A post will be published twice a week, most likely Tuesdays and Fridays. Each of the bulleted items below is a topic of a post. The posts are organized into major sections and subsections. For example, the post “Major Types of Consultants” is in the subsection “About Consulting,” which is in the section “Foundations of Consulting”.

Foundations in Consulting

About Consulting

  • Major Types of Consultants
  • Primary Roles of Consultants
  • Most Important Goals of Consultants
  • Working Assumptions for Consultants
  • Internal Vs. External Consultants
  • How to Identify the Real Client
  • How Much Should Client Be Involved?
  • How to Know What Role to Play


  • Principles for Effective Consulting
  • Principles for Ethical Consulting
  • How to Maintain Proper Boundaries
  • How to Minimize Legal Liabilities and Risks
  • How to Continually Improve Your Skills

Understanding Yourself as Consultant

  • What Are Your Biases?
  • What’s Your Natural Consulting Style?
  • What’s Your Approach to Problem Solving?
  • How Do You View Organizations?
  • Inventorying Your Consulting Skills
  • What’s Your Professional Mission, Values?

Building Trust, Commitment and Collaboration With Clients

  • How to Work in Multicultural Environments
  • How to Remain Authentic with Yourself and Others
  • How to Really Listen to Your Clients
  • How to Recognize and Understand Body Language
  • How to Make Sure Your Client Really Hears You
  • How to Coach for Deep Problem-Solving and Learning
  • How to Share Useful – and Respectful – Feedback
  • How to See Your Client’s Point of View – Your Skills in Empathy
  • How to Keep It Real – Managing for Realistic Expectations
  • How to Help Your Client Appreciate Accomplishments

Dealing With Resistance From Individuals

  • What is Resistance? What Causes It?
  • How to Recognize the Client’s Resistance
  • How to Respond to Client’s Resistance
  • How to Manage Your Own Resistance
  • How to Manager Interpersonal Conflicts

Administrative Skills for Consultants

  • How to Design Systematic – and Flexible – Project Plans
  • How to Take Useful Notes During Projects
  • How to Write Meaningful Project Reports
  • How to Stay Grounded and Centered
  • Frustrations of Consulting for Change
  • How to Motivate Yourself
  • How to Manage Time and Stress

Special Topics in Consulting

  • How to Define Project “Success”
  • How to Work With Other Consultants
  • How to Work for a Committee
  • How to Work When Doing Recommendations Only
  • How to Know When to Ask for Help
  • How to Know When to Leave a Project

Overview of Organizations and Systems

Understanding Organizations

  • Key Roles in Organizations
  • Roles and Responsibilities of Boards
  • Roles and Responsibilities of CEO
  • Board and Management Coordination
  • Role of Mission, Vision and Values During Change
  • Role of Strategic Planning During Change

Diversity of Organizations

  • Common Legal Forms
  • Culture of Organizations
  • Life Cycles of Organizations and Other Systems
  • Approaches to Product Development
  • What Makes Each Organization Unique?

Understanding Organizations as Systems

  • What is a System?
  • What is an Open System?
  • Benefits of Systems View
  • Various Management Systems in Organizations
  • Typical Types of Systematic Plans

Analyzing Systems

  • What is Systems Thinking?
  • How to Analyze Mental Models
  • How to Depict and Analyze Systems

Changing Systems

  • Principles for Changing Systems
  • Guidelines for Successful Change
  • How to Respond When All Else Fails

Performance, Change and Learning

Performance Management

  • What is Performance?
  • Overview of Performance Management
  • Benefits of Performance Management
  • Performance – Different Things to Different People
  • Models of Performance Management Systems

Organizational Change and Capacity Building

  • Major Types of Organizational Change
  • Why Change is Difficult to Accomplish
  • Requirement for Successful Change
  • Organizational Change Model
  • Major Roles During Change
  • How to Involve Board in Change
  • Common Capacity Building Activities

Evaluation of Performance and Change

  • Benefits of Evaluation and Assessment
  • Myths About Evaluation and Assessment
  • Major Dimensions and Categories of Evaluation
  • Common Types of Evaluation
  • Major Levels of Evaluation
  • Various New Perspectives on Evaluation
  • Barriers to Evaluation and Assessment
  • Guidelines to Successful Evaluation and Assessment
  • How to Design Evaluation Plans

Cultivating and Guiding Learning

  • What is Learning? Key Components of Learning
  • Myths About Learning
  • Barriers to Learning During Projects
  • Different Kinds of Learning
  • Continuous Learning
  • Key Principles in Adult Learning
  • Forms of Peer Learning in Projects
  • How to Integrate Learning Into Projects

The Consulting Cycle

Phase 1: Client’s Start-Up

  • Client’s Recognizing Need for Change
  • Client’s Preliminary Efforts to Accomplish Change
  • Client’s Decision to Get Help
  • Client’s Approach to Selecting Consultants

Phase 2: Engagement and Agreement

  • How to Arrange First Meeting With Client
  • How to Understand Client’s Perception of Issue
  • How to Clarify Desired Outcomes from Project
  • How to Coordinate and Administrate Project
  • How to Get Client to Start Thinking About Evaluation
  • How You and Your Client Can Learn About Each Other
  • How to Assess Your Client’s Readiness for Change
  • Should You Proceed with Project?
  • Proposals, Contracts and Letters of Agreement
  • If This Phase Stalls

Phase 3: Discovery and Feedback

  • How to Establish Project Team
  • How Select Organizational Diagnostic Model
  • How to Collect Meaningful Data (see Practical Data Collection)
  • How to Identify Issues and Associate Recommendations
  • How to Share Your Findings and Recommendations
  • If This Phase Stalls

Phase 4: Action Planning, Alignment and Integration

  • Use Vision for Change?
  • How to Finalize Action Plans
  • How to Identify Performance Indicators
  • How to Customize Evaluation Plan
  • How to Develop Communications Plan
  • How to Develop Change Management Plan
  • If This Phase Stalls

Phase 5: Implementation and Change Management

  • How to Integrate Change Management Throughout Organization
  • Critical Ingredients for Successful Change
  • How Coach Client for Motivation and Momentum
  • How Client Delegates for Motivation and Momentum
  • How to Track Implementation of Change Plan
  • How to Change Plans When Needed
  • If This Phase Stalls

Phase 6: Adoption and Final Evaluation

  • Common Barriers to Implementation
  • How to Identify Indicators of Project Success
  • How to Conduct Final Evaluation
  • If This Phase Stalls

Phase 7: Project Termination

  • Typical Reasons Projects are Terminated
  • How to Avoid Dependency and “Project Creep”
  • How to Identify Next Steps
  • How to Terminate the Project

Group Skills in Consulting

Forming Groups and Teams

  • What Determines a “Group”?
  • How to Prepare to Facilitate
  • How to Build Highly Effective Teams

Meeting Design, Management and Intervention

  • How to Design Effective Meetings
  • How to Manage Effective Meetings
  • How to Know When to Interview

Organizing Information and Making Decisions

  • How to Collect and Organize Group Information
  • How to Help Groups Make Meaningful Decisions

Common Challenges in Facilitating Groups

  • How to Get All Group Members to Participate
  • How to Address Resistance in Groups
  • How to Manage Group Conflict and Make Decisions
  • How to Get Groups Unstuck