"If a man is offered a fact which goes against his instincts, he will scrutinize it closely, and unless the evidence is overwhelming, he will refuse to believe it. If, on the other hand, he is offered something which affords a reason for acting in accordance to his instincts, he will accept it even on the slightest evidence. The origin of myths is explained in this way."

Bertrand Russell
(1872 - 1970)
British philosopher and logician

"Consulting companies have a habit of creating solutions to problems and then peddling them like bottled medicine to organizations that appear to have the right symptoms.

Unfortunately, unlike medicinal treatments, off-the-shelf business improvement solutions created by consultants are not subjected to rigorous testing."

Richard Leuke
writing for the Harvard Business Review, 2003.




Workplace Myths and Fads
We believe that the UK workplace today is awash with unsubstantiated and damaging 'business and management consultant' derived practices that have came to be accepted as the norm in business.
The sad reality is that many of these practices inadvertently hinder business performance, fail to address the real issues, and undermine organisations’ well intended employee relations and engagement efforts. However, the cause and effect relationships aren't always obvious and these practices are therefore rarely questioned and simply continue.  

Consultants' Obligations
We know that introducing universal or 'pre-prepared' solutions for inadequately defined problems simply introduces new and additional problems for organisations, often having an adverse effect on business performance, employee engagement, and employee relations  -  which in turn impacts on absenteeism, staff retention, and productivity.
It's rare for a client to have fully explored the unintentional consequences that can accompany the introduction of a new practice or procedure, so the consultant must explore these possibilities with the client while formulating and evaluating solutions.

When implementing a new practice (or maintaining an existing one), we ask you to consider how valid it is. Is it based on well researched evidence, or is it based on assumptions? If you're doing it just because everyone else is, have you ever questioned its effectiveness and relevance for your situation?

To prevent the introduction (and continued use) of harmful 'fads' or practices, we advocate the use of evidence-based practices in the workplace  -  practices that have a sound theoretical basis, are contextually relevant, and can be tested and verified. Ultimately, they should actually achieve what they were intended to achieve, with due consideration given to any detrimental 'side effects'.
We offer consultation around a wide range of issues and services, including: HR practices and policies; business processes; mentoring programmes; workplace mediation; psychometrics; training & development programmes; and much more.

For further information regarding the applicability and scope of our consulting service, please contact us.


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The Work Practice is a private limited company registered in Scotland SC403076. Registered Office: 83 Princes Street, Edinburgh, EH2 2ER.  Tel: 0844 809 2557