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The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion: A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise [Paperback]

Peter Block , Andrea Markowitz
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
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Book Description

Nov. 6 2000 0787948047 978-0787948047 1
Don't venture into the consulting field without this essential Fieldbook & Companion!

Following on the heels of the best-selling Flawless Consulting, Second Edition comes The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion. Whether you work as a consultant or you work with consultants, this relentlessly practical guide will be your best friend as you discover how consulting influences your business- and real life-decisions and those of others.

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion is packed with:

  • Sample scenarios
  • Case studies
  • Client-consultant dialogues
  • Hands-on tools
  • Action plans
  • Implementation checklists

"Wow! A companion a business owner can't be without! The insights of 30 consultants the caliber of Peter Block is priceless."
--Sue Mosby, principal, CDFM2 Architecture Inc.

"This book is a companion piece for both the desktop and bedside of those who do consulting full time or in their role as leader. I plan to keep this book close to me to both guide and inspire my work."
--Phil Harkins, president, Linkage, Inc.


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Review

"This is content as rich as tiramisu. I find that I can digest only a small portion at a time; yet I'm always back for more. An indispensable resource for the consultant seeking ideas and inspiration." (Kathryn Heath)

"Wow! A companion a business owner can't be without! The insights of 30 consultants the caliber of Peter Block is priceless." (Sue Mosby, principal, CDFM2 Architecture Inc)

"This book is a companion piece for both the desktop and bedside of those who do consulting full time or in their role as leader. I plan to keep this book close to me to both guide and inspire my work." (Phil Harkins, president, Linkage, Inc.)

"No matter how proficient, companies who fail to understand and apply Block's concepts risk operating at the vendor level with their clients rather than at the partner level-a potentially mortal risk in an increasingly strategic marketplace." (Fred Lamparter, director of worldwide training, Ogilvy & Mather Worldwide)

"As we encourage our IT professionals to pursue continuous learning, this 'Fieldbook' will be added to their skill-building toolkit. We've used Block's Flawless Consulting guidelines to define the basic consulting skills program." (Cassandra A. Matthews, vice president, Information Technology and CIO, PECO Energy Company)

"When it comes to prioritizing my reading, Peter Block is second only to the sports section. In this book, Peter provides different points of view and stories that plunge deeply into the human and organizational experience." (Paul Anderson, convener, Northern California School for Managing and Leading Change)

"Peter's work always challenges me to think about things in new ways and pushes me to take risks I might not have had the courage for otherwise. This long awaited companion to Flawless Consulting is no exception." (Jennifer Powell, human resources manager, Aetna USHealthcare)

"Peter Block and his friends have produced an indispensable companion to Flawless Consulting. Providing help to others is no easy task, but these philosophical, therapeutic, and artistic essays bring to life the spirit and hope of change practitioners everywhere. Ultimately, they deliver practical insights to the consulting craft." (Christopher G. Worley, director, MSOD Program, Pepperdine University)

"If you're new to consulting, or if you need reinforcement that relationships are the heart of successful consulting, read this book. More experienced professionals will find some real gems along the way like Peter's Twelve Exits. And where else will you find Sufi wisdom, Bertrand Russell, and Marvin Weisbord all under one roof?" (Rick Maurer, author, Beyond the Wall of Resistance and Building Capacity for Change Sourcebook)

"In Peter's characteristically accessible style, this complement to the recently revised Flawless Consulting skillfully challenges consultants to learn what moves us towards more accountability and to discover what releases the commitment and passion inherent to the experience of being human." (Gordon C. Brooks, MSOD program administrator, The Graziadio School of Business and Management, Pepperdine University)

'This book is a must read for anyone consulting or considering consulting. Peter has once again broken new ground with the Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion." (Steve Gibbons, past president, The Association for Quality and Participation)

From the Inside Flap

A friend indeed!In this time of free agency, outsourcing, and cross-functional work teams, consulting has become a part of everyone's job. Plus, we live in an era in which we are forced to hire professionals to provide the help we used to seek from friends. Some of this need for instant expertise is for reassurance; some is just that we do not have time to learn it ourselves. So, despite all the ambivalence surrounding consulting, it has grown into big business and generally infiltrated our lives.The intent of this book is:
  • To support the integrity of your expertise
  • To change your mind about how you interpret your own consulting experience
  • To broaden your way of thinking
  • To bring a manageable dose of therapy and art, philosophy and literature into you thoughts about consulting, and
  • To so it in a comforting and simple way
Enjoy this book, let it accompany you into the field, and use it as encouragement for writing your own story, which may the point of it all.

