Flawless Consulting 3rd Edition
Peter Block’s "Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used" is considered the "consultant’s bible" and a landmark bestseller that explains how to deal effectively with clients, peers, and others. This third edition addresses business and new challenges since the second edition was written and also explores what’s on the minds of "next generation" consultants.
The book includes more guidance on how to ask better questions, how to help clients understand the importance of what is invisible but near at hand from the recently emerging field of Positive Deviance as well as extensive examples from education, the agonies of contracting and finally the impact of technology and the virtual world on consulting relationships.
For Peter Block, "a consultant is a person in a position to have some influence over an individual, a group, or an organization, but who has no direct power to make changes or implement programs." In this book, he points out the elements that often get in the way of productive consulting, and then shows you how to handle them and move on to clear, mutually beneficial consulting.
The book is filled with sound advice, techniques, and checklists for making each consultation as effective and efficient as possible, i.e., "flawless."
No matter how well you think you know your clients or your expertise, Block cautions you to focus on the consulting essentials. He emphasizes that the client's "presenting problem" is often not the real problem. He encourages consultants to get a clear picture of both the technical or business problem and how the problem is being managed -- the politics of the situation, people's attitudes, the manager's style, etc. To gain insight into the interpersonal or process dimensions, Block says that consultants should "recognize the similarity between how clients manage you and how they manage their own organization."