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The Seven Signs of the Consulting Apocalypse

The Seven Signs of the Consulting Apocalypse

1. Billing by the hour, day or other time unit.

2. Failing to find and establish a relationship with an economic buyer (someone who can sign a check).

3. Leading with methodology and techniques rather than results and value.

4. Being prescriptive in marketing and diagnostic in delivery, instead of the reverse.

5. Failure to make definitive next steps with specific dates and times.

6. Over-specializing and focusing on narrow markets.

7. Increasing labor intensity as business increases, instead of decreasing labor intensity.

How many of these plague you? The good news is that they are all remedial. The bad news is that they create a cul-de-sac for your practice and you often need someone to point to the exit.

© Alan Weiss 2011. All rights reserved.

Written by

Alan Weiss is a consultant, speaker, and author of over 60 books. His consulting firm, Summit Consulting Group, Inc., has attracted clients from over 500 leading organizations around the world.

Comments: 10

  • Matthias Bohlen

    May 7, 2011

    Alan,
    what do you mean by “Being prescriptive in marketing and diagnostic in delivery, instead of the reverse.” ?

  • John Tangney

    May 7, 2011

    Thanks for the post. Just a couple questions…

    If “the good news is that they are all remedial” then how can these be “signs of the … apocalypse”? I don’t understand how something can be remedial and at the same time a harbinger of doom.

    Also, what’s up with billing by time unit? Fixed-price billing is a shortcut to scope creep, no?

  • Alan Weiss

    May 7, 2011

    John, I think you’re being a tad too literal. Maybe I believe that even doom can be prevented.

    Time based billing is for amateurs and no one will ever get rich charging for their time. Scope creep occurs anywhere when consultants allow tasks to creep in not required by the objectives. That has nothing to do with billing.

    Have you read any of my books?

  • Anton Chuvakin

    May 8, 2011

    Love (and believe) all of them, but hate “Over-specializing and focusing on narrow markets.”

    Doesn’t focus make you stronger?

  • Alan Weiss

    May 8, 2011

    Focus, yes, but not specialization.

    • Anton Chuvakin

      May 9, 2011

      Thanks A LOT for your response, Alan. I’d love it if you can clarify it. If one doesn’t specialize, he would be a generalist and their advice would not be “special” and just like everybody else’s. Where is the magic and where do “value-based” fees come from then if you don’t have anything special?

      Or maybe we mean different things by specialization? I usually equate it to focusing on a particular area. And in your books you tend to praise focus very much.

  • Joseph

    May 9, 2011

    Dr Alan,
    Doesn’t Mercedes and other luxury brands focus on the narrow market (compared to the whole population)? Isn’t their success purely because of their focus on narrow market?

    I’m little puzzled. May be your advice is for consulting and not for product companies?

    Thank you,
    Joseph

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