Book Review: “Flawless Consulting”

According to the author, you’re consulting if you don’t have direct ownership of the outcome. In other words, all the staff members of an organization are consulting for their manager, who directly owns the outcome of the results. I think this definition is a bit narrow as most of my staff members in my group owns the results of their respective projects. I may end up to be the only neck to choke if things don’t turn out well. To turn this around, I am a consultant to my manager/director. In some ways, I am but in others I am not.

Being “authentic” is critical is the essence of the “Flawless Consulting.” Being a consultant can be a pair of hands, advising on what do do without ownership (owned by direct manager). It’s important to clarify the role in writing preferably.

The five consulting phases:
1) entry/contracting: get agreement – negotiating wants, dealing with resistance, closing the meeting.
2) data collection/diagnosis: get clear picture
3) feedback/decision-making: decision to act
4) implementation: build commitment
5) evaluation/termination: end or recycle to contracting

Discovery Interview:
State purpose
Discuss how data will be used
Ask questions and collect data
A) If not stuck
Summarize the data
Ask what the client nees to do to create desire future
Give support
State next step
else If stuck
Re-phrase questions
if still stuck
Discuss how the interview is going
Proceed to (A)
If still stuck
Move to other issues or terminate the interview.

On organizing the data:
– Review the data
– Identify themes
– Choose messages
– Develop statements
– Develop recommendations

On Feedback meeting: (Percentage of time spent)
– Restate the original contract and agenda for this meeting – 5%
– Present diagnosis (and recommendation) – 15%
– Ask client for reaction to data (and recommendation) – 30%
– Halfway through: ask client if the meeting is useful – 10%
– Get a decision to proceed – 30%
– Test for client concerns about control and commitment. Ask yourself if you got what you wanted. Give support – 10%