Consultants are in the business of making other people successful. Yes, consultants make a good salary, and yes, they do have some power on projects. Fundamentally though, it is not about them. It is about the clients. Good consulting habits.
This week, my client got a compliment from one of her peers. It was a win for her, but it was also a win for me. If I crunch the data, put together a persuasive presentation, and it gives my client the venue to look good. Mission accomplished.
Consultants work in teams. Consultants work in packs.
We are hired to work on messy problems which are often complex, ambiguous, political, and time-sensitive. Basically, it’s a lot of work that has to be done in a short(er) amount of time. So, it’s a team effort.
“Version control” is just what it sounds like. v1, v2, v3 . . . .final version. For those of us Gen X who grew up before Google Docs and Microsoft OneDrive, we were saving copies of our files like crazy. …
When you are buying a banana at the grocery store, do you blindly pick up anything? No way. A green banana and yellow banana means something completely different. Depending on your taste preference, when you plan to eat it, and you want to use it, green/yellow/brown bananas are not the same thing. Okay, duh. . .
Well, if we are so potentially discerning (dare I say picky) with fruit, how picky are we with information we use?
There has been a Cambrian explosion of “news” over the last 20 years. When I was growing up, there was a dozen official…
I am not in HR, a recruiter, or even a super linkedin.com user. That said, I was on the recruiting team at a Big 4 consulting, and we looked through hundreds of resumes every year and 90% of them went into the trash. We probably spent less than 15 seconds on a cover letter and 30 seconds on a resume. Basically, the resume review was quick and violent.
The way I see it, the entire purpose of a resume is to get invited for an interview. Period. Getting an interview means the fish took a bite at the bait.
Consulting has so many merits, but let’s also not be Pollyanna about it. . . it can also be a grind. . .travel, hotels, messed up data, cranky clients, revenue pressure, uncoachable team members, and middle seats.
So, yes, there is a fair amount of stress in consulting. You are not making $$$,$$$$ because it’s an easy, commodity, “oh anyone can do it” task. Nope, they are paying top dollar for top work. C’est la vie.
So, Eustress. What is that?
Apparently, the person who created the term “stress” and “distress” also coined “Eustress”. Fascinating, right? Yes, there is such…
When is the last time you heard the word “strategy” or “strategic?” They are common words and largely misunderstood. While strategy is certainly important, it’s means more than just “long-term” or “impactful.”
I teach an introduction to strategy to 400+ sharp, ambitious business students each year. We read, discuss, debate dozens of companies, industries and unpack these 175 key questions. I was asked to put together a 1 hour video on some of the basics of strategy in 2019 and this is what I came up with.
It’s hard to explain anything simply, and “strategy” is no different. To help…
We are in the influence business
Just like anyone who sells services to clients — markers, bankers, consultants, dentists, plumbers — we influence clients to do things we think is in their best interest. It’s harder than it sounds because:
After reading Switch (affiliate link) by the Heath brothers, I am convinced that successful consulting projects must appeal to the head, the heart and the hand. It is a simple way to think about change and also makes a lot of sense.
It answers the key questions that people have. Who, What, Why, When, Where, How. …
I know it sounds pedestrian and unsophisticated, but it’s harder than it looks. When you are trying to crack a complex problem, inevitably you will start to group things. Buckets, I tell you. Consultants use buckets.
When you have a complex problem, you need to organize things. This is no different from when you start tidying up the kitchen drawer you have full of junk. Without sorting the pens, candy, receipts, stamps, and take-out menus, it will remain a forever mess.
If you buy into the premise that management consultants are hired to sort out complex problems, then some grouping…
When the client asks for something — new research, some ad-hoc analysis, an extra workshop — it usually seems like a reasonable request. After all, they pay the bills and shouldn’t they get the most out of their consultants?
When the consultant says YES to a new request, it may feel comfortable and collaborative. The consultant feels like she is doing a good job listening, and the client is happy that his idea was accepted. There is no stress, or pregnant pauses. It is the path of least resistance like water running downhill.
Experienced consultants and lawyers will tell you…