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Monthly Archives: August 2016

Are You Doing the Wrong Things?

Small business guru Michael Gerber has been cited as saying that fewer businesses are started than go out of business in a year. That means a lot of people are doing really badly at business. Michael Zipursky briefly ruminates over this information in a post for Consulting Success. You’ve Got No Business Here One major reason why so many businesses fail is that the owners think they have a plan for success, when in actuality …

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Consultants Need to Understand Type I and Type II Errors

Type I errors and Type II errors, otherwise known as false positives and false negatives, are two types of error that everyone should understand. In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas breaks down how they work. Read this, and you will never make a mistake again for the rest of your life, maybe. Debug Mode In dealing with a false positive, it means you have rejected a null hypothesis when …

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5 Characteristics Professional IT Consultants Must Possess

Ideally, the best IT consultant would probably be an android, like the Vision in Avengers: Age of Ultron. But nobody has built one yet, so we are stuck with humans. A slideshow at IT Business Edge shares five qualities that a viable IT consultant will have: Have a point of view. Recommend solutions from companies who use their own products. Promote choice and flexibility. Have a wide array of experiences. Be able to solve business …

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Is Your Client in Charge?

In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas addresses a philosophical question of consulting. Is the client or the consultant ultimately responsible for the outcome of an engagement? Let’s get some clarification about who is in charge. Leading the Charge Well, in a situation where the client and consultant are both seasoned professionals, this should not be a very big issue in the first place. Clear definitions of responsibilities will have …

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The Perfect Consulting Meeting Agenda for More Productivity

To a given extent, the more preparation you put into something, the better you are likely to execute it. When it comes to meetings, something as basic as an agenda can vastly increase their final results. In a post for Consulting Success, Michael Zipursky relates the simple three-part agenda structure that ensures a consultant has the necessary conversations with a client. For Better, Quicker Adjournment Client meetings and sales meetings are the two places where …

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7 Benefits of Freelancing You Don’t Get with a Desk Job

A freelancer is in most respects a one-man or woman consultancy. Such people play by their own rules, perhaps while wearing shades and fingerless gloves. In an article for Forbes, Abdullahi Muhammed discusses the benefits of freelancing beyond the fashion possibilities. He shares seven reasons, supported by data, why it might be an attractive different career path for you: You control your workload. You’re less likely to get sick. You get as many breaks and …

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When the Client Asks for the Wrong Solution

Suppose a client explains to you the sorts of challenges his or her business is facing, and it culminates in that person asking you to perform services that solve an utterly different problem. How do you react to that? In a post for the Institute of Management Consultants USA, Mark Haas has advice to handle this delicate situation. Off the Mark Consultants can often be trusted to diagnose problems within a business, as long as …

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Is It All Management’s Fault?

Should management really shoulder all of the blame when a project fails? The answer is complicated. In a post at her blog, Annie An Dongmei explains that there are three aspects to team performance, and that it is up to everyone to account for team weaknesses. Many Fingers to Point The three aspects to team performance are priorities, talents, and relationships. Dongmei applies these aspects as they pertain to the so-called “niceness trap” of management. …

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12 Essential Negotiating Strategies for Consultants

Veteran organizations have a whole host of power play tactics to get consultants to crunch their fees into something less than they probably deserve. What can you do as a consultant to stand your ground in hard negotiations? David Sherwin provides 12 tips in an article for Fast Company to maintain the balance of power in the room: Have a position before you enter the room. Understand what kind of leverage you have. Make sure …

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6 Tools Every IT Consultant Needs

What should IT consultants always carry to the job site with them? A computer would be a good start, maybe. But beyond that, there are a few more tools for success. Mike Mansell writes for BestTechie with six recommendations: Smartphone with tethering capabilities Reporting and document-generating software Delayed email outbox Bandwidth calculator Password list Speed test Tech Tools You cannot always count on flawless or unlimited Internet access at a job site, and you do …

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