The Value-Creating Consultant

How to Build and Sustain Lasting Client Relationships

Ron A. Carucci, Toby J. Tetenbaum

Publisher: Amacom, 2000, 285 pages

ISBN: 0-8144-0502-9

Keywords: Consulting

Last modified: Aug. 7, 2007, 8:21 a.m.

Businesses spend more than 80 billion dollars a year on consultants. Are clients receiving sufficient value for all that money? Too often, the answer they give is "no" — which means many client companies are angry… and consultants are right to be nervous!

The Value-Creating Consultant is a unique book based on five years of in-depth research on the specific characteristics that make a consultant a true "value creator." First, authors and consultants Rob Carucci and Toby Tetenbaum reveal the unprofessional practices that have given consultants a bad name. Then they show you how those poor practices can be changed to practices that will create value for clients — and compel them to both hire and recommend you again and again.

Surprisingly. through their research he authors found that the reason consultants fail is seldom related to their business expertise. In fact, it's more likely to be negative character traits — such as egotism, greed, fear, and selfishness — that cause failure. Carucci and Tetenbaum found that poorly rated consultants tend to fall into certain patterns of behavior — playing one of three destructive "roles":

  • The Messiah
  • The Dependency-Builder
  • The Colluder
The Value-Creating Consultant shows you how to avoid slipping into one of these roles, and goes on to explain the value-creating parts that great consultants play:
  • The Partner
  • The Capability-Builder
  • The Truth-Teller
In The Value-Creating Consultant you'll also learn sophisticated skills such as how to find, encourage, and nurture the traits and competencies your client company needs to become successful. You'll get practical insights into how to create an effective team with many different players: the client empoyees, interal consultants, and other outside consultants. You'll learn how to deal with the conflicting attitudes and motives that can undermine a consulting project. Finally, the authors provide an interactive case study of an "assignment from hell" — with questions and suggestions throughout to help you start putting value-creating concepts into practice.
Whether you work at a large consulting firm or on your own, this detailed guide gives you pragmatic insights on how to provide the outstanding solutions and tangible results that will win the respect and loyalty of clients — and make you once and for all a "consultant of choice."
  • Introduction
    • The Times They Are A-Changing
    • Help Is on the Way
    • The Alleged Value Proposition
    • Concentrated Focus and Up-to-the-Minute Learning
    • A Dubious Track Record
    • Backlash in the Press: Consultant Bashing
    • A Precarious Lack of Accountability
    • Detergent Wars: Distinguished Service Turns Commodity
    • Where Value Gets Created
    • The High Risk of Value Erosion
    • A Tour of the Book
    • Who Should Read This Book
    • A Final Word Before We Begin
  • Part One: Bad Habits and the Challenge of Differentiation
    1. Three Destructive Roles of Consultants
      • Destructive Role One: Playing the Messiah
      • Destructive Role Two: Creating Dependency
      • Destructive Role Three: Colluding With the Organization
    2. A Relationship Gone Wrong: The Dark Side of Consulting
      • The Motivation of the Consultant: Mercenaries and Missionaries
      • Characteristics of Mercenaries and Missionaries
      • The Other Half of the Relationship
  • Part Two: Becoming a Value-Creating Consultant
    1. Three Value-Creating Roles Played by Consultants
      • Value-Creating Role One: Being an Equal Partner
      • Value-Creating Role two: Building Capability
      • Value-Creating Role Three: Being the Truth Teller
    2. Creating Lasting Value: The Power of Irreverence
      • Organizational Untouchables and Undiscussables
      • Untouchables and Undiscussables as Antibodies
      • The Antidote: Irreverence
      • Self-Reflection
      • Gutsiness
      • Tough Love
  • Part Three: The Partners and the Partnership
    1. Profile of the Client of Choice
      • Results Orientation: Get the Job Done Right and Fast
      • Intellectual Curiosity: See the Possibilities
      • Optimism: The Future Is Bright
      • Self-Confidence: I Can Do This
      • Ambition: The Drive to Succeed
      • Gratification and Regratification: Helping Clients Turn Liabilities Into Assets
      • Choose Wisely
    2. Developing Down to EARTH Partnership
      • Equality
      • Advocacy
      • Respect
      • Trust
      • Hope
      • The EARTH Model
    3. Making Peace in Enemy Territory: Working with the Internal Consultant
      • Advantages and Disadvantages of Internal and External Consultants
      • Consulting to SCALE
      • Gaining Business Savvy
      • Strengthening Competence
      • Building Accountability
      • Supporting Learning
      • Empowering the Function
      • EARTH Still Applies
  • Part Four: Conquering the Engagement From Hell
    Welcome to Summit Consulting
    1. Meet Your Client: Rampart Systems
      • Forming the Value-Creating Response
      • The First Meeting
      • The Agreement
      • The Proposal
      • The Negotiation
      • Establishing Healthy Boundaries
      • Getting the Green Light
      • Blank Stares and Murmuring
      • Building Relationships with Multiple Consultants
      • Let the Anthropology Begin
    2. Pandora's Box
      • Interviews With Six Managers
      • Translating Data Into Value
    3. Epilogue
      • Initial Reactions
      • Expanding the Anthropological Hunt
      • Bad Habits Die Hard'
      • Enacting the Value-Creating Roles
      • Organizational Reverence and Opportunities for Irreverence
      • A Closer Look at Bill
      • Maturing Rampart's Thinking
      • A Heart-to-Heart with Bill: From Analysis to Feedback
      • Our Final Hope


The Value-Creating Consultant

Reviewed by Roland Buresund

Decent ****** (6 out of 10)

Last modified: Aug. 2, 2007, 7:40 a.m.

A book about how to behave as a consultant, but written for adults.

You could probably learn more from this one than from a lot of so-called "dummies" books.


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