Over the years during which I have been consulting, I have bought, read and discarded a number of books on the consulting profession, consulting skills and behaviors, ethics, and practices. Some are much better than others and some are ones I return to again and again. I wonder if others treasure the same books I do.
Most business and consulting books contain some good ideas here and there. The really good ones are filled with concepts and insights that are relevant for many disciplines and industries and continue to inspire long after their initial printing. But the ability to be inspired is a function of not just the author's content and presentation style but also how you approach your practice, your style of generating new lines of business and your emphasis on expanding your skills as a consultant. Some are new this year; others are still powerful 50 years after being published.
Some of my personal favorites (judged by the density of material and their ability to inspire new ideas and services) include:
- Strategic Renaissance (Dudik)
- Flawless Consulting (Block)
- The Essential Drucker (Drucker)
- What Were They Thinking (Pfeffer)
- The Art of Problem Solving (Ackoff)
- Integrating Mission and Strategy for Nonprofit Organizations
- Rapid Results (Schaffer)
- The Organization Man (Whyte)
- Reframing Organizations (Bolman and Deal)
- Selling the Invisible (Beckwith)
- The Strategy Process (Mintzberg)
- Strategic Management (David)
Some of these are well known to you; others you may never have heard of. All we can do to find out from the rest of you is to ask.
Reply to this email with your favorite consulting book(s). Send the name of the book and its author, along with a sentence or two of why you have found these helpful to your practice and to whom you would recommend them. We'll compile and publish the names of most popular titles. © 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA