You are previewing The Practice of Professional Consulting.
O'Reilly logo
The Practice of Professional Consulting

Book Description

Despite the size of the consulting industry and its attractiveness to business school graduates, there is a dearth of agreement about what constitutes "professionalism" in consulting. The Practice of Professional Consulting provides the most comprehensive introduction to the field of consulting, including a complete system of guidelines, and all the tools, templates, techniques, case studies, competencies, and assessments to become a professional consultant. Broad enough to be useful to anyone starting any kind of consulting business, yet specific in explaining typical client situations, this guide offers new and aspiring consultants with a perspective of the rules, roles, values, methods, and techniques used across firms in the consulting industry.

Table of Contents

  1. COVER
  2. MORE PRAISE FOR THE PRACTICE OF PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING
  3. TITLE PAGE
  4. COPYRIGHT PAGE
  5. DEDICATION
  6. ABOUT THIS BOOK
  7. PREFACE
  8. ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
  9. PART ONE: SETTING THE STAGE
    1. CHAPTER ONE: THE NATURE OF CONSULTING
      1. It’s an Industry
      2. Types of Consulting
      3. Scope of Consulting
      4. Trusted Consultant and Advisor
      5. Consultant Qualifications
      6. What Is Professional Consulting?
      7. Conclusion
    2. CHAPTER TWO: WHY COMPANIES HIRE CONSULTANTS
      1. Why Consultants Are Needed
      2. Faster, Bigger, Better, Cheaper Outcomes
      3. Forces That Drive Business Consulting
      4. Expectations of Consultant Services
      5. Changes in Client’s Business and Organization Needs
      6. Future Challenges
      7. Conclusion
    3. CHAPTER THREE: A MODEL FOR PROFESSIONAL CONSULTING
      1. What Do We Mean by “Process”?
      2. A Framework for Consulting
      3. The Four Stages of Consulting
      4. The Four Roles of Consulting
      5. Consulting Competencies
      6. Conclusion
  10. PART TWO: APPLYING THE MODEL
    1. CHAPTER FOUR: STAGE ONE: THE DEVELOPING AND DESIGNING PROCESS
      1. Stage One Competencies: Winning the Business
      2. Understanding the Client’s Business and Industry
      3. Making a Good First Impression
      4. First Meeting Dynamics
      5. Conclusion
    2. CHAPTER FIVE: STAGE ONE, CONTINUED: ASSESSING CLIENT NEEDS AND MANAGING EXPECTATIONS
      1. The Purpose of Conducting a Needs Assessment
      2. Types of Questions: The Fundamentals
      3. Conducting a Needs Assessment: A Question Strategy
      4. Needs Assessment: Listening Actively
      5. The Proposal Development Process
      6. Managing Expectations
      7. Conclusion
    3. CHAPTER SIX: STAGE TWO: THE MOBILIZING AND ALIGNING PROCESS
      1. Stage Two Competencies: Mobilizing and Aligning
      2. Work and Project Plan Reviews
      3. Risk Assessment Factors
      4. Project Launch Meetings
      5. Conclusion
    4. CHAPTER SEVEN: STAGE TWO, CONTINUED: TURNING A CONSULTING GROUP INTO A TEAM
      1. Defining a Team
      2. Stages of Team Development
      3. Diagnosing Project Team Performance
      4. How Team Building Is Conducted
      5. Special Problems in Building Project Teams
      6. Characteristics of High-Performing Teams
      7. The Project Leader Style Needed for Team Building
      8. Conclusion
    5. CHAPTER EIGHT: STAGE THREE: THE BUILDING AND PRODUCING PROCESS
      1. Stage Three Competencies: Building and Producing
      2. Data Gathering
      3. Performance Management and Coaching
      4. Coaching Consultants
      5. Motivating Consultants
      6. Progress Review Meetings
      7. Navigating Organizational Politics
      8. Project Management Issues
      9. Conclusion
    6. CHAPTER NINE: STAGE FOUR: THE IMPLEMENTING AND DEPLOYING PROCESS
      1. Stage Four Competencies: Implementing and Deploying
      2. Managing Change
      3. Implementation Strategies
      4. Skills Transfer
      5. Measuring Customer Satisfaction
      6. Satisfaction Assessment Metrics
      7. Conclusion
  11. PART THREE: THE BIGGER PICTURE
    1. CHAPTER TEN: IMPROVING CONSULTING AS A PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE
      1. A Reality Check About Consulting
      2. The Need to Professionalize Consulting
      3. Professional Capabilities of Consultants
      4. Building Block One: Client’s Business Focus
      5. Building Block Two: Business Management
      6. Building Block Three: Technical Requirements
      7. Building Block Four: Interpersonal Attributes
      8. Building Block Five: Effective Leadership
      9. Conclusion
    2. CHAPTER ELEVEN: LESSONS OF EXPERIENCE
      1. How to Grow in Professional Capability
      2. Lessons from McKinsey
      3. The Pain and Joy of a Consulting Career
      4. Professional Proficiencies in Consulting
      5. Trends for the Twenty-First Century
      6. Conclusion
  12. APPENDICES
    1. APPENDIX A: THE CONSULTING ROLE PREFERENCE INDICATOR
      1. The Use of Competencies
      2. Development of the Consulting Role Preference Indicator
      3. Consulting Roles Description
    2. APPENDIX B: GUIDELINES FOR SUCCESSFUL CONSULTING
      1. Developing Stage Guidelines
      2. Mobilizing Stage Guidelines
      3. Building Stage Guidelines
      4. Implementing Stage Guidelines
    3. APPENDIX C: THE LEADERSHIP ROLE OF CONSULTANTS
      1. Leadership Thinking for Consultants
      2. Types of Thinking
      3. Consulting Activities and Strategy
      4. Leading and Managing
    4. APPENDIX D: CONSULTING CASE APPLICATIONS
    5. APPENDIX E: DIAGNOSTIC PROCEDURES AND INSTRUMENTS FOR CONSULTING TEAMS
      1. Properties of Groups
      2. Factors Affecting Group Performance
      3. Context of Group Dynamics
  13. BIBLIOGRAPHY AND RESOURCES
  14. ABOUT THE AUTHOR
  15. INDEX