Best practice: A tool or a crutch?

I wrote this post 5 years ago.  It is still true today.  Management consultants use the phrase “best practice” often.  Perhaps too often. You will see that magical phrase mentioned numerous times in white papers and research on these websites: Boston Consulting...

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 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...

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...

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...

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...