Steve Shu's Blog



On "Busyness" In An Increasingly Global And Technology-Oriented World

It's results that matter - not activities.

That statement encapsulates a "widely-held" management perspective that managers should evaluate workers based on the effectiveness of output produced and not by how much they are working. But is it such a widely-held belief? Dr. Andrew McAfee writes in an older post (and in the context of E2.0 technologies such as blogs, wikis, etc.):

Professional Services and Consulting Sales

Ford Harding has some of the best sales books I have ever seen for those in professional services and consulting. I find that many other books in the marketplace focus either too much on product-oriented businesses or sales attitude to the exclusion of understanding why certain sales and marketing processes work for some business situations but not for others.

Thoughts On Job Changes And Job Interviews

There are many variations on interviewing people, but practically across all methods I have used whether case study or more traditional "walk me through your resume" style, I find myself examining two areas very closely. I don't know if they match up with other interviewers' experiences, but in any case here are the two areas:

Where The Engagement Manager Position Embodies The Essence of Management Consulting

Between different consulting firms and practices, the job responsibilities and experience levels of engagement managers vary widely, but there is one characteristic of the position that I like because it captures the essence of management consulting better than do characteristics of other typical consulting positions (e.g., principal, partner, director, associate, manager). By understanding the central function of "engagement management", one can better understand the essence of management consulting.

Interesting Observation That Project Management Is Something You Won't Learn In Business School

First saw this post at Virginia Postrel's site. The originally referenced post is by her other half, Dr. Steven Postrel here. Dr. Postrel writes:

The Downside of Saving for That Perfect Occasion

My wife is quoted in a recent U.S. News and World Report feature on credit cards where she talks about a quirky aspect of consumer behavior:

McKinsey Says Companies Are Wary Of Web 2.0

See the article over at BusinessWeek. Hat tip to Steve Rubel who comments, "The enterprise is afraid of letting go of the command and control structure."

An Illustration Of Where Clients Look To Management Consultants For Value-Add: Quantitative Analysis and Polish

I've seen a number of posts around the internet that question the value of management consultants and really beg the question of in what situations can consultants add value better than managers within a company. Rather than answer that broad question, I thought that I would take an opportunity to illustrate an area where I have seen a lot of clients get value and where they would have struggled to structure the analysis given the resources they had available. The gap area is quantitative analysis.

Article On Wealth, Income, and IQ

Folks may have seen this already, but I saw this article in The Times while on assignment in London last week. My very loose takeaways at the time were that that IQ and income are somewhat correlated but that IQ and wealth are not (may need to check out links below and trace academic paper[s] to find the precise statistical findings). Also interesting was this piece of text from The Times article:

Why I Dislike Microsoft Project for Management Consulting

Sort of as a follow-on to the post about project management and b-schools, I thought that I would post something (a bit one-sided) about the use of Microsoft Project in management consulting projects. I dislike the tool and sometimes even discourage the use of the tool by consultants running projects. Here's some reasons why: