Thursday, 28 March 2013

Snake oil procurement

Tonight the so called 'Devils Advocate starts a 14 year jail sentence. His sentence is poetic justice for a lawyer with no legal qualifications not registered to practice,  yet gained notoriety and £1m from representing those who could never win within a justice system. Isn't there something quite remarkable about this modern day snake oil salesman who received good money on a 'no expectation of win basis'. Added to his real CV are now fraud, deception, money laundering and forgery. Would you buy advice from such a person?

Of course we have already discussed fake lawyers, this is not a one-off, and ironically we have even come across a coroner who turned out to be unqualified to practice.

Although it was before I stared this blog, there was also a wonderful example of an unqualified surgeon. You are also no doubt familiar with the great fraudster, Frank Abagnale Jnr, portrayed in 'Catch me if you can', who now works for the FBI. and perhaps that other compulsive fraudster Steven Jay Russell made famous in 'I love you Phillip Morris'.

Interestingly, it can also be implied from this week's evidence to the Public Administration Select Committee, that those leading procurement reform in the UK have no way of knowing who in central government procurement is actually a 'fraudster' unqualified to practice!

But today's message is simple, how can you meet the challenge and avoid the risk of being gullible enough to be taken in by a procurement snake oil consultant selling aspirations which cannot be delivered and is more qualified in non-delivery than the profession?  This is all the more relevant given that many of those who make such appointments just wouldn't recognise 'the real thing' and are buying the promise.

Adding to my previous blog suggestions, I wonder if insufficient attention is given to peer endorsement and created social capital. I don't mean the LinkedIn endorsements of 'you scratch my back and I'll scratch yours'. No, I mean those who demonstrate in the public domain of micro-blogs, blogs, white papers, etc. that their knowledge is current and recognised by their peers and they can provide constructive challenge to your existing ways of doing business as opposed to replicating the last snake oil offer. I don't mean taking these endorsements at face value either, I mean these are additional tools to supplement the existing use of CVs which unfortunately are open to embellishment and exaggeration and have a 'rear view mirror' orientation.

Is this another contribution social media could make to the profession?

P.S. And then came the revelation of the self-porfessed unqualified 'expert heath worker' who with her partner provided forged references

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