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How Do Consultants Stay Organized Before Creating Client Deliverables?

This post is based on a question posed to me on Quora.

Individual consultants and engagement managers usually develop their own ways of organizing information. Here are a few concepts I have used (but situations vary widely based on the situation and team composition):

Behavioral Economics Versus Behavioral Science

There will be different perspectives on the definitions of these two terms depending on context. Put simply, behavioral economics lies at the intersection of economics and psychology.

How Do Consultants Handle Situations With Clients Who May “Laugh” at Them Relative to Projections and Opportunity Outcomes?

Here are some thoughts on how consultants prepare for and handle these types of situations:

How Management Consultants Are Evaluated At Different Levels

I’ve been asked on a number of occasions to describe how consultants are evaluated in terms of performance, so I thought that I’d finally write these thoughts down publicly. Here’s a whirlwind overview of an illustrative consulting firm evaluation framework for single career tracks. In a nutshell:

Tips on How Consultants Can Balance Working Long Hours and Managing a Healthy Life

Consultants do work long hours. Not as bad as investment bankers though. In my opinion, it takes a conscious effort to have a healthy lifestyle in consulting. Presuming that the focus on health is mostly on physical exercise and diet (versus mental health or social relationships), here are some things I’ve used to try to strike a balance:

Thoughts About Finder’s Fees to Other Professional Services Providers as a Consultant

This answer is based on a question posed to me on Quora.

I’ve only used finder’s fees sparingly over the course of my professional services career. Here are some reasons why:

On Digital Tools, Behavioral Economics, and Retirement

Just wanted to share a Harvard Business Review post by my colleague, Shlomo Benartzi. In a nutshell, the digital world opens up many possibilities to apply behavioral economics to help people. Shlomo mentions some research that he, Hal Hershfield, and I recently did with Acorns, a robo-saving app. How Digital Tools and Behavioral Economics Will Save Retirement

Why Do Management Consulting Firms Hire MBAs?

Prior to my current role, I spent many years in the traditional management consulting space. As I see it, the traditional segment of the management consulting industry values MBAs primarily because it facilitates a plug-and-play kind of model where people are interchangeable and can start working on a broad swathe of business problems. Management consulting projects can span diverse areas from operational to finance to marketing to strategy to IT management, etc.

Do Consulting Firms Rely On Hiring Salespeople to Sell Work?

Many consulting firms (especially management consulting firms) rely on prior consultants in terms of selling work. Why? Mostly it is because people are the product. In consulting sales, you are selling yourself and your team. More specifically, you are affirming the problem statement, the problem-solving approach, and your team’s experience with solving similar (or comparable) problems in comparable situations. It is hard for external, non-consultant salespeople to do this.