Friday, June 19, 2009

Process Consulting

Author: Alan Weiss
Published: 2002
Publisher: Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer

This book should be a compulsory reading for anybody who wants to get into the area process consulting - internal or external.
In 10 easy to read well organized chapters the author tells you how to work effectively with clients to launch, implement, and conclude successful consulting projects.
And it is not at all a theoretical stuff, but a very commonsense approach which the author had effectively implemented in his consulting projects for his clients which included Hewlett-Packard, GE, Merill Lynch.
I have been a fairly successful internal process consultant for the last 12 years in the organizations I have worked for.
However I very much wish that I had come across this book much earlier.
That would have really improved my effectiveness and efficiency.
The book provides powerful techniques for :
- creating initial conditions for a successful consulting intervention
- putting in place the strategy and tactics needed to gather intelligence
- coaching key people and establishing the rules of engagement
- reinforcing change and overcoming resistance
- creating dynamic training programs that can yield outright results for the client
- focusing on the transition from strategy formulation to strategy implementation
- improving leadership that is driven by values and measured by results
These techniques are supported by 40 short case studies most of them based on author's personal experiences, several useful checklists and nearly hundred hot tips (called Ultimata) spread across the ten chapters.
One thing I liked about the case studies is that the author has described his failures also.
This lends a human touch to this book.
How many of us readily admit our mistakes ?
The book is so well laid out that you can randomly open any page and you will come across very useful hot tip or a case study or a checklist.
One glance at the table of contents is by itself an education on how effective consulting.
Seeing is believing.
Browse through the Table of Contents and the Chapter 1 - Conditions for a Successful Intervention at the publisher's website.
Also visit the author Alan Weiss's company website - The Summit Consulting Group for more information and goodies.
I am glad that I came across this book in the British Library and borrowed it.
I would like to have a copy of my own, but it is rather expensive ($48!). Hopefully waiting for a low-priced edition or a second-hand sale !

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