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Been A While

Posted By David T. Norman FIMC CMC-AF, Monday, January 16, 2012
Good day to you. 

It's been a while since my last post; with apologies, sometimes life just comes at you fast.  Not an excuse, just a fact.  Ugh!

Two things: MLK Day and House of Lies.

1.  Martin Luther King Day:
I've been part of adjunct faculty for approximately 25 years, most often teaching Strategy or Corporate Finance.  In Strategy, as we discuss Vision and Mission, I ask my students to close their eyes as I read a very powerful Vision and, after reading it, ask if they could 'see' and 'feel' the author's vision.  While you can't close your eyes and read it at the same time, I suggest that today is a good day to read a very powerful vision -- Martin Luther King's Dream speech (  It is powerful from many perspectives -- the vision itself of a better time, the message of equality and reconciliation, the language, the alliteration, and so forth.  Organizations' Vision Statements can't be/shouldn't be this long; but can they be as powerful and moving.

2.  House of Lies:
Last evening, my wife, Louise, and I watched our first session of House of Lies, staring Don Cheadle on Showtime.  According to Showtime's website, "Charming, fast talking Marty Kaan and his crack team of MBA-toting management consultants are playing America's 1 percent for everything they've got. They put the con in consulting as they charm smug, unsuspecting corporate fat cats into closing huge deals, and spending a fortune for their services. Twisting the facts, spinning the numbers, and spouting just enough business school jargon to dazzle the clients, there's no end to what this crew won't do to and for each other, while laughing all the way to the bank."

If you haven"t seen it, don"t waste your valuable time.  It is hard ignore the foul language (seems the 'F' word is the predominate word in their 'consultant-jargon'), the nudity (gratuitously presented), and the technological/video gimmicks (freeze-frame).  If you can get past all that, then the show itself is simply a non-starter.  House of Lies; indeed.  The portrayal of management consulting is so wrong.  As a professional, lifetime (38 years so far, 23 years as CMC) management consultant I'm not sure whether to be incensed or just amused.  The show may be humorous (although neither Louise nor I thought so), but only as a parody.  And, while I didn't watch it with our Code of Ethics in hand, my guess is that Marty (Don Cheadle) and his 'crack team' violated at least four (out of the fifteen) of the Code of Ethics points you subscribe to as a member of IMC USA.

As we state on our website (see

The standards of conduct set forth in this Code provide basic principles in the ethical practice of management consulting. The purpose of this Code is to help IMC USA members maintain their professionalism and adhere to high ethical standards as they provide services to clients and in their dealings with their colleagues and the public.

Of this Code of Ethics, and of you and your membership, I am proud.

Stay tuned (and I'll try to post more often),

My best,


Tags:  CMC  Code of Ethics  Dream Speech  House of Lies  IMC  Martin Luther King  MLK Day  Showtime 

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Comments on this post...

Michael E. Cohen CMC MBA says...
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012
I remember Don Cheadle from the movie "Colors" (1988) with Sean Penn, Maria Alonzo and Robert Duvall. There instead of the "F" word, the word "homes" or "holmes" was sprinkled throughout the film. It was a very good movie, but I don't think I'd consult Don Cheadle for anything to do with management consulting (lol). They violated only 4 of the 15 ethics principles in the new film?
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John R. Bryan DBA CMC-AF says...
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012
I suppose you present another good reason for me to not subscribe to Showtime or the other so-called "premium" channels because, as it seems, the prices are premium while the content is not. The irony is that most consultants who I know reverse this by providing premium content at prices that are not.
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David T. Norman FIMC CMC-AF says...
Posted Monday, January 16, 2012
Nice perspective, John, and thanks for sharing. We do, as a general rule, provide premium content at non-premium prices.

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