Rating

7

Qualities

  • Innovative
  • Visionary
  • Concrete Examples

Recommendation

Who consults for consultants? Author Fiona Czerniawska does. In this much needed update and "substantial revision" of her prior work, Management Consultancy in the 21st Century, she limns a convincing portrait of how the e-business earthquake has forever changed the consulting industry. Czerniawska based this book, in part, on a series of in-depth interviews with leading consultants, and she includes transcripts of those conversations as part of the book. Her narrative warns that the consulting industry is splitting into two camps: proposition developers and process experts. She outlines the changes in relationships between clients and consultants that this split is going to cause. Will the pace of change in e-business consulting slow down now that the dot.com bubble has burst? Czerniawska says "no." getAbstract.com believes her book is a must-read for any consultant who wants to stay ahead. Read it, and maybe you won’t need to hire a consultant to keep you on track.

Summary

An Industry-Wide Gaffe?

When the twenty-first century history of management consultancy is written, it will catalog one critical mistake: at the dawn of the century, consultants grievously underestimated the impact of e-business. They did not anticipate the degree to which e-business would transform their industry, creating opportunities and irreversibly altering the business landscape.

Fast-growing firms such as IXL, Sapient, Scient and Razorfish emerged in the late 1990s, offering in-depth technical expertise on e-business topics as well as practical implementation experience. Many businesses began to spurn advice from larger, more tradition-steeped firms, where enterprise resource planning (ERP) consultants received token e-business training. The upstarts set out to redefine the business of consulting. Their emergence stimulated a reaction from the old-line firms, and several industry characteristics shifted forever:

  • Process and delivery methods changed.
  • Assignment periods were compressed from months to weeks.
  • Detailed strategies gave way to short-term approaches nimble enough to adjust to rapidly evolving market conditions.
  • Technology...

About the Author

Founder and managing director of Arkimeda, which researches and consults for consultants, Fiona Czerniawska is the author of Management Consultancy in the 21st Century, the basis for this "substantially revised edition." She is director of the Management Consultancies Association’s "Think Tank" in the U.K. and teaches at the London Business School.


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