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PETER BLOCK S BOOK SUMMARY

Flawless Consulting
Flawless Consulting
If you flawlessly consult (consult without error), you
will:
Have your expertise better used
Have your recommendations more frequently implemented
Work in a partnership role
Avoid no-win situations
Develop internal commitment in clients
Increase your leverage with clients
Establish more trusting relationships
Content
1. The Consultant
2. Beyond techniques
3. Flawless consulting
4. Contracting
1. The meeting
2. The agonies
5. Resistance
1. Understanding it
2. Dealing with it
6. From Dx to Discovery
7. Whole System
8. Positive Deviance
9. Get the picture
10. Meeting for action
11. Implementation
12. Engagement
13. The heart of the matter
Flawless Consulting
Entry and
contracting
Discovery and
dialogue
Analysis and
the decision to
act
Engagement
and
implementation
Extension,
recycle or
termination
The Consultant
Consultant
A person in a position to have some influence over an
individual, a group, or an organization but has no direct power
to make changes or implement programs

Manager
Someone who has direct responsibility over the action.
The Consultant
The consultants objective:
The Consultant
Skills needed to
do a good job
Technical Skills
The Foundation: You
need to know what they
are talking about
Interpersonal
Skills
You need to know how to
maintain a relationship
while disagreeing,
listening and supporting.
Consulting
Skills
Execute all phases, no
matter how big or small
the project is.
Beyond Techniques
Responsibility Feelings
Trust
Your own
needs
Pay close attention
to your own style
and feelings.

Your own behavior
should be consistent
with the style of
management you
advocate to your
clients
Elements always
present in your
interaction with your
client:
Beyond Techniques
Expert
Question answer
mode
Just to solve
immediate problem
Dr - Dx
Pair-of-
hands
Passive role
No collaboration
needed
Application of
specialized
knowledge
Collaborative
Attention to
technical issues and
human interactions
Interdependent work
Bilateral decision
making
The role you may choose:
Beyond Techniques
Stages before implementation:
Define initial
problem
Decide to proceed
or not
Choose
dimensions to
study
Decide who to
involve
Select a method Do discovery Select data Make sense of it
Provide results
Make
recommendations
Decide on actions
Flawless Consulting
Be clear on what you as a consultant are responsible
and what the line manager is responsible for.

Just because we are not responsible for what the
client does with our efforts does not mean we dont
care what happens in the end.

Always, always, always behave authentically with
the client.

We are accountable for our actions and awareness.
Contracting
Elements:
1. Both sides must enter freely
2. Exchange of something of value

The real value is to clarify the understanding
Main purpose is to communicate (not to protect
yourself in court)
Contracting
State:
Boundaries of analysis
Objectives of the project
Information to be sought
Roles in the project
Product to be delivered
Support from client
Time schedules
Confidentiality
Feedback to consultant
Contracting
All wants are legitimate
You can contract for behavior
You cant ask for something the other person doesnt
have
You cant promise something you dont have
You cannot contract with someone that is not in the
room
Most are broken out of neglect, not intent
Social contracts are always renegotiable
Good contracts require good faith
The Contracting Meeting
The personal interaction between the consultant and
the client during the initial contracting meeting is an
accurate predictor of how the project itself will
proceed.
The Contracting Meeting
Before the contract
meeting:
What do you want from the
client?
What are you offering the
client?
Are the key clients going to be
in the room?
Do you anticipate resistance?
What obstacles are on the way
of the client trusting what you
offer?
Do not end the meeting
asking for feedback
The Agonies of Contracting
Low energy
Role definition
Renegotiate as soon as he is treating you different
Questioning credentials
Too much time in contracting meetings
The virtual world can handle more cognitive issues,
rather than personal ones
Resistance
Identify when resistance is taking place
View resistance as a natural process and a sign that
you are on target
Support the client in expressing resistance directly
Not take the expression of the resistance personally
or as an attack on your competence
Resistance
Give me more
detail
Flooding you
with detail
Time Impracticality
Im not
surprised
Attack Confusion Silence
Intellectualizing Moralizing Compliance Methodology
No longer a
problem
Pressing for
solutions
Understanding Resistance
Someone may have to be fired
The political situation may be risky
The boss may be part of the problem
Painful problems involve painful solutions
Concerns:
Control
Vulnerability
It comes from the discomfort of being dependent and
asking for help
Maybe they want confirmation, not change
Dealing with Resistance
Pick up the
cues
Name it
Shhh! Let the
client respond
Dont take it personally
It is a sign that you have
touched something
important and valuable
Dont search for approval
Expect argument and
criticism
Dont get hooked
Show confidence
Keep moving forward
From Dx to Discovery
The challenge is how to help the client to be open to
the discovery process
There are no purely technical problems
The consultants most important contribution to a
client is a redefinition of the problem
Always devote time to how the problem is being
managed.
The way the problem is being managed has a
powerful effect on the way our expertise will be used
Whole System
The people doing the discovery and making the
recommendations are the same people who will
implement the change
The power lies in the high engagement and
involvement of the entire organization
There has to be some control given up
It builds the capacity of the organization to manage
itself in the future and keeps the consultant in an
educational role
Positive Deviance
Possibility/Asset focused

Focused on duplicating what we want to preserve
Instead of focusing on what we have been doing wrong

It is better to work with a small group that shows
interest than with strategically placed and leveraged
people who are not acting as much out of interest as
out of obligation
Get the Picture
Your choices:
Problem focused or possibility and asset focused
Third party structure or whole-system and self-assessment
method

Analysis and understanding:
The presenting problem
What others are doing to create the problem
What the client is doing to create the problem
Get the Picture
Resist the struggle to develop the perfect
recommendation.
Select what to highlight to the client
Dont leave the solution out of the clients control
(e.g. the economic condition, the market)
Identify clients self-defeating actions
Be assertive
Meeting for Action
Keep focused
Present data: personal and organizational
Including how the problem is being managed
Manage the meeting
Focus on the here and now
Dont take it personally
Feedback should be no more than 10 items
Halfway, ask if they are getting what they want
That way you still have time for a comeback
Speak with clarity
Be authentic
Implementation
Implementation is the fruit of our labor
We need to pay attention to the complexities of
translating analysis and recommendations into
action
Human systems should not be treated as
mechanical systems
People need to be brought together to create and
plan how to make something work
Deciding doesnt get it done
Not because the boss said it, its going to get done.
Managers know best the limitations to getting it done
Engagement
If the quality of the interaction does not change, no
standards, measurement or rewards will have an
impact
Engagement
The heart of the matter
Our job is to be a learning architect

We get stuck by asking the wrong questions.
Go beyond How

Stop viewing tension as a flaw

Capacities bear more fruit that deficiencies

Those someone elses cannot be changed in the
moment if they are not in the room.
Other Resources
http://prezi.com/1mk1u_ycbo-p/key-learning-summary-
peter-blocks-flawless-consulting/


http://managementconsultingnews.com/podcast-peter-
block/