Engaging people closest to the problems instead of using external consultants in government

Government spends billions of ¬£s on outside consultancies and COVID has brought that spending into headline news (“¬£7000 a day”). But in terms of solving practical problems it is the employees closest to the coalface who know the answers; it’s just that we don’t ask them or invite them in to become the problem solvers. 95% of organisational issues or challenges can be solved by the front line if we engage them in an exciting way that captures their curiosity.

Consultants might be good at diagnosing a problem but it usually involves them getting that information from employees who know the issues and the solutions.

Here is an opportunity to ignite and engage employees more actively in the problem solving. Employees become internal consultants who work with a brief curated by (say) a permanent secretary or under secretary (Who select one of their pain points). It might be as simple as ” We cant seem to respond to ministers requests quickly enough” and want a fresh pair of eyes to look at novel ways to break down bureaucratic blockages. The solution I am proposing in the next section is not only a very pragmatic way to solve problems/solution find, but will save Government spending/Taxpayers money and is also is a great tool for engaging and developing the internal talent within government.




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