More often than not, consulting on a project requires being a dynamic "expert" on a wide variety of topics. This role can be a great balance between specialist and generalist that requires as much skill in organization, facilitation, and leadership (process-skills) as it does content-knowledge and expertise for task completion.
Just four years ago, I left my position as a non-profit leader to devote myself to a wider range of research and strategic consulting opportunities. When I did this, fundraising gave way to client development; administrative tasks gave way to business and operations management; creative meetings gave way to entrepreneurship; and reporting to my board gave way to client management. Every single day, success requires new learning, expanding my skill-set, collaborating with a variety of personalities, and operating in vastly different sectors. Most of the time I see great productivity and exciting results helping public, private, and civic sector clients define, ignite, and implement their research goals, strategic directions, and project management. All of the time I am learning and growing as a person and as a professional.
In those moments, both frustrating and unavoidable, when a project becomes stuck, I have learned that unsticking often requires addressing the way things are being done in order to leverage forward momentum. Here are 7 strategies to engage clients (colleagues, and citizens) critically and creatively to develop or recommit to shared outcomes, to create new strategies, and to revisit how to collaborative in order to achieve our best possible results in changing constellation of challenges and opportunities.
Clarify Outcomes. When I look back at some of my initial consulting work, especially the most laborious projects, I see that much of this occurred not because we didn't clarify our shared goals. Oftentimes the direction was clear, but because the result was not. Different sectors can operate differently and identifying and clarifying results is not always common practice. This results-driven focus isn't always easily adopted. It can actually be a lot scarier to commit to a specific outcome than simply to a direction, a more amorphous term. Yet, when results are clearly defined, there are implications for clarity and accountability that can lead to great results. While not doing so can also lead to lack of clarity and a failure to launch. Define outcomes is hard work, it takes time and effort and know-how. But, when all parties are pointing in the same direction and walking along the same path, the work will go more smoothly and get you where you're headed.
Clarify Benchmarks. Every clear outcome deserves a few good benchmarks. Road signs are how we know that we're driving in the right direction. They're also an opportunity to reassess and change course when necessary. When I get stuck with clients or colleagues or don't see the connection between my piece of the work and the bigger picture, benchmarks can help to remind us where you're going, how we're moving forward, and who is at the helm steering the project.
Plan for Headwinds. Any project worth doing will likely have a little turbulence. Plan for it.
Collaborate. Good collaboration requires a clear vision and strategic direction. When clients or colleagues are resistant to collaboration, I go back to number one (1), making sure that the outcomes and benchmarks are strong enough to withstand headwinds. But even with the best map in place, collaboration is a skill that requires transforming the way we work together, moving more deeply into reflection and conversation, and getting underneath the most comfortable and played-out topics. Collaboration is hard work but also a critical skill that makes us uniquely human.
Document and Adapt. A practice that I have taken from my former work as a non-profit leader and board member is to take minutes for most meetings. When all goes well and I am totally synced up with a client, I never have to come back to those notes. But, when a project pulls over into park, I can use them to reflect on decisions made in the past, help clients and colleagues become more strategically clear about the thinking processes that guide the work, and refer back to them to confirm that course changes are intentional. Maybe the project focus has shifted and we need to revisit benchmarks and outcomes. Maybe there are new political, environmental, or personal forces that we need to take into account. Maybe something isn't working and we need to adapt. Documenting discussions, and striving for clarity helps to create intentionality, allowing us to adapt as a responsive need instead of a reactive force.
Transform. Difficult and meaningful projects provide an endless canvas for dealing with sticking points and stuck people. Stuckness calls for transformation, a chance to serve a higher purpose by searching for creative innovations to move beyond old difficulties. How can you change the form of a problem? How can you find new innovations and deeper cutting solutions?
Serve. Work, in its highest sense, is the opportunity to serve others. When we serve, we don't just serve our immediate colleagues and clients, we are also in service to ideas, to humanity, and to a higher calling. When this purpose underlines clear outcomes and a solid road map it can lead to the most positive and powerful work.
There is great opportunity to find meaningful ways to address creative solutions to the problems that plague the world, build bridges within our communities, and foster human caring in our work environments. But those solutions require that we understand how we work with each other as well as the answers we find to the problems that we seek to solve.
WASHINGTON -– Farmers, ranchers and indigenous leaders who live along the Keystone XL pipeline route are holding an encampment on the National Mall this week to protest the proposed project that would carry oil from Canada's oil sands to refineries in Texas.
They call themselves the Cowboy and Indian Alliance and plan to be at the camp through April 27. It includes tepees, covered wagons, speeches and musical guests, and those participating are calling on the Obama administration to reject the proposed pipeline. The encampment opened Tuesday with a traditional ceremony performed by tribal leaders and a horseback procession to the Capitol.
On Friday, the State Department announced yet another delay in deciding whether to approve the pipeline. There is currently a legal dispute, which may take months to resolve, over the proposed route through Nebraska.
