Canned Content

Pushing the limits of our recycling bin this week.

Pushing the limits of our recycling bin this week.

Many of us woke up today to the same challenge.  Where is the freaking milk behind all these leftovers? I found it without too much trouble but I couldn't help but notice that some of the classic concoctions chilling out in towers of Tupperware are largely filled with ingenious combos of canned goods. Yum, right?

Calling anything "canned" in consulting is usually bad. This is especially true because most of us like to think we're at the fine dining end of the federal consulting spectrum.  Clients are paying a lot of money for artisanal, office-made insights and recommendations so the negative connotation makes sense.

But yet we save and reuse material all the time-- and even invest in knowledge management systems and protocols so that we make it easier on ourselves to find and repurpose old content.

So when is "canned" OK or even preferable?

  • Clients crave best practices and knowing what their federal peers are up to. Collecting sections that pertain to a specific topic that highlight these very points make solid, multi-purpose deliverables.  They're also a foundation for building the tailored recommendations clients need.
  • Canned stuff is called for when nothing but "cream of mushroom" will do. When the mysterious ingredients aren't readily available on the open market, buying the end product is really the only option.  Gartner's IT and RS Mean's construction cost estimates come to mind.
  • I personally think canned stuff also comes in handy when you need to do entice someone into a little weekend work.  "See, it really won't be that bad-- start with this stuff and let me know if you have any questions!"  Hehehe.

Enjoy your leftovers.  I'm off to search for "turkey soup reimagined" recipes.