Tag Archives: Best Practices

Best practices: A tool or a crutch?

I wrote this post 5 years ago.  It is still true today.  Management consultants use the phrase “best practices” often.  Perhaps too often. You will see that magical phrase mentioned numerous times in white papers and research on these websites: Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, PWC and Accenture.  A few pictures that help explain why a best practice can be so… Read More »

Consulting tip: How to make a good survey

Consultants should use surveys more often. They are cost-effective, seemingly impartial, easy to use, and provide data in the “touchy and feel-y” areas where data might be hard to find, collect, or quantify. Bain, PWC, BCG, Deloitte all use surveys; see the links at the bottom of the post. Even on this website, readers reply to surveys to… Read More »

The problem with metrics

Metrics are everywhere. As a consultant, we are in the business of quickly understanding business problems, proposing solutions, and measuring results. Metrics are a necessary evil of any project. The classic continuous improvement methodology DMAIC depends on M (measuring) and C (controlling the process).  Seemingly, Consulting is all about metrics and key performance indicators (KPI).… Read More »

Meeting minutes: 8 good reasons to write up those notes

Meeting minutes are not boring. Most people see this as a bureaucratic habit straight out of Mad Men, where Joan is typing notes at an old typewriter. I disagree 1. Notes show effort.  At the very minimum, it shows good follow-through and commitment.  While others are barely paying attention in the meeting, and promptly forgetting what was… Read More »

Best practices: A crutch for consultants and clients?

This is a post I did 2 years ago.  My new edits are in red color. Management consultants use the phrase “best practices” often.  Perhaps too often. You will see that magical phrase mentioned numerous times in white papers and research on these websites: Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, PWC and Accenture.  A few pictures that help explain why best practices… Read More »

Business problems are the same, don’t re-invent the wheel

Best practices: After 15+ years in Fortune 500 and management consulting life, I am convinced that business problems are similar. Yes, industries differ. Yes, companies are different. Yes, products are different. But many of the problems are the same: Common problems include: Changing leadership. Office politics. Poor planning. Vapid corporate culture. Bloated bureaucracy. Unchanging distribution channels. Data… Read More »

What lawyers can teach you about supply chain

To get a product or service to market, it often passes through dozens countries, factories, airports, trains, ships, and hands.  For anyone who read The World is Flat (2005) by Thomas Friedman, it’s a foregone conclusion that globalization and international trade are here to stay. This weekend, I went to the grocery store with my wife, and we got… Read More »

IT Implementation worst practices: Healthcare.gov

IT implementation is “bread and butter work” for consulting firms. It often involves dozens of consultants, multiple locations, and sometimes 2-3 years for a full roll out of an enterprise resource plan (ERP) like SAP or Oracle. These are big hairy projects that cost dozens, if not hundreds, of millions of dollars.  It’s big money.… Read More »

Presentation Tips from TED’s Chris Anderson

Have you seen a TED video? If not, you should stop reading this blog right now. Instead, go to  www.TED.com and watch any of the 1,400+ videos. They are all less than 18 minutes long and completely worth your time. Very thought-provoking. For those who watch TED, we can all agree that those people know… Read More »

Why consultants love best practices

Management consultants use the phrase “best practices” often. Perhaps too often. You will see that magical phrase mentioned numerous times in white papers and research on these websites: Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, PWC and Accenture. A few pictures that help explain why best practices are so popular with consultants and clients. Best practices are like good… Read More »

Pauses: A consultant’s public speaking tip

Good speakers pause. After they finish one thought, they don’t rush to the next sentence. They don’t rattle off useless verbal fillers (uh, ah, um, well, so, right, hmm).  Instead, they embrace that millisecond of silence, harness the awkwardness, and force the listener to pay attention. Many people call it the pregnant pause. In 2008,… Read More »