The idea of transparency

Attending a conference call with enthusiastic consultants today made me think a bit harder about Perception: I know, it is rather subjective. The question brought up to the table came back in the conversation: as consultants, are we consistently driving the right perception to the client? Some participants admitted it: the answer is no.


Image courtesy of Pakorn

There is a fine line, that connection, with the procurement department that already exists within the company (the client’s). To be contracted as a third party, an extra piece to the puzzle, may sometime feel like being the fifth wheel to a truck already moving, if not speeding, on a highway. How to turn a “nice-to-have-yet-perceived-as-superfluous” to a “relevant-now” addition? One key to the equation is the transparency, and that works both ways. It is about communication: how a consultant is transparent with his/her client turns out to be critical. It calls for partnership: how the relationship is being built, maintained and nurtured.

Being transparent means to transmit light, in the sense of reflecting, mirroring. Partnering with a procurement, logistics or supply chain team (or any project team for that matter) comes down to sharing ideas, and, later, reflecting on them to move forward on a clear and realistic project. It looks like a prism: each facet of the project is interdependent on any other one. Through the natural light, one can detect and define its full spectrum and layers. Scientist Newton divided it into seven colours. A procurement/logistics project reproduces a similar scenario with its objectives, scope, stakeholders, baseline methodology, planning/operations strategy, cost saving approach and project plan. The common denominator to this is communication, and how each one interacts with the other. That includes the team and the consultant, who happens to become a teammate when the team members play fair transparency and let him/her in.

What side of the prism are you standing from?