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
We live in a one-minute culture in which speed is God and time is the devil. Read the first page
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Roadmap to consulting in the 21st century June 12 2001
Format:Paperback
This book deserves to be among the TOP 10 of business books of 2001. If you work as a consultant and want to learn your customers how to fish (in stead of giving them fish), BUY this book! If you have consultants walking around in your organisation, make sure they apply these principles!
After reading this, you'll understand why re-engineering processes fail, why the balanced scorecard isn't "the" solution", why teaching people skills sometimes has no impact, why implementing SAP is so hard and why people in companies are very sceptic if you suggest any of these "popular" solutions. In fact, all these solutions share the same underlying principle: some knowledge and procedures need to be added to the company to "fix" problems. This notion is wrong! Overcoming resistance to change has to do with giving people a chance to participate.
When studying projects of famous consultants and big 5 consulting comapnies, I have often wondered: "Why did the implementation of this project fail?" My first personal lesson was that PEOPLE matter more than methodology and tools. (I have been writing about this for years...).
Next to this first learning, I knew that it's not the consultants that have to bring the solution, it's the persons IN the organisation. And I have been looking for years for solutions to this paradox (being a consultant, that is). SO: methodology IS important: if you use a methodology which will mine the knowledge of the company as a WHOLE, you are the enabler of the change. As a consultant, you do not have to bring the CONTENT, the knowledge of WHAT needs to be changed, but you have to GUIDE the change process, and bring knowledge to the organisation so that they can change themselves.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars Some real keys strong client relationships April 12 2001
Format:Paperback
This book is a wonderful resource for consultants, business systems analysts and business development managers who are in the service and solutions business. This audience is encompassing in that consultants will find a wealth of advice and knowledge on how to successfully execute and deliver within the context of the entire engagement cycle. The value this book brings to business systems analysts who work internally for a company is the approach that ensures a close working relationship with their customers. Business development managers will gain some deep insights about how to properly initiate an engagement after the business is won and ensure that what was promised during the sales cycle is actually delivered during the execution of the project or delivery of services.
The book starts with one of the most important topics to each audience member: contracting. I gained a lot from this section because, while I am a consultant, my services are "sold" by business development managers and I am not very close to the contract process. What I learned here will help me to help those who keep me busy to continue doing so. I have a newfound appreciation for what is involved in getting me placed on projects and assignments.
I thought the highlight of this book was the implementation strategy. If you are a consultant you know that this is probably the most critical step in the whole process because it sets the tone for how the rest of the project will go. The adage about first impressions could not hold more truth than in this aspect of consulting (internal or external), because this is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. The approach proposed by the author is not only sound, but refined and will ensure success if followed.
Read more ›
Was this review helpful to you?
1.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime stories Consultants read their Children Oct. 17 2001
Format:Paperback
I have the 2nd edition of Block's "Flawless" and find it an essential reference, true to its reputation. Disappointingly in this Companion many of the authors seem to treat the readers as a captive audience - at the level of first year college students. For example - a diatribe on Romeo and Juliet as an illustration of human diversity, or three pages of "my worse experiences" one of which transpired to be freezing on stage and losing the point. These type of chapters annoyed me and distracted me from some of the worthy contributions. So much so that I returned the book to the bookshop and asked for my money back - the first time I have done so in 30 years of buying management books. In my opinion this book is a dud riding on the coat tails of the previous 'flawless' success.
Was this review helpful to you?
5.0 out of 5 stars making sense of consulting Jan. 7 2002
Format:Paperback
Peter Block's classic book's fieldbook and companion has an unusual structure and there lies it's USP. It looks at dilemmas and challenges that consultants face and also the tools that can be used.
If you want to know the innards of consulting, without getting caught up in brands, to delve into both the art and science, then read this book....it's a must for facilitators, trainers, process consultants of all hues and colors.
Was this review helpful to you?
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
35 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Some real keys strong client relationships April 12 2001
By Linda Zarate - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book is a wonderful resource for consultants, business systems analysts and business development managers who are in the service and solutions business. This audience is encompassing in that consultants will find a wealth of advice and knowledge on how to successfully execute and deliver within the context of the entire engagement cycle. The value this book brings to business systems analysts who work internally for a company is the approach that ensures a close working relationship with their customers. Business development managers will gain some deep insights about how to properly initiate an engagement after the business is won and ensure that what was promised during the sales cycle is actually delivered during the execution of the project or delivery of services.