On a balmy April day last year, I stepped into a taxi in suburban Boston and headed downtown to attend the interfaith service at the Cathedral of the Holy Cross in response to the Marathon bombings just three days earlier.
As I sat in the back of the cab, trying not to sweat too much through my suit, I felt a swirl of emotion moving through me: terrible sadness for the victims and their loved ones; great relief that my family members were safe; and lingering fear about the whereabouts of the perpetrators (as yet unknown) and their capacity to do more harm. I also felt a deep sense of gratitude for the opportunity to gather publicly with others from various religious and cultural communities to express our grief and solidarity.
When I arrived at the Cathedral, I was ushered through security to an area near the front of the sanctuary reserved for local clergy and communal leaders. About 20 minutes before the service was scheduled to begin, a few volunteers approached our section and explained that there were not enough seats for all of the invited first responders. "Would any of you be willing to give up your places?" Immediately, Imam Suhaib Webb, spiritual leader of the Islamic Society of Boston Cultural Center, leaped to his feat. Seeing the very tall, broad-shouldered Imam move so quickly in front of me triggered me to stand up as well.
Along with other colleagues, we were escorted to the side of the church, where we stood amidst secret service people, police and emergency personnel who lined the walls of the Cathedral. After an hour or so of standing, my (creaky) back began to ache, so I asked a man sitting on the end of the row closest to me if we could exchange places for a few minutes. Like Imam Webb, this person did not hesitate to give me his seat. More than once I quietly asked him if he wanted to sit down again, but he insisted that I remain seated.
When the service ended 45 minutes or so later, I approached the man and thanked him for his kindness. He responded by saying to me, "Rabbi, my name is Steve McHugh and I was a volunteer in a medical tent near the finish line. I want to share with you two stories of great kindness that I witnessed shortly after the bombings."
I nodded, and Steve shared the following two brief anecdotes with me:
As volunteers carried a badly injured man into our tent, his wallet fell out of his pocket. The man was quickly rushed to the hospital, and one of the volunteers picked up the wallet. Noticing that it was blood-soaked, he removed all of its contents, cleaned the cards and replaced the soiled bills with fresh ones. The volunteer then hand delivered the wallet to the injured man in the hospital.
A second story: a marathoner limped into our tent, his shorts and shirt stained with salt from the long run. He was grasping his ears, clearly suffering from the booming sounds of the explosives. However, after quickly surveying the scene in the tent, he walked out and sat down on a nearby park bench. Concerned for him, I followed the runner outside and asked why he had left so soon after entering the tent. "There are other people who need help much more urgently than I do," he replied. I then went back into the tent and brought the man a blanket and something to drink. As I walked away from him, I noticed a set of bloody footprints leading from the tent to the bench. The man had suffered shrapnel wounds to the lower part of his leg and the blood had seeped through his shoe.
With tears in his eyes, Steve said that he held the vision of those footprints and of the wallet in his mind as symbols of the many acts of kindness and bravery he witnessed in the minutes and hours after the bombings. I thanked Steve for sharing these moving stories with me and asked if I could share them with others. He readily agreed, gave me his business card in case I had any further questions, and we parted ways.
While I repeated his stories informally with family and friends, almost a whole year passed until I spoke with Steve again. Last week, while preparing remarks for a Marathon memorial service on my campus, I called Steve and he graciously reviewed the details of the stories with me. I continued to carry his card in my wallet in the days leading up to this year's race.
We need stories like these--particularly in times of pain and anguish--to remind us of our capacity for goodness. While life is marred by acts of human cruelty and violence, there are also countless people engaged daily in deeds of kindness. Hearing such stories is a vital source of inspiration as we seek to better ourselves and to create a more just and compassionate world.
INDIANAPOLIS – On the eve of this Eastern Conference series, the wobbling No. 1 seed punctuated its final playoff preparations in a most self-destructive way: Two Indiana Pacers dragged a cursing, cut Evan Turner out of the Bankers Life Fieldhouse court, untangling him from a practice-floor fistfight with teammate Lance Stephenson.
When John Oliver went to file his last story on "The Daily Show with Jon Stewart," his host and boss surprised him with a whimsical and loving tribute to the Senior British Correspondent's seven and a half years on the show.
And we all remember how that went:
It was a moment that American audiences found touching and sweet. But as we learned on Tuesday's episode of "The Tonight Show," in England showing that kind of emotion brings shame to one's family name.
Watch above as Oliver explains to Jimmy Fallon why he got so emotional that night, and check out the clip below where Oliver laments the lack of graffiti on his subway posters. "Last Week Tonight" debuts on HBO this Sunday.
There are senior farewells that leave you inspired and hopeful about the future, and then there's this.
On Tuesday morning, someone contacted the Total Sorority Move (TSM) blog and claimed to be a college senior sorority sister submitting a purported farewell address to younger sorority sisters. Titled “Real Senior Sendoff Letter” and brimming with questionable advice and profanity, the letter is the opposite of everything we would counsel our younger selves to do.
“I’m going to be so blunt and truthful with you sloots you will learn everything you need to know about college right here in this letter," the document begins.
