A book by Nicholas Sparks
A practical guide to the traps, pitfalls, and errors that frequently occur when working with consultants. This book should be the standard for all consultants and anyone who wants to improve the results they achieve through consulting relationships. … see full wiki
Think about it. Businesses of various kinds now spend (annually) $80-100 BILLION on consulting services. Are they receiving full (or at least satisfactory) value for such expenditures? Probably not. However, blame must be shared. Heaven knows, there are dishonest or incompetent consultants, be they independent or associated with a firm. There are also clients who are so confused and/or so corrupt, who create so many problems, clients who are so unrealistic in terms of their expectations, that even Peter Drucker in collaboration with Sun Tzu, Plato & Aristotle, Michelangelo, Leonardo de Vinci, Thomas Jefferson, Abraham Lincoln, and Tom Peters could not possibly provide the services for which they have been retained.
This book is divided into four Parts: Bad Habits and The Challenge of Differentiation (examines "three consistent patterns perpetuating the negative trends"), Becoming a Value-Creating Consultant (examines "those behaviors and characteristics of consultants that win [clients'] loyalty and respect"), The Partners and the Partnership (examines "the behaviors that make for a good client and the role of the consultant in helping to develop those behaviors in the client"), and Conquering the Engagement from Hell (presents a "simulation that serves as a culminating activity for readers to reflect on their learning and to practice their skills"). The authors seem to share my own passion for consulting at the very highest level at which superior (measurable) performance is rewarded fairly and (yes) punctually. Unfortunately, as the authors point out, "the consulting profession is on a trajectory. A negative one. All someone has to do is mention the word lawyer [in italics] and instant disdain, distrust, frustration, and skepticism are conjured up. Without change, the word consultant [in italics] will soon produce the same reactions."
In my opinion, that of an independent management consultant, this book makes a major contribution to understanding what must be done to establish a positive "trajectory" for the consulting profession. Who should read this book? Those who are now thinking about becoming consultants. Also, those who are now consultants and dissatisfied with their client relationships. Also, those who are about to work with consultants for the first time. Finally, those who are now working with consultants and are eager to maximize the value of that relationship. As previously suggested, I think the material which Caruci & Tetenbaum provide has relevance far beyond both sides of a consulting relationship. Many of those involved in any kind of a relationship (be it personal or professional) want to add value to it. Caruci & Tetenbaum explain HOW. They may have written this book with the business world in mind but I think what they have achieved is also of great value to the other "worlds" to which all of us proceed when our business day is done.
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