Alan Weiss, a highly-regarded independent business consultant and one of my favorite authors on the subject, spoke to a class at Harvard recently. This may well be the best hour you spend investing in yourself and your business this week.
Alan is known for being a contrarian. Here are just a handful of the insights that were valuable for me:
- Consulting is about one thing: improving the client’s condition. Do that consistently and quickly and you’ll have work.
- Delivery and methodology are not the most important dimensions of consulting. Learning how to communicate well (in writing, in person, and developing a strong vocabulary) makes the biggest difference.
- Hourly-based fees are unethical: you make more money by staying on the job longer. Offer high value instead and deliver results quickly.
- Read all the time. Learn, grow, and innovate all the time.
- Consulting is a relationship business. If you provide value and communicate well, you win.
Take 80 minutes to watch this presentation. I found the best insights in the first 30 and last 15 minutes; your mileage may vary.