Small fish, Big pond - strange new fish and the water's odd
August 9, 2021 11:07 PM   Subscribe

I've got a contract with a large organization (as a sole consultant with a holist approach).

Company has an entrenched culture, a lot of politics, sensitive toes, and needless secrecy (makes sense if one is outside but not once inside the walls) - not toxically siloed, not holistic (but some individuals are). Am looking at probably being here a while so interested in anything I can do to ease my passage, get more work done and learn as much as possible.

It's like being parachuted into new terrain without a map or common language. The system means speed/progress is a fifth of what I want.

(part of) my approach is to hoover up information, pick up on cues, clues and overheard things and then 'color in'. Also any other possible sleuthing, reading, networking, watching, putting out leads...

I've looked for books and blogs ... but so much management writing now is IT-focused (with serious abuse of nouns like architect, engineer, building, landscape, pipeline...) and doesn't translate well to real physical facilities.

English is my sole language. Books, blogs, even some current novels would work, esp. if they're written as novels because non-fiction would be unpalatable to publishers or unhealthy for authors.

I've found Mick Cope's The Seven Cs of Consulting useful, too general for this but the tone is right. Much business writing is selfish and not constructive.
posted by anonymous to Work & Money (1 answer total)
Former auditor - get hold of the accounts - if the organization is public, go through the financials and identify the divisions in the organization and the value of the various parts. If the organization is government/statutory - go through the legislation and regulations and the reports it needs to file to comply with its supervisory obligations.

Check whether the Bureau of Statistics has any industry information and figure out market share

If the organization is private, get the internal phone directory - map out the divisions and personnel in each of them.

The only writer on management that I bother with is Peter Drucker - who did actually write a novel.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 12:46 AM on August 20, 2021

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