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Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used

really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating Details  ·  1,297 Ratings  ·  63 Reviews
The second edition of the "consultant's bible" is here! For over fifteen years, consultants--both internal and external--have relied on Peter Block's landmark bestseller, Flawless Consulting, to learn how to deal effectively with clients, peers, and others. Using illustrative examples, case studies, and exercises, the author, one of the most important and well known in his ...more
Hardcover, Second Edition, 400 pages
Published September 29th 1999 by Pfeiffer (first published January 14th 1987)
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Apr 10, 2016 Leona rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
This is a good foundational book on consulting that is respected by many and used in most consulting classes across major universities. My recommendation is to read it as a textbook and to use it as a reference guide, versus trying to digest it like you would a novel.

Jun 22, 2013 Pamela rated it it was amazing
So far so good, and I think this book is written for professionals who already have competencies for working with people in consulting. I also think if you want to read this book keep in mind this book has a companion book too! The Flawless Consulting Fieldbook & Companion A Guide To Understanding Your Expertise. Peter Block, who has focused attention on consulting skills, empowerment processes, and reclaiming our individuality.

As these books will guide a professional to know all the stages
Aug 31, 2014 Greg rated it it was ok
Since Goodreads lost my old review while trying to upload it, I'll give you this. I think Block focuses a lot more on being blameless as a consultant than on being effective. I agree in principle with lots of what he says, but the overarching idea was the downfall of this book in my eyes. I can't stand the kind of advice that admonishes well-paid experts to constantly deny their responsibility for the outcomes of projects and to distribute the blame for their projects by coercing everyone in the ...more
Jan 28, 2016 Jan rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Tremendous foundation of experience, but oddly longwinded and rather boring to read cover to cover. Probably much better to have listened to a lecture series by the author. True value probably first to appear when used as point of reference
Mar 07, 2014 Amanda rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I read this book in consulting class. This is a great resource for not only consultants but also basically anyone who works with other people, as this book discusses the soft skills required to build successful working relationships. A great deal of focus is placed on the relationship between consultant and client, from the contracting stage all the way to implementation.

Peter Block discusses different types of roles that consultants may take, such as that of an expert, an extra pair of hands,
Don Massenzio
Jan 26, 2015 Don Massenzio rated it really liked it
A number of years ago, I found myself without a job for the first time in my adult life. At 40, this was scary until I woke up one morning, created a subchapter-S corporation and became a consultant. This book, along with others by Peter Block, was a significant help in getting started and having the confidence to persevere for two years independently. Now I'm a consultant in a big four firm and the things I learned from this book still ring true.
Ankur Gupta
Jul 21, 2014 Ankur Gupta rated it really liked it
This book provides valuable and *comprehensive* insights into the various phases of consulting. The author says that Flawless consulting essentially boils down to 1) Being authentic and 2)Completing every stage of the engagement with diligence. The level of detail into every aspect of a consultant's role - what consultants typically do and what they ought to do is very helpful. It sometimes borders on presenting a Utopic picture of the same, but it is good to establish a picture of an "ideal sta ...more
Roger K.
Jun 08, 2014 Roger K. rated it it was amazing
Flawless Consulting is a valuable read for not only consultants, but anyone who has to influence authority in their organization (hint: that's pretty much everybody in ITSM and/or BPM).

Block identifies three goals for every consulting engagement
- Establish a collaborative relationship to maximize the use of resources and model how to effectively solve problems
- Solve problems so they stay solved by building the ability of the client to address root causes
- Ensure attention is given to both the p
Will Mosher
If you're already an experienced consultant I'm not sure how useful it would be, but it is a great overview/introduction to the field (and free of "execuspeak").
Jan 07, 2015 Eryc rated it really liked it
To be clear, this is a review of the audiobook version, which is pretty different from the pulpy one that sits on my bookshelf. Now -- this book should be required reading for anyone who is in a position of influencing without authority. This applies not just to consultants, but also to people struggling to have their expertise used inside organizations. Block's no-nonsense approach is refreshing, pragmatic, and inspirational. Favorite quote: "The meat of the consultation is dealing with resista ...more
Bart Breen
May 24, 2012 Bart Breen rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Basic Human Relations

As a contractor/consultant on my second long-term assignment, this title caught my eye and served for listening on the commute.

Overall I was impressed. Much of what is presented is common sense and deals with the simple themes of professional and personal integtity.

To put it simply, it focuses upon those things you can control as a consultant and provides a basis upon which to minimize the things you cannot control.

Success can only ultimately be measured by the things you co
Aug 13, 2009 Brian rated it it was amazing
Peter Block’s “Flawless Consulting Second Edition” is an outstanding book and I recommend it for anybody who is ever asked for advice. Consulting skills are not limited to people with a consultant title but anybody who helps others but has no authority over the outcome of their advice. Leaders, project managers, church elders, event planners, and many others will find benefit in this book.

I bought this book because I am an internal consultant. I had a coach challenge me to define my role as a co
Jan 20, 2013 Scott rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audio
A general consulting book. This book has sections about industries such as management, technology, health care, and education. Because numerous industries are covered, the methods are more generalized than may be wanted for specific scenarios. For example, technology consulting requires some fairly fine tuned methodologies that stem from computer science disciplines and technological implementations. With that being said, learning how consulting in different disciplines and industries compare is ...more
Shyamashree Rudra
Apr 15, 2011 Shyamashree Rudra rated it really liked it
I have to admit that I really liked Peter Block's "Flawless Consulting". This book was originally written in 1978, and then revised in 1998. I expected the book to be dated and irrelevant, but it wasn't. The concepts that Block wrote about many years ago are still very much applicable today.
Having been a consultant for 6 years, I especially liked this book because it focuses on the style of consulting I like (or rather liked!) to do -- improving the capability of the client to find and implemen
Paul Signorelli
Apr 21, 2011 Paul Signorelli rated it it was amazing
Shelves: consulting
Peter Block, in "Flawless Consulting: A Guide to Getting Your Expertise Used," eloquently explores the roles that internal and external consultants both play: “The core transaction of any consulting contract is the transfer of expertise from the consultant to the client.”

