Saturday, March 29, 2008

Consulting & Communication: Are you told what you think you are told?

In business schools, the professors cannot stress less about communication in business consulting engagements. I whole-heartedly agreed with it before, and now I had the chance to experience it first handedly.

As an Operations Research professional or student, what comes to mind when someone says
  • "we do cross docking"
  • "our system is a pull system"
  • "our system is 'just in time'"
Just when I thought, "wow, these guys are doing really well on their own", the answers I got after I asked them "what do you mean by..." the above statements usually left me with a surprised "Ooooh...THAT's what you meant!" - because the answers I got was completely different than what I understood were meant by those terms.

Communication - clarification - don't assume what you know, but always confirm what you think you know is true to make sure it is actually true - that is the lesson I learned.

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