The author goes on to detail some pretty deplorable would-be life tips for sorority girls: "Have sex," but "check out their penis first"; "swallow that load" or "crawl into a hole with Ellen DeGeneres and learn to eat p---y"; "blackout or back the f--k out"; and "live your life by a double standard," which the letter clarifies by urging readers to "yell at your slut roommate and tell her that her bedroom is a revolving door even though you hooked up with two different guys in two days."
The shocking content is reminiscent the so-called “Deranged Sorority Girl” Rebecca Martinson, whose email threatening to "c--t punt" and "f--king assault" her fellow Delta Gammas at the University of Maryland last year earned her a spot in the annals of Internet infamy.
In publishing this new rant, TSM decided to leave out the author’s name, school and sorority, so we can't be sure that the letter was ever actually distributed to young sorority girls -- or that it was even written by a senior sorority sister.
WARNING: The letter below, as published by TSM, contains explicit language.
My younger sloots of [sorority redacted],
It’s me, your favorite ghost senior of the sorority. Yeah, you little bitches probably don’t even know who I am because I’m the one who doesn’t show up to shit because its pointless and when I do, I sneak out like two hours in when important people aren’t looking. Learn from my way little ones, cheating the system is how you get through life. Now, even though the majority of you bitchez don’t know who I am, you really should have gotten to know me though, I would have made your year fucking awesome. Ask [name redacted] and [name redacted], they may have some choice words and stories to tell about me.
Alright, so me being a senior, not even knowing how the fuck I made it this far in life without killing myself because I am a dumb fuck, I was told by our officers who think they rule the fucking world to leave a senior will….so I’m going to be so blunt and truthful with you sloots you will learn everything you need to know about college right here in this letter…
1. Have sex.
Have sex with as many boys as you can. Well, not exactly, check out their penis first. Dick pics are God’s gift to women. Make sure you inspect the goods before you let it penetrate you vagina. Having sex is awesome. The best thing you can do for your sex life is to learn to love sucking dick. It is one of my favorite pastimes. I could suck dick for like 7 minutes, anything after that is too long. You should have definitely made your man bust his load all in your mouth in 7 minutes. If you can’t achieve that, sorry sweetheart but you have better chances at becoming a lesbo than getting dick.
2. Swallow that load
If you are one of those “classy” ladies who don’t swallow. Go crawl into a hole with Ellen DeGeneres and learn to eat pussy, because that is what you are. Spitting is for quitters, you swallow that sweet ‘n’ salty mix like the real woman you are. Your man for the night will forever tell his bro’s about you dick sucking abilities. Oh, if you haven’t noticed by now, I love sucking dick. I crowned myself the dick sucking queen and no one is ever taking that title from me, so back the fuck off.
3. Blackout or Back the Fuck Out If you are getting ready to hit the square or frats with your sisters you better have already been pounding some liquor by 7pm. No one ever enjoys a sober sally, she judges the fuck out of you and even though I judge everyone who is within 4 feet of me, no one can judge me. I live my life by a double standard (see number 4). It is a really great feeling to wake up hopefully in your bed, and look to your side with a confused look asking yourself “did I have sex with him?”. It has happened to me countless times, but luckily I always find my used condoms on the floor of my room so I sorta know when I have had sex. I bring home classy dudes. On several occasions, I have brought home someone from the bar and tried to introduce him to my roommates/friends and forgotten his name. Always have the upper hand, you don’t need to know his name to hop on his tic tac.
4. Live your life by a double standard You are queen of the fucking world. You can do no wrong. You’re the only one who can fuck random’s every weekend and not be judged. You’re the shit and no one can tell you any different. You can yell at your slut roommate and tell her that her bedroom is a revolving door even though you hooked up with two different guys in two days, it could have been three but who is counting anymore? Excuses are your new best friend, not that fake fucking Yurman your sleazy ex got you because he was a two pump chump. You better start having excuses memorized like the 6-carat princess cut engagement ring your rich as fuck future boyfriend better get you in a few years you have memorized. I live my life by the absolute biggest double standard and it has gotten me so far, you young sloots better start doing the same. We need someone good to be the next A of [sorority redacted].
So, you fucking lucky little bitches have a few more years to run out mommys credit card, while crying to daddy that you have no money in your account so he slips you some cash for booze and weed. Spend that cash you don’t have on illegal drugs unless you’re one of the blessed who is already so fucked up you stumbled upon prescription drugs. If that’s the case, hit me up ;). Remember, wrap it before you tap it, no one wants the herps, and if you can, always be slightly drunk. Life will be so much better.