“Most people in staff roles in organizations are really consultants, even if they don’t officially call themselves ‘consultants,’” Block maintains. “Staff people function in any organization by planning, recommending, assisting
Steve Shu
Aug 06, 2015 Steve Shu rated it it was amazing
I especially recommend this book for those coming from engineering or science backgrounds as individual contributors. The book also has a very good treatment of being part of an internal consulting group within a company.

This book is one of four books I recommend as core to the practice of consulting. More details here:
Dio Aufa Handoyo
Jun 08, 2015 Dio Aufa Handoyo rated it really liked it
A refreshing break from the usual pure analysis perspectives that consulting-related books usually offer. While the idea itself is not evolutionary (it's basically lumped under "maintaining good client relationships"), the detailed roadmap presented in the book clearly defines what and how to bring true value in engagements.
Alex Devero
Jun 21, 2015 Alex Devero rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Consulting is about objectively analyzing a business and implementing lasting change. In the best cases, the consultant teaches a client to solve future problems independently through a deeper understanding of the company’s work and managerial roles.
Steve Goodyear
Jan 12, 2015 Steve Goodyear rated it really liked it
"Contrary to popular belief, consulting is the world's oldest profession. The first consultant was the Serpent in the Garden of Eden." — Peter Block
This book covers the basics of consulting pretty well and has some practical tips. I found it a bit winded in parts, but overall not a bad read.
Bob Wallner
Dec 09, 2013 Bob Wallner rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Consultants
I listened to the 9+ hour unabridged Audible version of Flawless Consulting.

This book content-wise is everything I expected. Content of this book is fantastic. The online resources are excellent. Stories and experience excellent. Gave me a lot to think about as I start trying to develop my consulting business.

I read the reviews on Audible about the narrator being very difficult to listen to - unfortunately the reviews were accurate. I cannot describe what was so bad other than he over-enunciat
May 20, 2010 Alex rated it it was amazing
We read this for my consulting class. Block is particularly brilliant in managing the consultation meeting. His idea of the "collaborative consultant," as well as his framing of consultants as making an impact without control, are invaluable. We supplemented his "feedback meeting" by making it even more collaborative by asking the client at every turn if he is getting what he/she wants, rather than only asking at the 50% mark. This method ensures that both client and consultant realize that chan ...more
Phil Ouellette
Jun 16, 2014 Phil Ouellette rated it it was amazing
A great framework for anyone wanting to alter their understanding of their role in an organization.
May 28, 2014 Lckeller rated it really liked it
My first audio book. Thanks for the recommendation of Audible, JSB!
Aug 11, 2015 Kim-Ann rated it really liked it
Great insight on how to approach consultancy. Great read.
koen de waele
Nov 12, 2014 koen de waele rated it it was amazing
a must read for all process consultants...
Apr 25, 2013 Kara rated it really liked it
This book has a lot of great ideas and strategies to help any business professional who works in a partnership role. If you need to convince people to do things the way you want, but have no control over that actually happening, this is a must read. Some of it seems like common sense, but it's articulated in a way that makes you think about things in a new light. It's written textbook style, so don't expect a particularly riviting read, but the material makes the time worthwhile.
Ivan Dimitrov
Not for me
Ravi Warrier
Jan 15, 2016 Ravi Warrier rated it really liked it
Shelves: business
Peter Block has managed to capture elements of consulting flawlessly in this book. I found this book much better than most books on consulting/advising function/industries. Compared to "The Trusted Advisor", I found this book to be more concise in its thoughts and what it wished to convey to its readers.

This is a 'must read' for any consultant in the field, and even more strongly recommended for those who usually tend to follow a 'expert' mode of consulting.
Ronnie Murrill
Mar 18, 2014 Ronnie Murrill rated it really liked it
A great book for aspiring consultants that covers the basics of working effectively.
Jun 24, 2011 Joseph rated it really liked it
I just finished reading the 1982 version and as a non-consultant, I really liked the way this book lays out the logic for approaching just about any situation. The emphasis is on the process for communication and how to use that communication to achieve the results you are looking for. These are skills that serve anyone in just about any situation. I found the concepts practical, engaging and useful.
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Phase one: 1 1 Oct 11, 2015 08:58AM  
  • More Secrets of Consulting: The Consultant's Tool Kit
  • The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook: Strategies and Tools for Building a Learning Organization
  • Managing Transitions: Making the Most of Change
  • The Trusted Advisor
  • Million Dollar Consulting: the Professional's Guide to Growing a Practice
  • Process Consultation Revisited: Building the Helping Relationship (Prentice Hall Organizational Development Series)
  • Resonant Leadership: Renewing Yourself and Connecting with Others Through Mindfulness, Hope and Compassion
  • Appreciative Inquiry: A Positive Revolution in Change
  • It's Not Just Who You Know: Transform Your Life (and Your Organization) by Turning Colleagues and Contacts into Lasting, Genuine Relationships
  • The Human Side of Enterprise
  • The Wisdom of Teams: Creating the High-Performance Organization
  • The Skilled Facilitator
  • Diagnosing and Changing Organizational Culture: Based on the Competing Values Framework
  • Hard Goals: The Secret to Getting from Where You Are to Where You Want to Be
  • A Simpler Way
  • Buy-In: Saving Your Good Idea from Getting Shot Down
  • How Did That Happen?: Holding People Accountable for Results the Positive, Principled Way
  • Maslow on Management

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