Four Crazy Characters Offer Consulting Wisdom

Spoiler alert! Consultants are jacks of all trades who must Always Be Learning. So we learn from everything, even curled up with a bucket of popcorn on Saturday night. While the characters below aren’t real, they offer relevant object lessons in consulting that you can carry into the office with you on Monday. Sherlock Holmes…

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Road Warrior Tips for Consultants

If consultants have to deliver like Jerry Seinfeld, sometimes they have to live like Jack Kerouac. Travel is a part of the gig, sometimes every week for months on end. Your commute may be hundreds of miles and many hours away, and your home-away-from-home is where someone else washes the sheets, the shampoo comes in…

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The Straw Man Is Your Friend

“Straw Man,” not to be confused with the poor, brainless scarecrow in The Wizard of Oz, is a different kind of tool we consultants use. A straw man is an early draft of an idea or a target “to be” that is specifically designed for people to poke holes in. Legend has it the term…

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Talking Shop: The Things We Say

Part of the fun of being a consultant is using our own, special vocabulary. (And recognizing that sometimes, to other people, we sound ridiculous.) But more importantly, when done well, jargon can add to your credibility and perceived competence. Some of our consultant-speak is technical terminology, while some of it is just buzzwords. And the…

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The Mystique of a Consultant

A person that always exceeds expectations is always admired, right? Maybe not…when you’re a consultant. A good first impression is key for a strong, lasting relationship. Therefore, it can be tempting to give away a little extra time and effort for a new client, even if it isn’t in the contract and won’t show up…

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Avoiding Groupthink: How a Consultant is a Professional "Frenemy"

Sometimes a project goes just perfectly. People like you and trust you, they laugh at all your jokes, and they accept your ideas. Development is moving ahead on schedule, and, best of all, you genuinely believe you’ve thought through every variable and allowed for every contingency. And then six months later, when the project has…

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