Business Consulting

A Guide to How it Works and How to Make it Work

Gilbert Toppin, Fiona Czerniawska

Publisher: Profile, 2005, 264 pages

ISBN: 1-86197-702-6

Keywords: Consulting

Last modified: Aug. 7, 2007, 4:14 p.m.

There's scarcely a major company that does not use consultants and the public sector is increasingly turning to consultants for help in delivering public services. Three-quarters of consulting work is done for clients here the consulting firm has an established relationship. Yet the business consulting industry has changed beyond recognition in the past ten years. The spread of outsourcing and offshoring, the rise of the professional procurement department, wider use of contingency fees and a squeeze on margins have all combined to reshape the environment in which consultants operate dramatically.

This book explores the new shape of consulting. It examines why organisations use consultants, how consulting firms compete and what consultants do. Based on hundreds of interviews with the managers who hire consultants and the people who run consulting firms, it offers an authoritative analysis of this most shadowy of professions. It also provides invaluable practical advice on what organisations need to do to get the best out of the consultants they use and what consulting firms need to do to achieve the best results for those they work for.

  • Part 1 Business consulting today
    1. Business consulting at the crossroads
    2. The new business consulting ecosystem
  • Part 2 The client world
    1. The client market
    2. Client organisations
    3. Projects
  • Part 3 The consulting world
    1. The consulting industry
    2. Consulting firms
    3. Consultants
  • Part 4 The worlds connect
    1. Seven themes of interaction
    2. Reputation
    3. Isolation
    4. Metamorphosis
    5. Relationship
    6. Portfolio
    7. Career
    8. Life cycle
  • Part 5 Routes to success
    1. The successful client
    2. The successful consulting firm
    3. The Successful business consultant
  • Part 6 A blueprint for the future
    1. The likely evolution of business consulting
  • Appendices
    1. Leading consulting firms
    2. Notes and references


Business Consulting

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Outstanding ********* (9 out of 10)

Last modified: Aug. 7, 2007, 4:13 p.m.

A very important book to have read, today.

The contents themselves give an excellent overview of the consulting industry, but what is more important is that it tracks and describes the changes that have occurred due to the crash at the millennium.

This is a must read, whatever other book on consulting you may decide to read.

Highly recommended.


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