White Papers of General Interest


Getting The Most Out Of Consultants

How does it go? “Those who can, do. Those who can’t consult.” Like lawyer jokes, we have heard them all. Over the years, we have noticed everything from fear to jubilation when we, as consultants, begin working with clients. Some consultants might sap resources and charge exorbitant fees. Some might be straightforward and call it like they see it . . . as hard as that may be for you to hear. But, for the most part, the advice and input from qualified consultants can be valuable and useful, if you take it to heart. This paper provides tips on how to get the most out of consultants you choose to use.

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Managing Employees as Consultants

Consultants are usually placed under a client’s microscope in every aspect of their engagement, such that the “bang-for-the-buck” is carefully monitored and scrutinized by the client. Often dissatisfaction with a consultant’s work comes from the belief that the time spent exceeded the actual demands of the assignment. For many of these client’s employees, however, just “being there” is often the basis for their financial reward. What would happen if you managed your employees as scrupulously as you manage consultants?

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The Power of Questions

Have you ever wondered about questions? Do you know someone who consistently seems to ask all the right questions . . . in just the right way? Have you noticed that these people are also marvelous conversationalists, even though you do most of the talking? What makes questions such an effective communication tool? How can you learn to use the power of questions to your advantage? This paper helps you learn.

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Six Weapons of Influence

Why do people say yes? Why do they comply with your requests? People often say yes or agree with our requests “automatically” out of mindless compliance. In other words, they are frequently willing to say yes without thinking first. Some people are better than others at getting people to do what they need and want. They are more persuasive. Why is that? Perhaps because they understand and practice the six weapons of influence discussed in this paper.

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Things Are Better But Uncertain

This paper was written by Abe Walking Bear Sanchez. Abe is an astute observer of the actual use of payment terms in facilitating commerce. His insights on the proper measurement and use of credit are unique, and so are his management insights. This paper reflects some of his management thinking. He has given us permission to reprint it.


What is Expertise Anyway?

Why are some experts better than others? Why are some experts not really as expert as they appear to be? Whether those so-called experts are outside consultants or insiders, what is the nature of expertise, and how can we evaluate it and use it to our best advantage? This paper examines the issue from a consulting expert perspective, but the ideas transcend the world of consulting.