High Impact Consulting

How Clients and Consultants Can Leverage Rapid Results into Long-Term Gains

Robert H. Schaffer

Publisher: Jossey-Bass, 1997, 234 pages

ISBN: 0-7879-0341-8

Keywords: Consulting

Last modified: Aug. 7, 2007, 10:12 a.m.

Management consulting has become an enormous business in the United States and abroad — making consultants a highly influential force in organizations all over the world. Despite the huge expenditures on major projects that cover every aspect of corporate functioning and deliver comprehensive recommendations, success rates remain low. Corporate clients repeatedly place their faith in the power of consultant solutions, but the "five fatal flaws" of conventional consulting identified by Schaffer constantly undermine the good intentions of clients and consultants.

In High Impact Consulting, Robert Shaffer reveals how senior managers unwittingly collude with their consultants in perpetuating the damage from these fatal flaws. By contrast, drawing on his own work with companies such as Motorola, Northern Telecom, General Reinsurance, Bell Canada, The World Bank, and other successful organizations around the world, Shaffer offers a proven method for designing consulting projects that produce results and develops the client's capacity to expand on these results.

His process enables clients to be certain that the goals of a consulting project are clearly identified up front and that the work is carried out in ways that ensure suceess. Shaffer details the key elements of effective project design and successful client/consultant relationships. He explains the critical need to accomplish urgent short-term goals quickly and use these "rapid-cycle wins" as vehicles for sharpening management skills, strengthening work disciplines, and introducing new technology. Most important, he shows consultants and managers how to build on these early successes in order to tackle larger accomplishments and organizationwide continuous improvement.

  • Part One: Why Management Consulting Fails and How It Can Succeed
    1. Low-Yield, Conventional Consulting versus High-Yield, High-Impact Consulting
    2. The Five Fatal Flaws of Conventional Consulting
    3. The Bottom-Line Resultsof High-Impact Consulting
  • Part Two: The Architecture of High-Impact Management Consulting
    1. Define Goals in Terms of Client Results Instead of Consultant Products
    2. Match Project Scope to What the Client Is Ready to Do
    3. Aim for Rapid-Cycle Successes to Generate Momentum
    4. Build a Partnership to Achieve and to Learn
    5. Leverage Resources: More Results, Not More Consultants
  • Part Three: Creating High-Impact Partnerships
    1. Create a Contract for collaboration Instead of a Proposal for a Job
    2. Help Senior Managers Demand Better Results — and Get Them
    3. Build Communication Bridges and Overcome Anxiety
    4. Start the Revolution Now: Making the Shift to High-Impact Consulting


High Impact Consulting

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Disappointing *** (3 out of 10)

Last modified: Aug. 7, 2007, 10:14 a.m.

Tries to explain why consulting assignments often fails and what to do about it. There exists better and more relevant literature.


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