One of the potential problems that the GO Society faced in their recent conference in Toronto was how to mix three disparate groups: consultants, who are always trying to convince someone to pay them money; academics, who would like to get someone to pay them money which they will then squander on research; and business people who have to use the work of consultants and academics to actually make money so that they can give it back to the other two groups.
Always difficult to have at a conference.
The GO Society conference really did seem to work out all the problems.
One of my roles was to continue my interviews with people who have used Requisite principles to better their organizations. By “better”, I mean “make more money”. It gave me an opportunity to hobknob with some people who have to work within these organizations, and only a couple had become consultants. Okay, so a couple had retired to play golf or invest money and pontificate on national television in their respective countries, but they still had managerial responsibility.
Which is interesting. Most conferences like this tend to attract almost a single type of person, usually consultants, whom, as I pointed out earlier, are always angling to make a buck. Or a Euro. This one had a smattering of Real Users. Yes, it was about a fourth the size of the consulting group, but they were still there.
Somehow, I think the GO Society got all of the consultants to keep themselves reined in. I spoke with two guys currently applying these organizational principles within their organizations, and during neither two hour conversation were we interrupted by a more successful consultant trying to take advantage of the Moment. Both fellows were also extremely pleasant about the whole affair.
I’m not sure what they were doing, but I think that the GO Society did something right by the Users. Consultants were definitely keeping themselves in check. I didn’t hear one conversation angling for work — my non-conversation with Mark Van Clieaf and two bigshots had Mark pushing his theory of governance but not to get business; he just believes in the theory and it was picking up some extended conversation that these guys had been having for years. And that was the closest to it.
I’m Third Generation in this whole Requisite stuff: I never met Elliott Jaques or Wilfred Brown or David Billis or any of the other guys from who got this started in the UK. I have met Steve Clement, the West Pointer who co-authored Executive Leadership with Jaques. But that still makes me 3G.
The CEOs seemed to be mostly left alone by consultants that they didn’t know. There were academics hounding them, perhaps, but that’s mostly an aggressive mind wanting to continue talking shop.
However they got consultants on a short leash, it worked. Kudos to the GO Society organizers.