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‘Welcome Zarina Khan’

Hello readers, this is Zarina, the newbie to the management consultancy team at BLT. Entering my second week here at BLT, I’m pleased to say that the team have not scared me off…yet. I graduated this year from Durham University where I read History, specialising in good old Henry VIII and his marital issues in my final year. Though I left the essays, deadlines and all-nighters behind, I take a personal interest in women’s history; reading about a bit of everything from Anne Boleyn to the former Comfort Women of East Asia. Before making a complete break with student life, I spent 6 weeks in South-East Asia after graduating, where I backpacked from Hanoi to Singapore, and though tempted to ignore my return flight, alas here I am. I was particularly eager to grab a desk at BLT as they provide an ideal environment for my first ‘real adult’ job. Challenging yet supportive, friendly yet focussed, I knew I would not be idly passing the hours here. Though it’s still early days, I am really looking forward to getting stuck in with the team’s work and building a career here! And I’m sure they’re equally eager for some of my infamous chocolate fudge cake. (Hot tip: a penchant for puddings on a CV wins hearts, minds and stomachs)

Can we build our way to growth?

Maybe we should pay less attention to the doomsayers and think more about how we can all help to get ourselves out of this economic mess.

Alan Leaman, CEO of the MCA, says it is time to stop talking and start building. In his article Can we build our way to growth? he shows how Government, the private sector and management consultancies can help.

Or have you any better ideas?

It takes all sorts!

Yesterday’s FT featured an article from Lucy Kellaway entitled ‘Everyone benefits from a beast in the boardroom’ and I felt I had to share.

It’s a well written, to the point and thought provoking piece which goes some way to highlighting the complex dynamics in the boardroom and it strikes me that there are compelling arguments for not just more women on boards, but more diversity generally, with a cocktail of personality types needed to ensure greatest effectiveness.

As a recruiter in the company secretarial arena I can appreciate the reference to the ‘SOB’ in Lucy’s article and hear stories of such characters every day, I thought it highlighted an important message that we should all remember: ‘It’s not personal, it’s just business!’

‘It takes all types to make the world go round’ but clearly it also takes all types to get the best out of the boardroom.

Innovation in Government

McKinsey’s public sector practice is featured in the September 2011 McKinsey Quarterly magazine. It discusses the big problem facing Governments around the world: squaring the circle of rising demand for services with limited resources.

The consultants draw on the experiences of Kenya and Georgia to show how a willingness to take bold risks can make public services better and cheaper. These countries believe they have no choice.

This articlewww.mckinseyquarterly.com/Public_Sector/Management/Innovation_in_government_Kenya_and_Georgia_2865shows clearly the challenges that face these – and other – developing countries. It is also a good introduction for consultants who are considering moving into international development consultancy, as it explores some of the top-down initiatives that consultancies can help Ministers implement.

I understand that this is the first in a series of features which should be relevant to the international development community which will be published over the next few months. I’ll alert you to the others as they come off the press.

We’re so British!

So we’ve been experiencing ‘an Indian Summer’ and we love to talk about it – “can you believe it, it’s nearly October?,” “it hasn’t been this hot in September since 1985,” “best get out the barbeque because we won’t see sun like this again in a while.”

I think it’s gone to people’s heads a little, ourselves here in the BLT office included. Sarah and Kate took a walk to the nearby Lincolns Inn Fields to shoot a couple of videos to make the most of the fabulous weather. Please check them out below to learn more about a couple of our hot jobs.

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