ulliThe latest reaction and news to David Moyes' sacking/lilia href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/23/david-moyes-manchester-united-fans-statement"Moyes says club need a 'fundamental rebuilding'/abr/lilia href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/blog/2014/apr/23/manchester-united-manager-successor-david-moyes"Five steps to finding a successor to David Moyes/a/lilia href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/23/manchester-united-beat-chelsea-luke-shaw-transfer-david-moyes"United set to beat Chelsea in £30m deal for Luke Shaw/abr/liliPaul Wilson: a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/23/manchester-united-ferguson-theatre-of-dreams"Time for Manchester United to get real/abr/liliSend your thoughts to a href="mailto:email@example.com"firstname.lastname@example.org/a/liliOr get in touch over on the Twitter a href="https://twitter.com/"@giles_richards/a /li/ulp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T15:20:43.017+01:00"3.20pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppMeaning of course: Tony Pulis.../pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T15:17:32.072+01:00"3.17pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbTouche, Craig G, who notes:/b quot;To be fair, the Glazers are hardly Lannisters either, are they? When was the last time actually paid their debts?quot;/ppWhile Ash MK joins in below the line: quot;Game of Thrones analogies, is it? I guess that makes Sir Alex the Tywin Lannister of the piece. Mourinho would be Littlefinger. David Moyes would be good and honourable Ned Stark. And we all know how that worked out!quot;/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T15:11:20.561+01:00"3.11pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbSuccess stories that David Moyes had to compete against /b- a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/who-scored-blog/2014/apr/23/premier-league-2014-liverpool-crystal-palace"Brendan Rodgers and David Pulis, the recent stats say/a - as interpreted by Alistair Tweedale for the Guardian Sport Network.br //pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:54:14.095+01:00"2.54pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbScooter and the Dead Kennedys already but the pop culture cross-over marches ever onwards as Heather Lyons succinctly offers this on United's immediate future:/b quot;Giggs and Scholes? Not exactly the Lannisters are they?quot;/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:47:19.583+01:00"2.47pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbPopoola Ore offers a pleasing solution to the replacement issue with some Frankenstein-esque personality combination, below. /bAny other suggestions for hybrid managers created by meddling with things we don't understand?/ppquot;If United do get Louis van Gaal, twill be like getting a hybrid of Guardiola and Mourinho - Guardiola's methodology and Mourinho's arrogance and occasional (everytime) madness.quot;says Popoola. /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:38:01.536+01:00"2.38pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppJust looked Scooter up on wiki. I fear the age gap between myself and the mighty McCourt is on show. Massive-selling German techno apparently. Who would have thought it? I can't do Scooter really but I am at home with a href="http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sjSuMixiBX4amp;feature=kp"this vision of the future from the Dead Kennedys/a.br //pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:29:21.996+01:00"2.29pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbHmm ... So, as it this the nature of these things,Andrew Sheena is less sympathetic to Chander Sharma's comments below. /bquot;The only defence people ever give Moyes is that he needs time,quot; says Andrew. Not one person has given any positive to his tenure of management, just kept mindlessly claiming he needs time. Time time time. It means nothing! If that is the best thing you can say about him then it tells its own story doesnt it. The harsh truth of it is that he hasn't been able to get anywhere near the best of his players, tactically he has been out maneuvered by most half decent managers he has come up against, and he has not been able to get us playing anything close to decent football. He has failed by a wide, wide margin. People dont tend to forget Fergie was a slow starter, it is brought up constantly. It was not horrific either, but then again he didnt inherit the champions and had smashed Real Madrid with Aberdeen./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:20:15.244+01:00"2.20pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbRight, I have been unchained from the desk and I am going to use this freedom to escape from the building and visit the local sandwich emporium for some much-needed nourishment./b But do not worry, my colleague Giles Richards has kindly agreed to step in for me while I do so. You can holler at him on a href="mailto:email@example.com"firstname.lastname@example.org/a. Speak soon. /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:15:31.069+01:00"2.15pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppstrongAndrei Kanchelskis, remember him? /strongOf course you do, he was great (see below). Well someone has tracked him down and asked for his two cents on all these shenanigans. He did not hold back:/ppNot all the players are ready to play for Manchester United, especially in defence and midfield. I do not understand why Rio Ferdinand and Rafael are still in the side. They are not up to the standard of Manchester United. They need to get rid of a few players across the pitch./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:09:15.195+01:00"2.09pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbManchester United have responded to the earlier statements from Moyes and the LMA. They said:/b/ppWe do not accept that it was handled in an unprofessional manner. The decision was not taken until late Monday night and was communicated face-to-face first thing on Tuesday morning. When reports started emerging on internet news sites on Monday afternoon, no decision had been taken at that time./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T14:05:23.667+01:00"2.05pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbquot;People are all raving about what's going to happen to Man Utd now but very few are thinking about where does David Moyes go from here,quot; says Chander Sharma/b. quot;Will he follow the same route as say Roy Hodgson (after Liverpool)? I've supported United my whole life and I must admit I was very much looking forward to seeing Moyes given time there. People forget that had Ed Woodward done his job and actually purchased the players we needed at the start of the season we wouldn't be where we are now. If Moyes has gone then so should Woodward. Granted Moyes hasn't been great but people tend to forget that SAF had a horrific first few seasons. In conclusion I'd say Moyes needed one more season and if the Glazers were unsure as to what Moyes would have done with pound;150 million then they only had to take a look at his track record at Everton, a very shrewd operator (the Fellini debacle aside).quot;/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:59:29.135+01:00"1.59pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbYou thought that Luke Shaw was going to Chelsea didn't you?