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Even though corporate clients continue to spend millions of dollars on consultant-based solutions, the success rate of these high-priced remedies is far from what it should be. No matter how wise and creative the input of a consultant, says Robert H. Schaffer, it will pay off only if the client does what is necessary to benefit from the advice. But often there's a big "implementation gap" between what client's must do to make a project succeed and what they are actually able and willing to do.
In this new and revised edition of the landmark book High-Impact Consulting, Robert H. Schaffer reveals how senior managers unwittingly collude with their consultants to perpetuate the great waste inherent in "the five fatal flaws of conventional consulting." Drawing on his own work with companies— Motorola, Rio Tinto, IBM, General Reinsurance Corporation, The World Bank, and other successful organizations— Schaffer offers a field-tested approach to working with consultants that has proven to get results. He identifies the key elements of an effective project design particularly that project objectives are defined in terms of client results rather than just consultant deliverables. The process enables clients to be certain that the work is carried out in ways that ensure success.
The author explains the importance of accomplishing results quickly and then using these "rapid-cycle wins" as vehicles for sharpening management skills, strengthening work disciplines, and introducing new technology. In addition he tells managers and consultants how they can build on these early successes and tackle larger accomplishments and organization wide improvements.
This thoroughly updated edition features valuable new insights and illustrative cases. It also includes a wealth of practical new tools that make the book a user-friendly, quick reference for both client managers and their consultants.
Part One: From High-Stakes Gambling to Certain Success.
1. Low-Yield, Conventional Consulting versus High-Yield, High-Impact Consulting.
2. The Five Fatal Flaws of Conventional Consulting.
3. The Bottom-Line Results of High-Impact Consulting.
Part Two: The Results-Driven Architecture of High-Impact Consulting.
4. Define Goals in Terms of Client Results Instead of Consultant Products.
5. Match Project Scope to What the Client Is Ready to Do.
6. Aim for Rapid-Cycle Successes to Generate Momentum.
7. Build a Partnership to Achieve and to Learn.
8. Leverage Resources: More Results with Fewer ConsultantsPart Three: Creating High-Impact Partnerships.
9. Create a Contract for Collaboration Instead of a Proposal for a Job.
10. Senior Managers Must Insist That Their People Produce the Results.
11. Build Communication Bridges and Overcome Anxiety.
12. Test the Shift to High-Impact Consulting: It s All Upside and Risk-Free.
Posted August 1, 2005
In my academic training I have read a variety of books some filled with air, fluff and theory while others contain constructive, practical and applicable knowledge. Schaffer¿s ¿High Impact Consulting¿ is one that I would classify with the rare but useful second group. The primary theme of Schaffer¿s, common sense book, was ¿how to overcoming the implementation gap.¿ Companies invest SIGNIFICANT amounts of money on consulting each year in hopes that their pains, problems and discomforts will magically disappear. Unfortunately they usually do not. The general reason for this is the implementation gap. Schaffer provides five tools that help companies and consultants overcome this gap. When used, these tools increase the likelihood of attaining meaningful, measurable and stainable success as well as promoting an atmosphere or momentum for change. Although Schaffer repeats his concepts over and over, repeats his concepts over and over, repeats his concepts over and over, this book is extremely useful in providing management and consultant¿s effective tools, that when used, insures that the desired, incremental change for which the consulting project was started, will be produced. I would recommend this book to all managers who are planning on using consultants, or to individuals working in the consulting field.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted December 6, 2004
Robert Schaffer¿s book, High Impact Consulting, was one of the textbooks used in MGT 591 Organizational Consultation, an ASU West MBA program class taught by Dr. Alan Goldman. The title provides an excellent introduction to a style of consulting (High Impact) which is slowly gaining acceptance in the USA. Throughout the book, this style is contrasted with a traditional consulting style consisting of research, recommendations and sometimes enforcement of recommendations. The High Impact consulting style focuses on immediate and measurable improvement of the situation requiring consultation. A consulting effort begins with and continually revisits readiness of the customer for corrective intervention. Situation and needs analysis are used to carve out a bounded yet significant rapid cycle project to focus on. Consultants continually pursue a collaborative relationship with the customer, but ensure customer managers promote and manage the rapid cycle project implementation. I believe this book and others like it promote a trend which has very high payback in today¿s dynamic and global business world. Many of the concepts presented in the book just make good sense, but it is useful to have them organized and focused as Schaffer¿s book does. A companion book with several detailed actual case studies would be justified and probably sell well.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.