Company Christmas Lunch 11 Dec:  Ironmongers' Hall
Annual Charities Supper 30 Jan:  Cutlers' Hall – Save the Date
Click here for our rolling calendar or here for City events

Education Committee Seminars and Discussions...

Why doesn’t government have a feedback loop?  and other discussions...

The Education Supper on 14 May has the controversial, challenging, and interesting guest speaker Ed Straw - former Coopers & Lybrand and PwC partner, chair of Demos and Relate, brother of a former Cabinet Minister and iconoclast.

Ed will be asking:

- why doesn't the election make a difference?

- why can't Government learn?

- why do politicians *still* think the game is over when the policy enters into law?

- why are politicians systemically incapable of getting results?

- what can a management consultant teach the civil service and government?

- what can we do to bring about a democratic revolution and revolution in democracy and organisation of the country?

At the 800th anniversary of Magna Carta, we need to ask ourselves whether we have the government we deserve.

Given that every major party has promised significant constitutional reform, whatever the result of the next election, this is likely to be a topic of vital interest which will have significant impact on how we are governed in the future...

Join the debate at

2. Why aren't consultants systems thinkers?

On the evening of 15 June, our next education committee seminar covers systems thinking and consultancy: why aren't consultants systems thinkers?

Arguably, consultants have a number of constraints preventing them

- negative incentive to intervene at a truly transformational level, in order to maintain client dependency and ongoing work

- no real incentive to understand the potential unexpected consequences of change

- working in unsystemic organisations geared to exploit consultants and customers and keep the functioning of the organisational system obscure (see 'utilisation' and 'recovery' - competing and non-systemic/sustainable metrics by which consultancies are traditionally managed

- 'expert' mindset which stands in the way of true inquiry and learning, particularly co-learning and co-production with the customer...

What do you think?

Join the discussion at

3. Consultants can help others - but not change themselves?

In taking on the stewardship of the Company’s Education Committee, I was acutely aware that I’ve been both a fan and a critic of consulting. On the one hand, I feel it’s a wonderful gift that I discovered the profession, or it discovered me. The combination of analysis, intellectual challenge, the complexities of helping people and organisations to be better, together with opportunities for performing - plus just a tinge of arrogance suit me superbly. On the other hand, I’ve been highly critical of the way so much consultancy is done, founding my own firm partly on the tongue-in-cheek-but-with-a-serious-point ‘Campaign Against Consultancy’. Inspired by Gordon Ramsay’s ‘Campaign for Real Gravy’ (like him or loathe him, the man has a definite and distinct consulting style!), this was about genuinely building client capacity and ‘doing yourself out of the job’...

Have a look at the manifesto of the education committee: educating our profession - do you have a contribution to make to educating the profession?

Join the discussion at






Liveryman Benjamin Taylor