/b You were wrong. You were very wrong. /ppa href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a are convinced a pound;30m deal to buy Luke Shaw on a pound;100,000 a-week salary is virtually complete in what is viewed as a major coup over a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/chelsea"Chelsea/a, with the sacked a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a largely responsible for convincing the a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/southampton"Southampton/a left-back to spurn the club he supports./ppThe prospective transfer would make Shaw English football's highest ever paid teenager and provides a boost for United a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/22/alex-ferguson-manchester-united-manager"in the wake of the Scot's departure/a as the club embark on finding his replacement ahead of a summer in which they are intent on a spend of up to pound;150m on rebuilding the squad./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:56:28.935+01:00"1.56pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbKiran Kulkarni has a novel suggestion. /bquot;Enough of Klopp, Van Gaal, Guardiola guff. I think Sir Alex should return for at least one season amp; prove that it is the manager of the team who wins the titles not the players. He has Fellaini, Cleverly, Raphael, Smalling at his disposal to assist him conquer England again. He can also get Rooney a pound;400000m-a-week deal when he scores via that overhead kick. Does he fancy winning the league again amp; knock Liverpool right off their perch?quot;/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:48:58.509+01:00"1.48pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbTo imagine that Sir Alex Ferguson is fundamentally questioning himself at this juncture is to misunderstand the man, says Marina Hyde./b/ppThe one thing it isn't, I'm afraid, is quot;hugely embarrassing for a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/sir-alex-ferguson"Sir Alex Ferguson/aquot;. Quite how put out you are by that ineluctable truth is a matter of personal taste. You may in fact find it very palatable that the former a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a titan will regard himself as entirely unbesmirched by the sorry saga which on Tuesday saw his chosen successor find his desk in the lift. Or you may wish fervently that a chastened Ferguson were sitting right now in a luxury hotel room, crying his humiliated little heart out, as Joseacute; Mourinho reportedly did after learning the United manager's job would be going to a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a in the first place./ppBut to adopt either position counts as what the pop psychologists would categorise as projecting. Something can only really be deemed embarrassing if there is an embarrassee, and to imagine that Ferguson is fundamentally questioning himself at this juncture is to misunderstand the man, and everything that experience should have taught those who had the opportunity to observe him for so long./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:46:15.338+01:00"1.46pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppHad a dream last night which featured the old National Lottery advert, but it was Fergie's giant finger pointing down from the stands saying in a deep voice 'It's Mou'. /ppYou can't argue with that evidence./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:41:52.594+01:00"1.41pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbHere is our chief football correspondent, Daniel Taylor, on the latest from the LMA and Moyes./b/ppDid the LMA criticise Sir Alex Ferguson, one of their own, for quot;unprofessional mannerquot; in which he recruited Moyes behind Everton's back?/ppFerguson tapped up Moyes and told him he had a new job - admitted by all - two days before Everton played a Merseyside derby/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:38:25.582+01:00"1.38pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbquot;The most appropriate Scooter song for Utd this coming year,quot; reckons Niall Rowantree, quot;is surely 'Back in the UK' from the 1996 classic album 'Our Happy Hardcore'./b After all they're not going to be in Europe.quot; Classic album? Really? That can't be right, can it?/ppOnce again we have the plan/ppDriving you wild as good as we can/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:29:13.538+01:00"1.29pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppb It is time for Manchester United to get real, says Paul Wilson/b. Sir Alex Ferguson's legacy is long gone and the Theatre of Dreams is no longer the attraction it used to be as United search for a successor to David Moyes./ppa href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a supporters must be hugely relieved that a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/sir-alex-ferguson"Sir Alex Ferguson/a is going to play a part in headhunting their next manager. He has achieved such a lot in the game, he knows the club inside out and he must have every promising coach's number in his contact book, so what could possibly go wrong?/ppApologies for the flippancy, but things have moved on a bit since the last coronation and United still do not appear to appreciate the seriousness of the new situation. They are still behaving as if Old Trafford is a dream destination, somewhere anyone in the managerial world would love to come and have a go, conveniently ignoring the actual nitty gritty of the club's reduced cirmcumstances. Nail a note to the front door saying quot;Job availablequot; and a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/louis-van-gaal"Louis van Gaal/a would still come knocking, so why the need for the nod from Ferguson?/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:19:21.537+01:00"1.19pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbMagnusson has this to say below the line./b/ppVery dignified speech from Moyes. Keeping his dignity despite a very public and protracted public humilation. They were right to let him go but its been handled very badly./ppNo mention of players then?