ASQ - Team and Workplace Excellence Forum

Online Edition - January 2001


Surviving in The New Economy: From virtual workplaces to technology overload, this special feature takes an in-depth look at the changing demands of our workplaces and world.

  In This Issue...

Celebrating the Power of People
Tricks of the Trade—Unique Tranining Ideas
Views For A Change
Pageturners: Flawless Consulting Fieldbook

 One From Column B —
I Will Survive

 Peter Block explains why the new economy is just an economy, and why our relationships and our senses promise survival .

  Surviving In The New   Economy:

Working In A Virtual World
Defining The New Economy
Penny Sanchez-Burruss and Barry Johnson Ph,D

The 24/7 Work Invasion
Info, Info, Everywhere!
Brief Cases
Tips: It's About Time and Finding Time


Return to NFC Index

    Pageturners        Book Reviews with a Twist

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook And Companion—
A Guide To Understanding Your Expertise

by Peter Block

In 1981 Peter Block wrote "Flawless Consulting," which became the standard for consultants around the world. It was the first book many of us picked up to learn the basics of consulting. The ideas Block shared with us opened our minds to a new way of viewing our profession. It was a guide to getting our knowledge used within our organizations.

 Now Block has written "The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion-A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise." The Fieldbook picks up where his first book left off and takes us to the next level. In a series of essays, Block and 30 consultants share their perspectives on the consulting profession.

 Like Block, each of the 30 consultants are accomplished professionals. Their stories help us better understand our clients, our actions and ourselves, and inspire us to continue advancing our chosen profession.

Favorite Chapter: It seems the author indeed saved the best for last. I especially liked the last chapter of the book, Twelve Questions to the Most Frequently Asked Answers. In this chapter, Block identifies 12 typical organizational issues (such as "Helpless and Political Manager" or "Wanting Proof Positive") that we're all too familiar with. He then frames it with the typical response many consultants or insiders would give and the intervention that would be taken. Block then reframes the issue and takes us to a deeper level. He shares a different way of thinking about the situation and the conversation we might want to consider. He creates a deeper conversation that deals with the real issues and goes beyond the popular interventions of the day.

Favorite Quote: "What is demanded of us is to make consulting work something that transcends fashion or the latest response to customer requirements. We can then keep the work highly personalized and recognize that there are a thousand ways of doing it, all of them bringing value."

 It's learning this approach when consulting that will expand your options and increase the opportunity for your success and that of the client.

 If you're new to the consulting profession, this book is a must read that will prepare you for the challenges that lie ahead and give you a glimpse of the rewards that await you. For those of us who have been in the profession, it gives us a chance to reflect and rejoice in our work. Block and the other consultants share their journeys with us to help us see that there are options in what we do. This book is a great opportunity to learn from some of the best. Don't miss it.

Reviewed by Steve Gibbons, senior consultant, RSM McGladrey, Inc., Des Moines, Iowa.

The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook and Companion-A Guide to Understanding Your Expertise, Peter Block, assisted by Andrea M. Markowitz, 2001, Jossey-Bass/Pfeiffer, A Wiley Company, San Francisco, CA, ISBN: 0-7879-4804-7, 440 pages.

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