February 2024
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Has Britain’s new cheap army been designed by an army of management consultants?

It looks like management consultants are running riot all over our army. Here are a couple of quotes from Defence Secretary Philip Hammond: “The values of the army will sustain it through this transformation” Hammond interviewed for Defence Management. “”At a time when we face continued threats and uncertainty, we must reapply ourselves to the challenge of transforming Defence for the future.” Hammond in The British Army Journal.
 If you google “Hammond Army Transformation” you’ll find Hammond blethering on and on about “transformation” and “transforming”. “Transformation” was a favourite Tony Blair word – he was always promising to “transform” everything in sight.
I worked with the management consultants who originally came up with the idea of selling “Transformation” to our ever-gullible clients.  We were working for consultancy giant Capgemini and desperately needed a new product to sell. After a few duds, the good and the great came up with the idea of ‘Business Transformation’, wrote a book about it (Transforming the Organization) and even tried to copyright “transformation” as something only we could do. The great thing about “Transformation” was that it enabled us to sell massive, multi-million pound and euro and dollar projects (which were usually unnecessary) as when you’re “transforming” you need to change everything. At the time, The Economist warned a true transformation “would employ an army of consultants for a century and cause endless disruption”. Luckily for us, our stupid clients (especially the British Government) don’t seem to read The Economist.
I suspect it’s either McKinsey or PwC (or both) who are responsible for selling the stupid Tories the idea of “Transformation” and they have pulled off the classic management consultants’ trick of saving money by replacing expensive full-time staff with cheaper part-timers as our army is firing 20,000 fully-trained troops and replacing them by part-timers.
So it looks like we”ll soon be relying on an army of management consultants to defend us if the Argies attack the Falklands or if the s..t hits the fan in the Middle East.

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