I've just been thumbing through today's People Management, and spotted a piece by Alex Wilson (Group HR Director at BT*), 'How I got where I am today'.
"I get fed up with consultants constantly beating at my door suggesting they have the solution to all my ills. They think they can transform my life and the company but I get so many of them it’s just a pain – the equivalent of spam."
I do understand the problem, but spam we ain't. Companies can learn about 'best practice' from listening to other practitioners, and sharing knowledge between themselves. They're more likely to get 'next practice' (Rosabeth Moss Kanter's phrase) from those who are looking for, and learning from, opportunities to transform a variety of organisations (innovation generally coming from a mix of different experiences and perspectives), ie consultants.
Companies that ignore this opportunity are going to suffer as a result.
* BT shares at lowest level since flotation (one cheap shot for another).