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High-Impact Consulting: How Clients and Consultants Can Work Together to Achieve Extraordinary Results , Completely Revised and Updated

ISBN: 978-0-7879-6049-0
288 pages
March 2002, Jossey-Bass
High-Impact Consulting: How Clients and Consultants Can Work Together to Achieve Extraordinary Results , Completely Revised and Updated (0787960497) cover image


In this new and revised edition of the landmark book High-Impact Consulting, Robert H. Schaffer reveals how senior managers unwittingly collude with their consultants to perpetuate the great waste inherent in "the five fatal flaws of conventional consulting." Drawing on his own work with companies-- Motorola, Rio Tinto, IBM, General Reinsurance Corporation, The World Bank, and other successful organizations-- Schaffer offers a field-tested approach to working with consultants that has proven to get results. He identifies the key elements of an effective project design?particularly that project objectives are defined in terms of client results rather than just consultant deliverables. The process enables clients to be certain that the work is carried out in ways that ensure success.
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Table of Contents

Part One: From High-Stakes Gambling to Certain Success.

1. Low-Yield, Conventional Consulting versus High-Yield, High-Impact Consulting.

2. The Five Fatal Flaws of Conventional Consulting.

3. The Bottom-Line Results of High-Impact Consulting.

Part Two: The Results-Driven Architecture of High-Impact Consulting.

4. Define Goals in Terms of Client Results Instead of Consultant Products.

5. Match Project Scope to What the Client Is Ready to Do.

6. Aim for Rapid-Cycle Successes to Generate Momentum.

7. Build a Partnership to Achieve and to Learn.

8. Leverage Resources: More Results with Fewer ConsultantsPart Three: Creating High-Impact Partnerships.

9. Create a Contract for Collaboration Instead of a Proposal for a Job.

10. Senior Managers Must Insist That Their People Produce the Results.

11. Build Communication Bridges and Overcome Anxiety.

12. Test the Shift to High-Impact Consulting: It s All Upside and Risk-Free.
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Author Information

Robert H. Schaffer is founder of the consulting firm, Robert H. Schaffer & Associates and serves as one of its principals. A leader and trainer in the consulting field, he has written several books as well as numerous articles for the Harvard Business Review, the New York Times, and other widely known publications.
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"If senior executives are going to spend large sums of money for internal consultants or outside firms, you need to be clear about the actions you must take to avoid disappointments and to make sure that expert advice is translated into tangible, bottom-line improvements. This book offers many practical ideas on how to do that."
— George M. C. Fisher, former chairman and CEO, Eastman Kodak Company

"Most consulting is practiced in ways that are doomed to failure. If you use expert advisers, whether from your staff or from a consulting firm, this book provides plenty of insight on how you can increase the odds of a high payback."
— Lawrence J. Toole, former senior vice president and manager, human resources, GE Capital

"The allure of using consultants for tough business problems is fraught with risk. As Bob Schaffer explains, the relationships between business managers and consultants frequently end in disappointment. High-Impact Consulting should be read by all managers about to use a consultant, and by those consultants who want results as well as fees."
— John H. Biggs, chairman and CEO, TIAA-CREF

"Effective consultants, whether external or on company staff, must sell and deliver significant and measurable results. Too often what is delivered is just advice and activity. Bob Schaffer tells client executives how to demand stretch results and teaches consultants how to change their practice to deliver them. His approach works."
— C. Richard Larrick, manager, mill improvement process, Georgia-Pacific Corporation; former president, Paper Industry Management Association

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