Management Consulting

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?

“Good enough”

The essence of management consulting

Ethics and values in management consulting



The moral foundation

Tools and development systems

Illustrative tools

  • How to prioritise

  • SWOT (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, threats)

  • Fishbone diagram

  • Ansoff’s growth matrix

  • The BCG matrix

  • Key financial ratios

  • Cost curve

  • Scarcity

  • Supply and demand

  • Spiral Dynamics

  • The Adizes methodology – a brief description of three theoretical foundations

  • Perception of reality

  • Managerial terminology relationships

 Development systems

  • Process consulting

  • 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

Success sharing

Selling management consulting services

Travel expenses

The content of a contract

Typical challenges

The impact of influence

The real leader


How to handle disagreement

How to handle conflict

Cultural differences


Appendix 1

The Adizes comprehensive system for change and improvement

Appendix 2

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."


Available as an e-book


"I am sure that many organisational problems are based more on politics than on policies…"

This book is chosen as part of the course material at University of Fredericton’s Master of Business Administration (MBA) – Consulting Leadership program (


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