High-Performance Consulting Skills

The Internal Consultant's Guide to Value-Added Performance

November 2003
More details
  • Publisher
  • Published
    1st November 2003
  • ISBN 9781854182586
  • Language English
  • Pages 288 pp.
  • Size 6.25" x 9.25"
  • Images 31 figures and illustrations

The concept of the "internal consultant" is now gaining considerable ground as managers in support functions seek to redefine their role and effectiveness. The emphasis that it places on moving from a "colleague" to a "client" perspective within the business can bring major benefits to both adviser and organisation.

This book provides...
... a practical understanding of the skills required to become a high-performance internal consultant, whatever your own area of expertise. It will help you:

develop stronger, more productive working relationships with internal clients
secure greater internal client commitment to initiatives and change projects
work effectively in a less formal and hierarchical way on projects and initiatives
market your services and build powerful internal networks
enhance yoru own worth and value to the organisation

Who should read this book?
All managers working in support functions, such as HR, audit, training, personnel and IT, as well as areas such as finance and marketing.

"A highly practical and valuable guide to the world of internal consulting by a global practioner. Mark Thomas has produced a book that is filled with excellent advice, tips and real experience. It should serve as a real aid to all who want to succeed in the rapidly growing role of the internal consultant.' Bie De Graeve, Director, Tias Business School, University of Tilburg, Holland 'If you want a book that you can use on an almost daily basis then this is it. Whether you work in information technology, finance, HR or indeed any corporate advisory role the skills outlined in this book can increase your influence and impact from the first reading. Written in the pragmatic style and approach that is characteristic of his consulting work Thomas has produced a real guide to new frontier of internal consulting."

Gordon Downey - Senior Manager HR Internal Consultancy - LloydsTSB

"Thomas has made an excellent and practical contribution to shaping one of the key roles of the future organisation - the internal consultant. It could even be argued that Thomas is describing the future role of all managers. It is no longer about exercising hierarchy but rather influence and impact through others. He sets out a clear and practical roadmap - a job well done that will help many to make the exciting transition."

Alf Chattel , Futurist and author of Creating Value in the Digital Era and Managing for the Future

"Mark Thomas is a consultant from whom we can all learn about managing change initiatives, projects and clients. In this book he sets out an agenda that will appeal to all types of professionals. Read it and benefit from real ideas, skills and know-how. For HR people these are the skills of today and the future."

Esra Bozkurt , HR Director, DHL

"A highly recommended addition to defining and developing the internal consultant's role. Mark Thomas offers a clear operating mandate for the change agents of today's organisation. This book will appeal to all kinds of internal specialists as it is packed with practical ideas and approaches."

Pieter Allers, Director, Linkage International

"[T]here are many highly expensive external consultants who should read and learn from this excellent guide.'

Peter Long, HR Director, S1

Symbols used in this book

ONE From managing change to managing surprise?
Support functions under attack
The opportunity
What exactly is consultancy?
The difference between expert and process consulting
What is the difference between the internal and external consultant?
The characteristics of internal consultancy
Why use an internal consultant?
How to become an internal consultant
Time to convert and redirect

TWO The art of client management
Understanding the key stages of the internal consulting process
Belbin’s team roles – questionnaire

THREE Marketing internal consultancy
Getting in and contracting with your client
Developing your marketing strategy
Conducting a client demand analysis
What clients look for
Beginning to market yourself – recognising your starting point
Marketing to senior management
How to sell to senior management
Some practical tips to improve your marketing effort
Internal consultancy case study

FOUR Managing initial client meetings
The essential rules for managing initial client meetings
Things to avoid at initial meetings
How to convey respect, openness and understanding at an initial client meeting
Initial client meetings consultant’s template
Initial terms of reference
Writing client proposals
Managing initial meetings checklist

FIVE Understanding and defining the client’s problem
Desk research
Interviewing clients
Managing the client interview
Group interviews
Types of interview questioning techniques
Providing non-verbal encouragement during interviews
Using supportive statements
Counter-productive questions
Using questionnaires to gather information
Designing a questionnaire
Process mapping
Process analysis questions
Understanding and defining your client’s problem – being client focused

SIX Managing change
Understanding organizational change
Individual reactions to change
The change transition curve
Managing organizational change
Organizational change readiness assessment
Managing organizational change template
Change management template – the critical success factors
Stakeholder Analysis
Managing organization change – a checklist of key questions to address
The critical questions to ask in change scenarios

SEVEN Presenting client feedback
Introduction to report writing
Different types of client report
Getting your report structure right
A typical report structure
Writing a client report
Reviewing reports
Making client presentations
Presenting client feedback – being client focused

EIGHT Implementing, reviewing and exiting projects
Project implementation
Project implementation – being client focused
Reviewing consultancy projects – being client focused
Evaluating consultancy projects

NINE: The internal consultant’s toolkit
The consultant’s toolkit
Organization capability: effectiveness questionnaire • ‘7s’ organization audit
Internal consultant skills – development needs checklist
Success factors in managing change
Change management action planning sheet

Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is a business consultant, author, and speaker who has worked in over 40 different countries. His clients include Lloyds TSB Asset Management, Motorola, Barclays Capital, Reuters, Cisco, Sony, HSBC, Coca-Cola, Mars, Nestlé, Aramex, Shell, Union Bank of Switzerland, and the American Management Association. Mark Thomas is a senior partner with Performance Dynamics Management Consultants, an international business consultancy specializing in organizational change and people development. He is also a fellow of the UK Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development and an associate faculty member of the Tias Business School in Holland and MCE in Brussels.