Con Tricks: The Shadowy World of Management Consultancy and How to Make It Work For You

Ashford, Martin

Published by Simon & Schuster UK, 2000
ISBN 10: 0684868334 / ISBN 13: 9780684868332
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Synopsis: Consultancy is big business, and the range of services business consultants offer can include advice on: funding for an emerging business; annual audits; tax planning; receivership; and winding up. In the author's opinion, most consultants spend their time trying to be the world's leading expert in whatever problems the client may have and end up merely selling an illusion. This text aims to show buyers of consultancy services how to get value for money from their consultants. There is advice on ensuring consultancy projects deliver real results, avoiding pitfalls and dealing with the tricks of the consultancy trade.

Review: "Consultancy," Martin Ashford proclaims in the opening to Con Tricks, "is big business." And thanks to the broad range of services now offered by industry leaders, notes Ashford, the former blue-chip consultant turned Financial Times journalist, it affects business in bigger ways all the time. With an unrestrained skepticism that would be suspect if not for his background--comparing practitioners to prostitutes and the practice to "a gigantic confidence trick," for example, would not ring as true if done by an outsider--Ashford explains the best ways to find and work with so-called cons. After discussing the misguided rationales offered by managers who misunderstand their purpose ("we don't have a clue what to do"; "the Board can't agree"), he points out reasons that indicate the use of such external assistance may indeed be prudent (a need for additional resources, specific expertise, or help in "clearing internal obstacles and resistance" among them). Ashford then offers detailed advice on recognizing the types available, choosing one that fits comfortably with your organization, budgeting for what you need, structuring the relationship, deciphering consultancy-speak (through an alphabetized glossary covering assets to zero-based budgets), comprehending reports and presentations, and ensuring delivery of real results. --Howard Rothman

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Title: Con Tricks: The Shadowy World of Management ...
Publisher: Simon & Schuster UK
Publication Date: 2000
Book Condition: Good

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