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on 20 August 1999
Peter Block covers the intangibles of consulting: the politics, communications and the obstacles that derail the consultant/client relationship. This book is a MUST read, not only for consultants, but for anyone that works in or around companies that have politics, or bureaucracy, or people. That should cover just about all of us. This book helped me because it covered so much more then the business techniques of consulting, hey I'm a business consultant after all. Flawless Consulting helps you master communication and contracting gaffs, to understand why after much good advice the customer still does the wrong thing, and most importantly how your success can be assured despite those kind of issues.
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on 14 December 1997
I was given this book when I joined our firm. It is as relevent today as when it was written. I recently was involved with a project that went sour and, as a result, went back and read his chapter on when a project is about to fail. Every warning sign he listed was present in this project and we almost failed to see them!
This should be a must read for all consultants. I am buying several copies for members of my team!
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on 27 June 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
The only small critisim I would give this book is that it is a little long winded in parts, and some lengthy paragraphs could be be summarised by bullet points or diagrams so you can map them easier in your mind an remember the points.

On the positive side, the book is jam packed with information. Honestly, you would have to read it several times to take it all in, and defintely have to make notes as you go long. You almost need a pocket version to remember the wide range of areas covered from the steps you go through as a consultant life cycle to the reactions from the client.

I like the parts on how to difuse situations and understanding what clients really mean when they say certain phrases. Also, the book highlights the importance of reading body language. There are so many other interesting topics covered including how to structure the agreements with clients and when to pull out.

I would recommend the book for sure.
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on 6 August 1998
An essential book for the one-person consultant, either just beginning or a veteran. No matter how well you think you know your clients or your expertise, this book will keep you focused on the consulting essentials, leading to successful and implemented projects - and clients who will want you again. If you can only afford one book on consulting, this is the one - no bull!
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on 2 December 2003
The best guide to consulting I have read. Peter Block writes in plain English; the layout is uncluttered and easy to navigate. But perhaps the most powerful quality is his openness in sharing tales of projects that didn't go smoothly. It's reassuring when he describes good approaches and you realise you are doing those right; it's challenging when he describes less successful behaviour and you recognise some of those too!
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I liked this book very much, because it focuses on the style of consulting I like to do -- increasing the capacity of the client to find and implement her/his own solutions. What especially impressed me was the great care placed on how to establish the relationship with the client, as well as defining the assignment. Consultants love to define assignments, but often don't give much thought to the relationship. The emphasis should be just the opposite.
The book is nicely balanced between the needs of those who supply internal consulting (whether formally, or as staff resources) and external consultants and experts. I have played both roles, and each one teaches you something you need to know in order to be a better consultant. This is the only book on consulting that I have read that captures both perspectives and roles well.
A great strength of the book is that there are extensive examples of the same issue so that you can get a good perspective, even if you don't yet have much experience as a consultant. So it is a terrific book for those who are new to consulting.
For those of us who have a few decades of consulting experience, there is still a lot to learn. I was especially helped by the extensive list of ways to diagnose what may be going wrong when the client asks questions or is inactive. I was helped even more by many ingenious responses to those situations that had never occurred to me.
This is a principled book, one that considers the needs of the client and the consultant in a fair and even-handed way. It also gives you the perspective you need to apply those principles.
I heartily agree with the emphasis on getting as much relevant client involvement as possible, to improve commitment, understanding, relationships, and the ability to implement later on.
The next time I run into a potential snag in a consulting relationship, I intend to check my thinking with this wonderful guide. I suggest you do the same. You'll need to have a copy around, so plan to buy one on Amazon.com.
For those fans of The McKinsey Way, you should read this book, too. It will facilitate your career in much more valuable and signficant ways.
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VINE VOICEon 18 February 2012
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
I bought this to give me some guidance on getting my expertise used - but it was really a book for management consultants and was a bit over my head.

I think for someone in personnel, corporate management, or a management consultant it would be an excellent addition to existing skills.

For a completely beginner though it is a bit advanced.
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on 28 October 1998
I think everyone should read this book. Even if you don't think you're a consultant - you are one. You probably try to get your services used inside a company.
Block has a real insight into how the dynamics of consultancy work. I read it before I dealt with my first external client and it saved me from what would have otherwise been less than flawless consulting! As it was, it turned into a great success.
I'll be rereading it regularly.
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VINE VOICEon 26 August 2011
Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
When I first started this book, it seemed to be very padded. Essentially I felt like what I was reading was a lot of fluff about what a consultant is and does. It felt very much like a manual on how to blag yourself into a job.

However with later chapters, I was completely convinced that the writer not only believes with every ounce of their body what they say, but also practices what they preach. The advice has practical use at many levels of an organisation and it really helps to read about tactics and strategies toward becoming a good consultant from somebody that has successfully seen their advice acted upon many times, as well as highlighting times where their expertise has sometimes failed and helping us avoid those pitfalls.

Essentially we are all consultants, in whatever job we are in. I feel more confident when dealing with co-workers and appreciate that the greatest skill of a consultant is finding the points where we as humans are falliable, and addressing those concerns whilst ensuring that those parties with a stake in a project are adequately satisfied with the implementation. Regardless of your status, I thoroughly recommend this book if you simply wish to work better and more efficiently with your colleagues. We are not granted all this knowledge innately, and whilst some of the solutions sound simple, it can be hard to see the solution when placed into a particular situation. This book at least ensures you are adequately prepared for dealing with at least some of the unknown.
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Format: Hardcover|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
Peter Block first wrote this classic on the business of consulation over three decades ago, and has revised and updated this edition thoroughly for re-release. It takes us through the ins and outs of business consultancy and how to do it, from the beginning with definitions, through the various issues one is likely to face, including resistance, diagnosis, feedback and implementation.

I like this book because it is so clear and specific. It gives plainly-written examples without the need for stupid, muddly jargon. It makes a lot of the business books I've read come across as something out of a comedy show.

Although the book was written thirty years ago this edition contains all the latest thinking on the subject matter, tells you how to look at your client's problems, how to talk to them about it and what not to promise. The book itself is of good physical quality, suitable for leafing through again and again and the pictures are hilarious.

A must have for the business consultant, in my view.
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