The Consultant's HandbookA Practical Guide to Delivering High-value and Differentiated Services in a Competitive Marketplace
Delivers the essential practical skills needed to consult and make sharp, well prepared interactions in a wide range of business situations This comprehensive handbook covers the fundamental skills and attitudes required by successful consultants from novice to practitioner level, irrespective of their specialist area. It untangles the key variables present in any consulting service and introduces practical ways to improve their effectiveness based upon the author's experience of helping consulting organisations to develop and excel in the marketplace. The book explores consulting ‘from the ground up' steering away from theory and focusing instead on practical application, providing a solid platform upon which to build further domain-specific competence. The Consultant's Handbook provides: An understanding of the key variables that can be addressed in order to improve one's own consulting performance A set of simple practices that can be implemented with immediate benefit to the reader Practical insight into day-to-day real life consulting interactions Confidence to implement the new ideas and approaches
About the author vii INTRODUCTION 1 PART I – CONSULTING FUNDAMENTALS 3 Chapter 1: What is Consulting? 5 Chapter 2: Preparing to Consult 25 Chapter 3: Establishing Credibility 37 Chapter 4: Managing Client Meetings 47 PART II – CASE STUDIES 61 Case Study 1: Exploring a New Consulting Opportunity 63 Case Study 2: Presenting a Solution Approach 85 Case Study 3: Scoping a Study 101 PART III – Additional Topics 117 Chapter 5: Proposing a Consulting Service 119 Chapter 6: Delivering a Consulting Service 133 Chapter 7: Client Interactions and Related Obstacles 173 Chapter 8: The Skill of Advising 193 Index 215
“It’s a clearly-presented book that’s clearly applicable to public relations consultants… I’m placing [it] on my bookshelf alongside the classic texts on consulting by David Maister” (Behind the Spin, June 2015) “Enough good material here to interest those embarking on this career path” (The Irish Times, July 2015)
SAMIR PARIKH is a principal business consultant, practice manager, and consultancy CEO with over 20 years of industry experience. In 2000, Samir founded SPConsulting, a global management consulting firm specializing in organizational strategy and change management. With a track record of projects conducted in more than 50 countries the firm works closely with companies that are transforming into consulting-based organizations, delivering solutions and professional services in highly competitive environments. Samir is also a regular speaker on the topic of consulting towards senior audiences across industries, as well as to ambitious undergraduate students at leading universities.
'This is a must-read book for anyone who is thinking of embarking on a career as a consultant. Samir Parikh has many years of experience in this field, and he has distilled this down into a wealth of reflections and practical advice' —JULIAN BIRKINSHAW, Professor, London Business School 'Samir Parikh is sharing proven consulting practices and a solid approach for client engagement. Anyone who has the ambition to engage clients using a consultative approach will derive great value from this work, in particular from the wealth of real-life examples' —CHRISTER JOHANSSON, Senior Competence Management Expert, SKF Group 'Samir has inspired culturally diverse audiences of varying seniority by sharing valuable lessons from his own extensive experience around the globe. He provides practical ideas that can be applied immediately in an everyday work context and these are now encapsulated in The Consultant's Handbook' —OLA PETTERSSON, Head of Technology Consulting, Ericsson
AN INDISPENSABLE GUIDE TO CONSULTING WITH CONFIDENCE Consulting is becoming an increasingly critical function in today's organizations, where expert knowledge translates into competitive advantage. The Consultant's Handbook introduces the essential practical skills required to consult and make sharp, well-prepared interactions in a wide range of business situations. Based upon his 20 years of experience in international consulting, Samir Parikh outlines a set of simple practices that you can apply straight away. LEARN HOW TO: Prepare for a successful consulting engagement Establish suitable credibility as a consultant Manage client projects and interactions effectively Overcome client-related obstacles Formulate and deliver compelling arguments and advice With extensive case studies providing insight into the day-to-day requirements for consulting and actionable tips throughout, you will gain an understanding of the fundamental skills and attitudes needed to excel in the world of consulting.