/ppA very classy statement from Moyes./ppI sincerely wish him all the best for the future. He's still a decent manager and hopefully gets a new job soon./ppI'm not buying this 'dignified nice guy' stuff. He's just spent an entire season whining about anything and everything but himself. The FA with the fixture list, injuries, bad luck, referees, and then even going so far to criticise the players (the champions, remember) and Ferguson, falsely claiming he was left with an ageing squad. When Ferguson complained about fixtures he was roundly criticised, Moyes gets described as 'dignified'. Absolute rubbish. He's a whining loser who utterly failed to grasp the size of the task at hand and by all accounts treated seasoned pros who had just won the title like naughty schoolboys who needed to be whipped into shape. He's a negative, percentage football dullard who has achieved absolutely nothing in the game, ever./ppHe's leaving with a pound;5 million pay off and will be picked up by another club. Tears not required./ppDavid Moyes leaving United with some class..,Shame to club couldn't act in a similar way..../pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:17:09.798+01:00"1.17pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbThe staff on the desk have broken away off discussing their favourite Scooter song a href="https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqktmrKB3ko"it should probably be this/a to cobble together this story on Moyes saying he 'understands' frustration of Manchester United fans./b/ppa href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a has broken his silence on his sacking by a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a, saying he quot;understands and sharesquot; the frustration of their fans at the club's disappointing season but suggested that the squad needed a fundamental overhaul to achieve success in the future./ppIn a statement released by the League Managers Association, Moyes said: quot;To have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:13:54.581+01:00"1.13pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbPaul Ewart has been in touch re the Moyes statement./b quot;What do you make of that? Asked you. I make of that: severance package agreed. Confidentiality Agreement signed.quot; Probably, which is a real, real shame. Think I can speak for all when I say I would love to know what went down in that dressing-room after all those defeats.br //pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:07:39.581+01:00"1.07pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbquot;What about Michael Laudrup for United?quot;
/strike asks James Mattick./b quot;He has shown ability in the premier league already. Plays football that is easy on the eye. Won a trophy in the UK. Managed in Europe. Media darling. Unemployed.quot;/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T13:04:51.679+01:00"1.04pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbYou'll notice he did not mention the players in that statement./b Guessing he won't be having them down the local for his going away drinks./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:59:29.550+01:00"12.59pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbWhat do we make of all that?/b/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:57:52.866+01:00"12.57pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbThose statements in full then are as follows: /b/ppbDavid Moyes says:/bbr //ppTo have been appointed as manager of Manchester United, one of the biggest football clubs in the world, was and remains something of which I will always be incredibly proud./ppTaking charge after such a long period of continuous stability and success at the clubi /iwas inevitably going to be a significant challenge, but it was one which I relished and never had a second thought about taking on. /ppThe LMA is very disappointed with the nature of David's departure from Manchester United and to read extensive reports in the press, confirming David's sacking, before David himself had been spoken to officially by the club. /ppThroughout his time at United, David, as he always does, has conducted himself with integrity and professionalism, values that he believes in and that have been strongly associated with the club and its rich tradition. It is therefore sad to see the end of David's tenure at United being handled in an unprofessional manner./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:49:40.461+01:00"12.49pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbWhile we are waiting for the full text, here's some snippets to keep you warm:/b/ppI both understand and share their frustration. I have always believed that a manager never stops learning during his career and I know I will take invaluable experience from my time as United's manager. I remain proud to have led the team to the quarter finals of this year's Champions League and I remain grateful to Sir Alex Ferguson for believing in my ability and giving me the chance to manage Manchester United./ppLeague Managers' Assoc CEO a href="https://twitter.com/RichBevan7"@RichBevan7/a on Moyes: quot;Sad to see the end of David's tenure at United being handled in an unprofessional mannerquot;/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:45:00.802+01:00"12.45pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbDavid Moyes has spoken via the medium of a LMA speech./b Will have the full text of that statement quicker than you can spell supercalifragilisticexpialidocious backwards. /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:36:57.145+01:00"12.36pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbquot;United now have to be very, very careful,quot; cautions Ciaran Bradley./b quot;All the signs are pointing to the best younger managers i.e. Guardiola, Klopp and Martinez being unavailable for the time being. In which case, the best tactic would be to approach Van Gaal to take over the role for 2-3 years to steady the club all the while, sorting a bumper contract for the best young manager in the game. If the decision was indeed made in February, then the wheels should have been set in motion months ago to do this, particularly given the seeming grey-area of international managers contracts./ppquot;My concern with this is that there is nothing to suggest any joined-up thinking at the executive level. There is a danger of over-analysing the catastrophic summer transfer window; it is not for me to suggest that nothing was learned by Woodward et al. But United need to be aware that there were issues that precluded them being at the real top table of European giants their location and relative under-investment in the squad that have been exacerbated by the lack of Champions League revenue and a tarnished public relations image./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:34:10.938+01:00"12.34pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbHere is a short video on what fans in Manchester reckon about all this jazz./b Enjoy./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:29:30.128+01:00"12.29pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbquot;Lots of confident assumptions regarding Van Gaal's futurequot; says Paul Ewart./b quot;Barcelona's potential need for a new manager my well queer the pitch. Any thoughts?quot; Not sure he would be welcomed back to the Camp Nou again, would he? His first spell there, while successful, was dotted with rows with players especially Rivaldo and his second spall was something of a disaster. It is an interesting question though. Who will take over at Barccedil;a? /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:23:07.609+01:00"12.23pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbOr Gary Megson?