The book starts with one of the most important topics to each audience member: contracting. I gained a lot from this section because, while I am a consultant, my services are "sold" by business development managers and I am not very close to the contract process. What I learned here will help me to help those who keep me busy to continue doing so. I have a newfound appreciation for what is involved in getting me placed on projects and assignments.
I thought the highlight of this book was the implementation strategy. If you are a consultant you know that this is probably the most critical step in the whole process because it sets the tone for how the rest of the project will go. The adage about first impressions could not hold more truth than in this aspect of consulting (internal or external), because this is where the rubber meets the road so to speak. The approach proposed by the author is not only sound, but refined and will ensure success if followed.
Another section I particularly liked is the discussion of ethics. This is an issue that looms in the background and is thoroughly interwoven into our existence as consultants. The problem is that we are faced with ethical decisions almost every day, and are sometimes tempted to cross into grey areas and use rationalization. The solution is to take to heart the author's guidelines and advice and always be conscious of the fact that successful consulting requires a strict, unwavering commitment to a strong code of ethics. Personally, this section was a wake-up call that filled me with resolve to place professional ethics above all else.
Overall this book provides clear guidelines for delivering customer value and crafting a close, mutually beneficial relationship with clients. The emphasis on close communications and client interactions within the framework of a strong implementation approach and ethical dealings makes this book a "must read" by the audience I cited above. I strongly recommend it and give it 5 stars.
46 of 53 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Bedtime stories Consultants read their Children Oct. 17 2001
By Walter J. Adamson - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
I have the 2nd edition of Block's "Flawless" and find it an essential reference, true to its reputation. Disappointingly in this Companion many of the authors seem to treat the readers as a captive audience - at the level of first year college students. For example - a diatribe on Romeo and Juliet as an illustration of human diversity, or three pages of "my worse experiences" one of which transpired to be freezing on stage and losing the point. These type of chapters annoyed me and distracted me from some of the worthy contributions. So much so that I returned the book to the bookshop and asked for my money back - the first time I have done so in 30 years of buying management books. In my opinion this book is a dud riding on the coat tails of the previous 'flawless' success.
34 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Roadmap to consulting in the 21st century June 12 2001
By Patrick Merlevede - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
This book deserves to be among the TOP 10 of business books of 2001. If you work as a consultant and want to learn your customers how to fish (in stead of giving them fish), BUY this book! If you have consultants walking around in your organisation, make sure they apply these principles!
After reading this, you'll understand why re-engineering processes fail, why the balanced scorecard isn't "the" solution", why teaching people skills sometimes has no impact, why implementing SAP is so hard and why people in companies are very sceptic if you suggest any of these "popular" solutions. In fact, all these solutions share the same underlying principle: some knowledge and procedures need to be added to the company to "fix" problems. This notion is wrong! Overcoming resistance to change has to do with giving people a chance to participate.
When studying projects of famous consultants and big 5 consulting comapnies, I have often wondered: "Why did the implementation of this project fail?" My first personal lesson was that PEOPLE matter more than methodology and tools. (I have been writing about this for years...).
Next to this first learning, I knew that it's not the consultants that have to bring the solution, it's the persons IN the organisation. And I have been looking for years for solutions to this paradox (being a consultant, that is). SO: methodology IS important: if you use a methodology which will mine the knowledge of the company as a WHOLE, you are the enabler of the change. As a consultant, you do not have to bring the CONTENT, the knowledge of WHAT needs to be changed, but you have to GUIDE the change process, and bring knowledge to the organisation so that they can change themselves. This book is one of the few that will really help you understand which processes are needed for this (many of the 30+ people that helped to write this book have a proven track record in this area).
If you don't know how to put systemic thinking into practice (or you think it's just about designing a solution with the system in mind), and/or if you haven't heard about whole-scale change, apreciative inquiry or the engagement paradigm, this is a good place to start: you will literally discover a new way of consulting, one that lives up to the title of this book and might even really enable "flawless" implementation processes.
And if putting this book into practice isn't flawless: go to the last chapter: Peter Block added a "trouble-shooting guide" that helps you get trough 12 common roadblocks.
Make consulting flawless, learn how to make people share THEIR solution.
Patrick E.C. Merlevede, co-author of "7 Steps to Emotional Intelligence"
5.0 out of 5 stars consulting book July 24 2012
By Jose M. Lopez - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is great. It has a lot of detail and valid information that can be used on a daily basis.
5.0 out of 5 stars Best Consulting Book in a Long Time - Suitable for both External and Internal Consultants April 28 2011
By J. A. Comeau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I cannot say enough about the depth, accuracy and inventiveness of the material in this book. As a consultant internally and externally to organizations for decades, I use this book in my work and as a resource when I teach coaches and consultants. Packed with examples and strategies that work!
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