Management Consulting Manifesto

Got an idea from Dan Wallace (Twitter handle: @Ideafood) to write a manifesto (link to some other examples here). As many regular readers may know, I am pretty passionate about the practice of business and management consulting. Without further ado, here is a working draft of my management consulting manifesto:

  1. Do what’s best for the client before the consulting firm.
  2. Lead and practice ethically.
  3. Love the client and commit fully or leave at the earliest, ethical moment.
  4. Like the arts, mastery of leadership and business excellence are worthy pursuits.
  5. Practice consulting and avoid dispensing shallow advice.
  6. Apply analytics, process, and problem-solving rigor as your strengths to enlight and lead versus obfuscate.
  7. Strive to introduce and apply principles of sustainability and social good wherever possible.
  8. Recognize limitations of consultative methods wherever they may be; seek noble, clever, and pragmatic solutions.
  9. Mentor colleagues & clients as appropriate and seek mentors to improve oneself.
  10. Pursue mastery of interpersonal and organizational communications ; get clients as far as you can along the strategy curve in terms of understanding, commitment, and resolve.
  11. Seek a balance between personal and business life that complements and strengthens one another.

Related links: An Illustration of the Consulting Spectrum: Giving Simple Opinions Versus Practicing Consulting “Science”

10 thoughts on “Management Consulting Manifesto

  1. Steve
    This is a great idea, and a really virtuous list!
    I would add one more – leave the client’s staff more knowledgeable and capable even if it means they won’t call you the next time because they can solve the problem on their own.
    Jenny

  2. Steve, great list. I would also add “Respect the client’s time”. Consultants are usually 100% dedicated to the project, while the client employees have their regular jobs to do in addition to participation on the project. Consultants need to be cognizant of the client employee’s allocation to the project and schedule meetings, documentation reviews, etc. accordingly.
    Lew Sauder, Author, Consulting 101: 101 Tips For Success in Consulting.

  3. Nice post Steve,
    I would like to add one too – “Consistently sell clients on value-adding projects”. Consulting engagements are expensive, and should add significant value to the client’s business. They shouldn’t be done to simply increase the consultant’s top line.

  4. A Manifesto should be an overarching statement of beliefs – and I believe you have captured the essential points along with the one suggested by Jenny “Leave the client better skilled than when you met him/her”

    Loved point no. 7

    How about a point about saying no? “Say no to clients who want to use your reputation to impress their stakeholders or to hide unethical practices.” Though I think you have touched it in point 3.

    Another point “Your reputation backed by your people’s skills is the only asset you have. Always look to build that asset, never to spend it”

  5. Pingback: How My Father and Fatherhood Has Transformed Me as a Professional | Steve Shu on Management, Consulting, and Strategic Initiatives

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