/b/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:18:36.077+01:00"12.18pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbHas anyone asked Sven if he is free?/b/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:17:22.326+01:00"12.17pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbOur Manchester correspondent Jamie Jackson has been back in touch re the rumours about Roy Keane taking over as Van Gaal's assistant manager. /bHe says: quot;On the LVG wanting Roy Keane as assistant yarn, I'm told any thoughts of who might be the new permanent manager's No2 is getting ahead of the prime objective of identifying the prospective first choice candidate to be the No1.quot; We wait in hope./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:14:49.059+01:00"12.14pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbWhile we all chin wag over Van Gaal and Klopp and Keane and Ancelotti, Eric Harrison, the ex Manchester United youth team coach and the man behind the development of those class of 92 starlets, reckons that they already have the man they need in one Ryan Giggs. /bPresumably shouting to TalkSport, he said:/pp[Giggs] is a legend at the club. He is up there with likes of Bobby Charlton and Denis Law. He is well respected with all the players and supporters and he will get the atmosphere better on the training ground and at Old Trafford. The players will go into training at Carrington relishing the sessions and they will be flying at Old Trafford ... I used to call him a football nut because he took everything on board. He has got a chance [to be a top manager]./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:08:47.769+01:00"12.08pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbquot;I wouldnt put it past the Glazers to go for Mourinhoquot; says Mark Judd/b. quot;Theyve probably heard of him and that he is quite good.quot; /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:06:02.648+01:00"12.06pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbTor-Kristian Karlsen has come up with
15 steps on how to chew gum in class
/strike five steps that Manchester United need to follow when appointing the next man in charge and he reckons that United will realise they need a more professional and rigorous recruitment process this time around./b/ppThe reasons for Moyes' sacking are obvious and well-documented, but in summary the main issues for the board would be firstly the lack of progression in the team's style of play. United's performances have shown no signs of developing into something fluent and cohesive, and in modern football you no longer have three years to prove you can do this. Secondly, with no sporting director at United the onus is on the manager to decide transfers, and Moyes' record (the players he failed to sign, the failure of Marouane Fellaini and his inability to get the best out of Juan Mata) wouldn't instil confidence that he could do better with the investment needed in the summer. Finally, though you can live with some poor results if you can see signs of progress, there have been too many this season for a club of United's reputation with no positive indications of improvement./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T12:00:44.971+01:00"12.00pm span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppVery strange, and unusual, for Mourinho to bring Abramovich into it publicly. He's up to something. No idea what. But felt pre-planned./ppbHe wouldn't, would he? /bHe couldn't, could he? We all know how bad he wanted it last time and how bad he is supposed to have reacted to not getting it. /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:53:46.134+01:00"11.53am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbWho has the time to write this stuff?/b/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:52:32.533+01:00"11.52am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppba href="http://www.wikihow.com/Chew-Gum-in-Class"How to Chew Gum in Class in 15 easy steps/a./bbr //pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:51:40.168+01:00"11.51am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbHave you spent that last few hours chewing your cuticles, chewing your pencil, chewing gum, chewing your hair and wondering what Juuml;rgen Klinsmann has made of all this? /bWonder no more, people, wonder no more./ppVery disappointed seeing David Moyes sacked by Man U. Coaches deserve an opportunity to build their own team. Hes a great manager !/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:43:04.754+01:00"11.43am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbBelow the line, CSlater reckons that appointing Van Gaal is the right thing to do./b/ppGot to be van Gaal for me over Ancelotti. Saw an interview a while ago about how, when he goes into a new job, the first thing he does is keep one of the old staff on (Giggs?) who knows the club and the youths. He picks out a few kids on the coach's recommendation and assesses them for himself. If they can do the job he wants them to do in the first team, they're in. He seems to have a better record with bringing in youth than Ancelotti./ppA blend of youth and a few big signings, along with a more tactical approach, Man Utd will fare better than this year I'm sure. This year they had six teams who had better managers than they did (Rodgers, Mourinho, Wenger, Martinez, Pellagrini, Potechino). Even Hughes, Sherwood and Pulis have claimed more points with worse squads than Moyes has since the New Year. With van Gaal, they'll have a manager that's worthy of of the club. He'll bend the players to his way and they'll respect him because of what he's won. He's not a small improvement but a major one imho./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:40:19.332+01:00"11.40am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbRe Louis van Gaal. /bSpoke to a journalist or two based in the Netherlands yesterday and they seemed pretty confident that the former Ajax, Barcelona and Bayern Munich top dog was ready to pose with the Manchester United mouse pads just as soon as Ed Woodward got in touch. There were also rumours this morning that if he were to get the job, he would want Roy Keane as his assistant manager. Keane and Van Gaal, what could possibly go wrong, eh? Speaking of Van Gaal, my colleague David Hytner wrote a piece about him which you can read by clicking on this a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/22/louis-van-gaal-manchester-united-colourful-controversial"hyperlink/a. (Hyper! Hyper! Anyone else remember Scooter? No? Just me then, yeah?)/pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:29:41.260+01:00"11.29am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbHere's our man in Manchester and his take on the news that Paul Scholes has given up his budding career as a TV pundit in favour of placing the cones in a straight line on the training pitch and showing the young ones how it is done./b/ppa href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/paul-scholes"Paul Scholes/a has been added to a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/ryan-giggs"Ryan Giggs/a' backroom staff at a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a, with the 39-year-old helping run Wednesday morning.'s training session./ppScholes is helping Giggs along with Nicky Butt, the youth team coach, and Phil Neville and Chris Woods, the two members of the sacked a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a's backroom staff who have remained following the a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/22/alex-ferguson-manchester-united-manager"Scot's departure on Monday morning/a./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:22:55.734+01:00"11.22am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbDavid Moyes was nominated as his heir but all he did was emphasise Sir Alex Ferguson's staggering achievements, writes Russell Brand./b/ppa href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a' face has now experienced the fate for which it looks like it was designed. The deep grooves of grief in his brow, his sunken, woeful eyes and dry parched lips a perspicacious sculpture carved in anticipation of this slap of indignity.br //ppFerguson's selection of the quot;chosen onequot; now looks less like John the Baptist heralding Christ and more like what I would do if invited to select my ex's next partner; the mendacious dispatch of a castrated chump to grimly jiggle with futile pumps upon Man United's bone-dry, trophy-bare mound. Moyes, a name that, let's face it, sounds like a Yiddish word for eunuch, has endured 317 days of celibacy, whilst at Everton his former paramour, under the beguiling matador Martiacute;nez, is likely to claim the final Champions League place./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:20:01.302+01:00"11.20am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbWhile we are awaiting that story, here's mrbirtakim's take from below the line on the possibility of Juuml;rgen Klopp taking over from where Moyes left off. /b/ppIt's really fascinating to see Klopp's name among contenders. Does anyone really rate this ManU side better than Dortmund?/ppI'm not sure how many people would take given the opportunity of ManU job, with a below average squad, high expectations and no CL football next year and leave a club like Dortmund? A great history doesn't really help managers when it comes to getting the results -ask poor Dave./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:05:30.185+01:00"11.05am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppb... Manchester United have confirmed that Paul Scholes will assist Ryan Giggs and co. /bWe'll have the full story from our man in Manchester, Jamie Jackson, with you soon enough. /pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T11:04:05.589+01:00"11.04am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbIf you spent yesterday in a deep cave on Mars with your fingers in your ears humming the latest James Blunt song, then may have missed some interesting stories. /bFirst up is this one:/ppa href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/sir-alex-ferguson"Sir Alex Ferguson/a will be asked to take a prominent role in decidinga href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a's next manager despite an acknowledgement within the club that he was responsible for choosing the wrong man last time./ppUnited are deliberating between a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/louis-van-gaal"Louis van Gaal/a and a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/carlo-ancelotti"Carlo Ancelotti/a to replace a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a after the former Everton manager was sacked in a 7.40am meeting with the club's chief executive, Ed Woodward. Diego Simeone, the Atleacute;tico Madrid coach, is also being considered but United are leaning towards a more experienced candidate and their initial discussions, involving Ferguson, have concluded that the job has come too early for Ryan Giggs, even if he exceeds expectations in his four games as interim manager./ppWhen a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/david-moyes"David Moyes/a was unveiled as a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/sir-alex-ferguson"Sir Alex Ferguson/a's successor after 27 trophy-laden years at Old Trafford, the rhetoric was almost biblical. One Scot passed the flame to his anointed countryman, exhorted the faithful to give quot;the Chosen Onequot; time and emphasised the extent to which the club was not like any other./ppThe end, just 10 months after a smiling Moyes walked into Old Trafford clutching a six-year contract, was brutal and underlined the extent to which a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/manchester-united"Manchester United/a can no longer differentiate itself./pp class="block-time published-time" time datetime="2014-04-23T10:37:11.529+01:00"10.37am span class="timezone"BST/span/time /ppbYawwwwwwwwwn. /bWhat? No, no, that's not my reaction to having to spend the next couple of hours live blogging the events at Old Trafford, that's my reaction to having to spend 90 minutes of my life a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/22/atletico-madrid-chelsea-champions-league-match-report"being transported to the 19th century last night/a. While that was about as much fun as being dragged to Ikea when the sun is shining hard and your friends are all spending the day practising their extreme ironing techniques, today should bring some much needed relief and some much needed fun. We can discuss whose next in the Manchester United hot seat! We can point large fingers of blame! We can ... wait, come back!/p a href="http://www.theguardian.com/football/2014/apr/23/manchester-united-after-david-moyes-live"Continue reading.../a