Hairy Patter and the Cursed Consultant

Recent spring-cleaning of the Source corporate loft turned up a tantalising fragment of the famed lost play…

Scene 1: A drab suburban sitting room. Hairy is hunched over his laptop, his middle-aged brow furrowed as he tries to sort through his expenses. His wife, Hernia, sits next to him on the sofa, reading the Harvard Business Review.

HERNIA: I can’t believe the library still keeps this in the restricted section. It’s outrageous: surely we should be encouraging the next generation of consultants to keep their skills up-to-date.

HAIRY: The Ministry thinks the Daily Profit is all they need.

HERNIA: That’s hardly…

HAIRY: [Angry] There’s no point talking about it.

An uncomfortable silence ensues.

HERNIA: [Quietly] Look, I know they don’t want to face the truth. But the fact is that the old magic is drying up…

She’s interrupted by a teenage boy running in.

HIPPY: Mum! Dad! It’s not working! I tried to do the simplest productivity improvement spell, and it didn’t work. I need it for operational excellence tomorrow otherwise I’ll get detention.

HERNIA: You just need confidence…

HIPPY: No, it’s not that. My matrix wouldn’t work in Transformation! It morphed into a Venn diagram. No one knew what to do and in the end the partner had to dispose of it in the fume cupboard.

HAIRY: [Sadly] Even the most experienced consultants are having problems at the moment. It used to take a handful of slides to have an impact, but now you need hundreds. PowerPoint just isn’t working for us anymore. Measely said he was giving a presentation the other day and he couldn’t manage a single change. If we don’t find a solution soon, we’ll be no different to the Muddles.

Scene 2: The same room, six months later, but brighter. The Patter family is hosting a celebratory dinner. Only Hippy looks unhappy.

HAIRY: So then I said, ‘Look, that’s the beauty of digital. It’s a bit like waving a magic wand.’ You take a process, digitise it, and hey presto, zero costs, improved customer experience and a totally new operating model.

MEASELY: [Nodding] Agile development is the best new spell I’ve seen in decades.

HIPPY: I don’t get what’s different. Surely the underlying magic hasn’t changed.

HERNIA: You just need confidence…