The Why, What and How
by Kjetil Sandermoen
"This is the book I wish I could have read myself about 30 years ago when I first started my career as a young management consultant."
This book gives an overview of ways to work as a management consultant, including relationships with clients, ethics, pricing, contracts and some basic tools for delivering consulting services.
This book was written for those who want to work in this area, for existing consultants, and also for managers and buyers of management consulting services.
"Yes, I claim that to understand the internal and interpersonal politics of any organization, is a necessary prerequisite for a good management consultant."
"When young people are asked about their dream job, management consulting is often high on the list."
What is management consulting?
A short semantic history of management consulting
Enter the consultant
The future of management consulting
What kind of management consultant do you want to be?
The client relationship
Consulting – the second oldest profession in the world
Friendship or partnership
Who is the client
Your contribution is built on influence only
The most important thing to do
Who are your competitors?
The essence of management consulting
Ethics and values in management consulting
The moral foundation
Tools and development systems
How to prioritise
SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)
Ansoff’s growth matrix
The BCG matrix
Key financial ratios
Supply and demand
The Adizes methodology – a brief description of three theoretical foundations
Perception of reality
Managerial terminology relationships
A process-based consulting system
Decision-making and decision-taking
The most important leadership skill
The long-short route to implementation
“We” cannot take a decision, only “I” can
The secret of implementing decisions: CAPI
The decision-making process
Pricing and contracts
How to charge for your services
Selling management consulting services
The content of a contract
The impact of influence
The real leader
How to handle disagreement
How to handle conflict
The Adizes comprehensive system for change and improvement
Management responsibility matrix
Decentralization and delegation
"...a lot of organisations become centralised because of poor planning, unclear objectives, insufficient control and bad information systems. This will cause centralisation because you can only decentralise if you know what is going on. This is another paradox: decentralisation requires good control. Without control you will be forced to centralise decision making, or else the company will get into even more serious trouble, fast..."
"What is the most important skill for a leader or manager to master? I would say it is the decision-making process."
"... when I was asked by the managing partner of the consulting firm what kind of consultant I wanted to become, my reply was honest surprise: Are there really different kinds?!"
"Perhaps the most important strategic decision in management consulting is how to price your services, both how much you charge and what for."
"I am sure that many organisational problems are based more on politics than on policies…"
This book by Mr. Sandermoen should be read not only by aspiring consultants but by those practicing already. Mr. Sandermoen has succinctly summarised all the critical aspects of the consulting profession, bringing his own vast experience to document how it does and should work.
Kjetil has been my valued associate and partner for more than two decades and as I read the book I realised how brilliantly organised his approach is.
This book will be a required textbook for all Adizes associates and is wholeheartedly recommended.
Dr Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Founder, Author, Management Guru, Business Consultant
I am in the profession of management consulting and am heavily involved in the governance of the profession. I found this book to be very engaging and helpful. The author shares his lifetime of experience on how he successfully approached the profession. That would be enough, but he also shares many useful tools that are helpful in management consulting engagements. If you are serious about being a great management consultant, you must read this book and keep a copy on your shelf.
Dwight W Mihalicz
Chairman of International Council of Management Consulting Institutes (ICMC)
"… it will draw significant resources away into internal disintegration and fights, rather than freeing the same energy for external opportunities and tasks."
Kjetil Sandermoen on TEDx talk in 2021, Switzerland