Need a Deal on Consulting? Hire B-School Students

When Project Runway winner Chloe Dao’s national spotlight faded, she needed help, but couldn’t afford a consultant.

The Lords of Strategy: The Secret Intellectual History of the New Corporate World

In what amounts to a vigorous defense of management consultants, Kiechel explains how business became an intellectual endeavor over the last half century, maturing from commonsense practice to theory-driven discipline, and how ideas now underpin the way corporations function today. “What companies didn’t have before the strategy revolution,” he writes, “was a way of systematically putting together all the elements that determined their corporate fate.”

In … [ Read more ]

David Maister

An expert’s job is to be right — to solve the client’s problems through the application of technical and professional skill. The advisor behaves differently. Rather than being in the right, the advisor’s job is to be helpful, providing guidance, input, and counseling to the client’s own thought and decision-making processes. The client retains control and responsibility at all times; the advisor’s role is subordinate … [ Read more ]

Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used

The second edition of Peter Block’s Flawless Consulting gracefully updates what many consider the best resource of its kind. New chapters on implementation, “whole-system” strategies, and ethics are included, but in general it simply fine-tunes Block’s proven advice to match the transformations that business and society have undergone since initial publication two decades ago. “The days of long studies and expert-driven answers are passing,” the … [ Read more ]

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion : A Guide Understanding Your Expertise

Following on the heels of the best-selling Flawless Consulting comes The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion. Whether you work as a consultant or you work with consultants, this relentlessly practical guide will be your best friend as you discover how consulting influences your business- and real life-decisions and those of others.

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion is packed with:
* Sample scenarios
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Matthew Stewart

The world of management theorists remains exempt from accountability. In my experience, for what it’s worth, consultants monitored the progress of former clients about as diligently as they checked up on ex-spouses (of which there were many). Unless there was some hope of renewing the relationship (or dating a sister company), it was Hasta la vista, baby. And why should they have cared? Consultants’ recommendations … [ Read more ]

The Power of the 2 x 2 Matrix: Using 2×2 Thinking to Solve Business Problems and Make Better Decisions

Drawing on the work of leading consultants, business school professors, social scientists, and organizational theorists, Lowy and Hood, consultants in information systems, pervasive computing technologies, and multimedia, demonstrate how to apply the 2×2 matrix, a ubiquitous representational tool, to a range of business challenges. They present 55 2×2 frameworks, created from interviews with outstanding practitioners and real case material.
Copyright © 2004 Book News, Inc., … [ Read more ]

Glover T. Ferguson

If you know one (of anything), that’s it: You know one. But if you know two, you know much, much more than two. With two computer languages, not only do you know both languages, but you also know what makes them similar, what makes them different, what you like best and least about each, and how each is better suited for certain tasks.

Call it … [ Read more ]

Org DNA Profiler

Have you ever wondered what makes your organization tick, how or why it works (or doesn’t)? Find out by taking our five-minute organizational DNA self-assessment.

By answering a few short questions on your organization’s structure, decision making, motivators, and information processes, you can learn whether your organization is resilient or passive-aggressive, overmanaged or just-in-time, military or outgrown.

Whatever the result, this assessment will help you … [ Read more ]

Bridge the Gap Between Strategy and Tactics

Core integrated planning is a five-step process. Here are the key Magic Matrices (a spreadsheet chart with key products or service lines on one dimension, and key market segments or accounts on the other, both arranged in descending order by total revenues), and some important planning issues they enable managers to address.

Read the follow-up article in this series at:
http://hbswk.hbs.edu/item.jhtml?id=3847&t=dispatch

Creating Change Through Strategic Storytelling

The use of strategic storytelling as an agent for change in business organizations is quite new . But its impact is increasingly clear.

Storytelling’s success in helping effect change comes from its ability to open lines of communication and enhance understanding of systemic integration, while actively involving the personal dimension, which is a crucial element in motivating people. Storytelling can be a powerful clarifier: of … [ Read more ]

Competitive Solutions: The Strategist’s Toolkit

Based on the idea that strategy is often situational, University of Texas’s McAfee delivers an impressively encyclopedic selection of strategic concepts. The tools cover a wide range of purposes (industry analysis, labor bargaining, pricing, compensation and incentives, product life cycles, etc.), include technical instructions for use, and are illustrated with short case studies.

Flawed Advice and the Management Trap: How Managers Can Know When They’re Getting Good Advice and When They’re Not

Chris Argyris, professor emeritus of education and organizational behavior at Harvard University, argues that most business advice given to managers by experts is impossible to execute. By becoming better judges of the limitations and value in business advice, managers can get more value from it. This book is not easy reading, but is well worth the effort.

Tom Peters

In McKinsey’s world, all of life is one of two things: strategy or organization.

Leaders for the Long Haul

Article discusses “appreciative inquiry,” a management tool developed by David Cooperrider, an associate professor at Case Western Reserve University. Highlighted is its application at Roadway Express.

The Performance Management System: Turning Strategies into Results

“Even the best strategies do not implement themselves” is the pithy opening sentence of this article. The authors suggest that many management systems come up short because they focus too narrowly on measurements and results. Measurement is not management, as they put it. Instead, they argue in favor of the Booz-Allen system, Performance Management, that continuously analyzes decision-making and draws on intra-company relationships rather than … [ Read more ]