Crash Course Consulting Reading List

Readers of this post may be interested in The Consulting Apprenticeship (update May 30, 2015).


Situation: You are stuck on a desert island with no lifeline access. What are the essential books and tools you need for management consulting?

Well, I can’t say that I have a complete list compiled, but here is a crash course consulting reading list (PDF doc) that I have provided in the past to new consultants (including experienced professionals new to consultative methods) as bread-and-butter references and knowledge areas. May provide ~80% coverage of a core foundation for general management consulting. Perhaps it is of use to new consultants and/or those looking to develop their consulting practices. I know that this list could probably use expansion and updating – I tried to create a list that was based on pre-packaged, ready-to-go stuff, and there are some limitations with that method.

Please feel free to post in the comments section any other sources you think others may find useful.

Update (8/3/09): Updated the reading list a little. For example, I included some blogs from traditional management consultants that shed light on the practice and industry.

Update (8/21/09): Updated the list to include some strategy books and other books recommended by consultants.

Update (9/1/09): Updated the list to include the latest versions of two of the best professional services sales books ever (by Ford Harding). If you are a professional services or consulting organization and could use help and/or an introduction to Ford, feel free to let me know, and I can broker a connection.

Update (2/3/2010): Got some great feedback from Florian Hollender at Killer Consultant. Based on his feedback and some other things on my mind, I updated the consulting reading list. Includes more updated blog and book references to Michael McLaughlin‘s material, some links on client facilitation, and books on negotiations and innovation. The reading list also includes some more consulting blogs.

7 Replies to “Crash Course Consulting Reading List”

  1. Nice list you put together there!
    I’d like to add the following to the “general” section:
    – Peter Block’s “Flawless Consulting”
    – Martin Ashford’s “Con Tricks” (not to become a “con”, rather to prepare for the way clients may look at you…)
    – Barbara Minto’s “The Pyramid Principle”
    On Ops Strategy, I like Charles H. Fine’s “Clockspeed”.

  2. Good list. I would also add “Never Eat Alone” by Keith Ferrazzi to that list. Good book on networking.

  3. Marquis Parker has also posted some of his recommended books here …
    I am trying to determine how to treat all of the books people have been sending to me as I have not read all of them and fit them into a “curricula” of sorts for consultants. I am considering adding them as recommended sources by other consultants. As I read the books, then maybe I can slot them.

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