MCA on the attack

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The Independent Online
Brian Small, the new president of the Management Consultancies Association, believes he is lucky to have taken over at a time when the profession is prospering once more.

The last three months of 1994 produced the ninth consecutive quarter of growth for the association's members, and the omens for this year are good. As he pointed out in his speech on taking office last week, he and his colleagues are being asked to do "alot more work linked with success, and a lot less work that is driven by mere survival".

But Mr Small - an engineer and managing director of Ingersoll Engineers, a consultancy specialising in manufacturing industry - is not about to sit back and just let things take their course.

Conscious that the image of management consultancy has taken a battering lately, he suggests this may be connected with its comparative youth.

Consequently, among his ideas for his term of office are two based on communication. "Management consultants are major contributors to the wealth creation process. We are centre stage on all issues to do with competitiveness. We want this contribution

to be fully valued and better appreciated. We need to communicate our contribution more broadly and more effectively," he said.

But he added this would only be effective when the consultants had learnt how to harness the help of "the most important people" in their lives - their clients. "We need to find better ways of encouraging them to improve their lot by helping us to make our joint work more visible."