The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully

The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully

If you are a consultant, ever use one, or want to be one, this book will show you how to succeed.With wit, charm, humor, and wisdom, Gerald M. Weinberg shows you exactly how to become a more effective consultant. He reveals specific techniques and strategies that really work.Through the use of vividly memorable rules, laws, and principles -- such as The Law of Raspberry Ja...

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Title:The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully
Author:Gerald M. Weinberg
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Edition Language:English

The Secrets of Consulting: A Guide to Giving and Getting Advice Successfully Reviews

  • Alan

    One of the best and most enjoyable business books I've read. Certainly on my top 10 list.

    I came across this in some IT book club -- it was a $30 paperback and I was aghast. Have since probably bought and given out 50 copies (Gerry, you can send thanks) to engineers, auditors, and others who need to bring humor and sense to situations.

    It has sayings: "Things are the way they are because they got that way." Remember it.

  • Sergey Shishkin

    Very thought provoking and humorous book. Although it leaves the reader with more questions than answers it definitely contains numerous advice on the subject. I only wish I read it before I started to be a consultant.

  • Alexander Trofimov

    Best

    Sanity

    Checklist

    Ever.

    If something going wrong, probably it's you. If it's not you then it's definitely other people. But never tools or situation.

    Read and check yourselves.

  • Oleksii Burdin

    Laws of life, with a great Jerry Weinberg's spice!

  • Ryan

    A quick read and actually pretty utilitarian. Weinberg has that peculiar sense of humor of older "systems" (i.e. computer science) guys - an unhealthy love of puns, alliteration, riddles, goofy parables, etc - but it doesn't interfere with the clarity of his messages. This is not "consulting" as a methodology or a framework akin to what one may expect from a McKinsey or HBS alum. By his own description Weinberg sees the role of the consultant less as a problem solver and more as a "jiggler"; som

    A quick read and actually pretty utilitarian. Weinberg has that peculiar sense of humor of older "systems" (i.e. computer science) guys - an unhealthy love of puns, alliteration, riddles, goofy parables, etc - but it doesn't interfere with the clarity of his messages. This is not "consulting" as a methodology or a framework akin to what one may expect from a McKinsey or HBS alum. By his own description Weinberg sees the role of the consultant less as a problem solver and more as a "jiggler"; someone that disturbs a system just enough (critical point - JUST enough) so that the system and the people within it become more robust at solving their own problems or, even better, at anticipating and preventing problems. He's just cynical enough to maintain a realistic stance, which is refreshing to those who balk at the latest book touting 5 steps to global domination. Recommended for anyone in a managerial role or overseeing any process improvements or work involving structural aspects of a "system."

  • Michael Richardson

    Worth reading for everyone involved in business.

  • Cori

    This book is a very quick read because it is a bunch of ProTips smashed together. I had a co-worker tell me that this is a book from the point of view of an old school consultant. I think the consulting work I will be doing will somewhat relate to what Weinberg has written, but it will also be more structured as well.

    This book is a very quick read because it is a bunch of ProTips smashed together. I had a co-worker tell me that this is a book from the point of view of an old school consultant. I think the consulting work I will be doing will somewhat relate to what Weinberg has written, but it will also be more structured as well.

  • Du Nguyen

    The Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg is a book about the learning and wisdom of Weinberg's consulting career.

    The Secrets of Consulting from the outset seems like it is specifically aimed at consultants or perhaps employees in larger corporations but as soon as you read it, you instantly become aware that this book contains advice and wisdom for your life. While all of the advice usually centers around consulting cases it is most of the times applicable for your life as well. As a result

    The Secrets of Consulting by Gerald Weinberg is a book about the learning and wisdom of Weinberg's consulting career.

    The Secrets of Consulting from the outset seems like it is specifically aimed at consultants or perhaps employees in larger corporations but as soon as you read it, you instantly become aware that this book contains advice and wisdom for your life. While all of the advice usually centers around consulting cases it is most of the times applicable for your life as well. As a result this book becomes a lot more than advertised.

    The style of the book is also delightfully conversational. It never becomes a bore to read due to Weinberg's ability to illuminate his learning in a funny and personal way. It however also backfires sometimes where I was not sure how true an anecdote was. Somehow it bothered me a bit, if I can't trust the author, how can I trust anything else in this book.

    All in all a good book on consulting, on work and on life. The lessons from this book are applicable to most situations in your life and in your work.

  • Ushan

    The author has been a consultant since age 13, when he worked at a local supermarket as a substitute stock boy, noticed that no one was buying the rutabagas, and suggested to the produce manager that they be thrown away, and their shelf space be utilized for something with greater turnover. The produce manager told Weinberg that this was a great idea, did as he was told, and asked him, "Now, what is the least popular vegetable?" Weinberg learned the lesson for good: if a consultant solves the cu

    The author has been a consultant since age 13, when he worked at a local supermarket as a substitute stock boy, noticed that no one was buying the rutabagas, and suggested to the produce manager that they be thrown away, and their shelf space be utilized for something with greater turnover. The produce manager told Weinberg that this was a great idea, did as he was told, and asked him, "Now, what is the least popular vegetable?" Weinberg learned the lesson for good: if a consultant solves the customer's number one problem, he promotes the number two problem to be the new number one. This book consists of about a hundred anecdotes like this, from which the author derives universal rules. Weinberg worked as a consultant for Ford on the Edsel, a famous failed product (strange: in his blog he says that around this time he worked on the operating system for the space tracking network used by NASA's Project Mercury). He says that the Edsel was a failure because Ford tried to put too many new features into one product; the rule is that new features should be introduced into products one at a time. I easily came up with a counterexample; the Toyota Prius was a radical redesign of the car: it was the first mass-produced hybrid vehicle; it has a planetary gearset instead of a transmission; it has an Atkinson cycle engine instead of the ordinary Otto cycle - and it has been a great success for Toyota. I must say that the rest of Weinberg's rules are equally problematic. One is "If you can't fix it, feature it;" I have read this rule before as, "If at first you don't succeed, redefine success." Maybe someone can in fact fix it, and will put you to shame.

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