouting Manuels who seem to run so many British companies and government departments:

3 comments to Are Manuel’s management consultants wrecking BA?

  • Theresa O

    Do you think that BA had warning of an imminent terrorist incident? It is Ramadan, as you have pointed out. The ‘power surge’ story might be just to stop us panicking or, you know, becoming Isl*mophobic. Just a thought.

  • NoMore

    To continue that line of thought…

    “much cheaper IT people in some sweaty Indian dump”

    14% of Indians are Mohammedans – inside job?

  • David Craig

    I doubt it was deliberate. My boss taught me that one should always assume the “Theory of Incompetence” rather than the “Theory of Conspiracy” was responsible for most disasters.

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