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(Virtual) Education Lecture 19 May:  Unconscious Bias
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A Short History of Shoptalk

One aspect of being a Modern City Livery Company has been to encourage the sharing of expertise and information between fellow Members.  In 2004, PM Mike Jeans and Doug Prior realised that most members didn’t know much, if anything, about each other’s our professional backgrounds, expertise, management consulting activities, and interests.  With the approval of the Court of Assistants we established an informal forum, which became known as “Shop Talk” and subsequently  simply “Shoptalk”.

The initial meeting of “Shop Talk” was held on Thursday, 22nd April in the upstairs room of The Cheshire Cheese pub (near Temple).  At that time, two Company members would each present a short paper about their consulting work or raise issues for discussion; and about 4 to 6 meeting were held each year.   

Our Master, Denise Fellows, was an early contributor with a talk on NPL and many Past Masters have given papers.  For example:

  • Patrick McHugh, Is there a money making role for management consultants in leveraged corporate finance transactions?  
  • Ian Daniell, Has Interim Management changed the way we think about consultancy?
  • Vicky Pryce, Public Sector Development: impact on Consultancy Services
  • David Johnson, Commercial Interest Groups: Can they work?
  • Gareth Rees, gave a paper on Full Employment to a Portfolio Life.

These forums were well received.  They were enjoyed and the comments indicated that there were convivial, thought-provoking talks, and good networking.  These sentiments have run through Shoptalk activities over the years.  They have continued with the Shoptalk evenings organised by Third Warden, Bob Harris, at The Artillery Arms on Bunhill Row, where two or three new joiners have talked about their own expertise, experience and consulting interests, and in particular exchanged ideas with, and met, longer-established Members – a two-way benefit.

To bring the story up to date, and as reported in the Newsletter, the Shop Talk traditions of free flowing, worthwhile discussions have continued with the Company’s first virtual event - a Zoom based Shoptalk with on Friday 17 April with 19 participants!  It was a self-evident success, organised by Third Warden, Bob Harris, and PM Patrick Chapman.

Doug Prior 

19 April 2020