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Re: P2 guides for enviro consultants?

Title: Re: P2 guides for enviro consultants?

About three years ago, there was a discussion on this listserve about P2 consulting and how tough it can be as a business.  I still have a copy of a "white paper" drafted by Tim Greiner on the topic that I can provide to anyone interested.  But that discussion was a bit disempowering if I remember right, focused on the non-standard aspects and barriers to anyone doing this kind of work, coming from environmental consulting or anywhere else.

We have done two "P2 integration" projects with environmental consulting firms, one a medium-sized regional firm fairly competent at re-inventing itself, and one an international firm struggling to do so.  My comment, based on those projects (both multi-year and well-funded), as well as our own work internationally, is that there may not be a guide doc worth pursuing or developing.  I say this because P2 consulting is less a topic area or body of knowledge than it is a way of thinking.  And as a way of thinking, it is more important to find the right people within an organization who are capable of things like non-linear problem-solving and team building.  Environmental consultants, as well as the productivity and quality consultants you mention, have all been selected for a certain level of technical competency that may be useful for characterizing processes or investigating existing alternatives, but not very helpful at all for creating alternatives or fighting the implementation wars.

That said, I can offer three things we have developed that might be helpful in re-educating staff from environmental services company with the hope of their thinking or doing P2.  First, to help in selecting the right staff to re-educate, we have a matrix of skills and experience, ranked from "gotta have it" to "you can learn this".  The scores guide the selection process, and guide the curriculum. Second, we have a protocol broken down into pieces that acknowledges that some people are way better at the front end than the back end, and suggests how to divide and conquer projects.  Third, we have a guide for doing real-time "joint projects" with real clients that has been useful in distinguishing staff's actual skills and willingness, and also identifies the items that need to change in their firms' systems to allow them to excel at P2.  Many of us know the pain of sending an excited colleague back into a system designed to quash innovation, or not designed to reward P2.

Anyone interested, pls contact me.  BTW, Burt, I note from your date line in your e-mail that you now reside in the future.  Pls send me a copy of the Wall Street Journal at your earliest convenience.

From: "Burton Hamner" <bhamner@cleanerproduction.com>
Reply-To: "Burton Hamner" <bhamner@cleanerproduction.com>
Date: Sun, 18 Mar 2001 17:59:59 -0800
To: "p2tech" <p2tech@great-lakes.net>
Subject: P2 guides for enviro consultants?

Howdy! Does anyone have any guidance documents to help "traditional" environmental consultants apply and supply P2 services to clients?  As might be expected, several int'l orgs trying to set up P2 programs are finding that most potential staff are from the enviro svcs companies, and they need help in re-educating them.  Another way of asking is, does anyone have a guide doc on how to do P2 consulting that is targeted at consultants in general?

I wrote just such a thing about 5 years ago, and someone in the P2 crowd said they liked it and asked permission to copy it.  Needless to say, I have lost my own electronic copy of the darn thing and now have no idea what I said that was so good.  And I don't have time to rewrite it again!

I have taken the obvious step of advising my colleagues not to limit their recruiting to the enviro crowd but to expand it to include productivity and quality consultants, who in fact should be the first place they look in my humble opinion.

any help would be appreciated and all due credit given to sources.  Thanks!

Burton Hamner
www.cleanerproduction.com <http://www.cleanerproduction.com>
Seattle, WA