Tuckman: Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing

This is a classic framework that Professor Bruce Tuckman developed in the 1960s that describes how groups operate. It’s a linear process that all groups go through to some extent. Forming (people join the team), Storming (often there can be differences in work...

Career tip: What is an informational interview?

Of the many things I learned in MBA, the “informational interview” is one of those gems that remains relevant a decade later. Information interviews. They are simply low-expectation, business meetings with (relative) strangers to find out more about an...

World’s worst question: “Are you sure?”

This is my least favorite expression in all of consulting. “Are you sure?” Built into the question is a lack of trust, glibness, superficial concern with accuracy over meaning, and honestly, a bit of disdain. It’s a superficial question. It’s...

Without trust, a diversity of opinion is an argument

I was on a strange call recently. The call lacked an agenda (bad sign), involved too many people (bad sign), and was a round-robin style of updating (bad sign). The leaders of the call were frittering at the edges, a bit nervous, fearful and entirely bureaucratic....

Consulting is tribal; pick a tribe

Consulting is tribal.  Each of the partners (chieftains) typically have a group of “go-to” principals, senior managers, and network of consultants (tribe) who work on their projects. For even the unobservant person, these tribes become clear: He is one of...

Work with people you like and trust

Over the last year, I have interviewed about 50 people for positions in our consulting group.  Most of the time, I am giving case interviews to test people’s logical structuring, and analytic skills.  Sometimes, I have a chance to speak more openly – both...

Consulting: Idea fight club

I coined this phrase on my last project.  This is the simple admission that consultants should be confident in their ideas – backed up by data, research, and thinking – and be willing to allow their ideas to stand the testing of their peers, managers and...

Some rough manager days

I have not blogged in a month because of international travel, 3 concurrent projects, and honestly, some of the toughest manager days I have ever had.  Got some new folks, a fairly ambiguous project, and a lack of thinking.  Sad, but true.  A lack of real thinking....