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#633: Strengthen Your Incomplete Consultant Education

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Wednesday, August 17, 2011
Updated: Wednesday, August 17, 2011
To make sure I can talk intelligently with prospects and clients, I have subscribed to those recorded book summaries (available from several publishers). Do you think these summaries are good? What else should I be reading (other than major business magazines)?

Your strategy is a good one. It makes sure you are up on the latest business ideas, whether they are good or not, only time will tell. However, I suggest there is more at issue that being familiar enough with the latest business concepts to converse with a prospect. I have two suggestions that might enhance your ability to provide value to your client.

First, reading ideas and cases is a good start but you could build your understanding by debating them with others. Lots of concepts sound good when you read them, It is when you have to debate the merits of these ideas with someone who has a different perspective that you find some are weaker than others, or don't even hold up to basic logic. Just because an idea is quoted in a prominent business journal does not mean it will still be credible a year from now (remembering that a lot of business articles are written by academics or consultants and include an element of marketing).

Second, just as a lot of this month's ideas will pass away soon enough, a lot of ideas from a decade or five are still powerful foundations of business thinking. Compiles summaries of classic business books are a useful part of your understanding of business history and current trends (given that old ideas are often recycled).

Tip: A couple of compilations are available for a few dollars from Amazon and a great addition to your business library. Try The Best Business Books Ever: The 100 Most Influential Management Books You'll Never Have Time to Read and The 100 Best Business Books of All Time: What They Say, Why They Matter, and How They Can Help You.

© 2011 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  management theory  professional development  trends 

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