Business consulting resources
A range of useful resources for strategic management as well as for less serious, yet important things in life. Feel free to recommend links and resources of your own that you feel should be made available to others. A mixture of downloads, links, and videos will be built up according to needs.
General insights, analysis, and practical tips
- The Portable Change Consultant — Download 90kB PDF eBook
A useful quotes booklet written up by Richard Entwistle
- How To Attend Meetings — Download 70kB PDF
A not-too-serious piece quite close to reality for many (unknown source)
- Research & Innovation Management Framework — Download 70kB (Richard Entwistle)
A system you can modify and adopt for your own internal innovation projects control
Quality, performance improvement, process modeling
- APQC Process Classification Framework (Generic) — Download 400kB PDF
See apqc.org for lots of free information on topic
- Introduction to BPMN (Business process modeling notation) Download 360kB PDF (IBM)
- BPMN and Business Process Management — Download 900kB PDF (Popkin Software, now IBM)
English language IELTS
Some resources for helping employees with English. From my former university tutoring work for Cambridge IELTS:
- Skills for IELTS Success mindmap — Download 160kB PDF
- IELTS Exam Tasks mindmap — Download 130kB PDF
- IELTS Exam Evaluation mindmap — Download 110kB PDF
- Reading Strategy and Skills mindmap — Download 240kB PDF
Recommended reading: Great books to help you move forward
Flawed Advice and the Management Trap, Chris Argyris.
Management consulting is big business. Consultants often make very good money, and the good ones throw intriguing ideas on the table and get people excited about their work. But is any of their advice actually useful? Does it get implemented and lead to more productive workplaces? Chris Argyris thinks that most of it doesn’t work, because it has too many “abstract claims, inconsistencies, and logical gaps to be useful as a concrete basis for concrete actions in concrete settings.” No matter what managers hear from consultants, they ultimately resort to these five behaviors, according to Argyris: State a message that’s inconsistent (“You’re in charge of this, but check in with Steve”); act as if it’s not inconsistent; make the inconsistency undiscussable; make the undiscussability undiscussable; act as if you’re not doing any of the above. Flawed Advice and the Management Trap shows managers how to break out. He shows that a choice is sound when the emphasis is on facts and accumulated data and isn’t influenced by the relative power positions of the people involved. Much deeper than your typical office politics.
Fad Surfing in the Boardroom, Eileen C. Shapiro
This wisely irreverent book for business managers describes “riding the crest of the latest management panacea” in ways that can either make a company more profitable or wreak havoc, depending on how they are applied. Whether Shapiro is describing “vision” or total quality management, she unearths a trove of applications ranging from innovative to whimsical. Then, tongue in cheek, she raises the major players to archetypal status by comparing them with Greek gods. Thus, in an effort to establish a “corporate culture,” one of the fad panaceas, General Electric crafted a climate of employee comfort during the Reginald Jones era but stepped up the pressure when Jack Welch became chairman. In like manner, the Greek god Hermes had changed the culture of the Olympian Council through newfangled deal-making. A business dictionary at the end is strictly for laughs.
Key Management Models: The 60+ models every manager needs to know, 2ed. M van Assen, G van den Berg & P Pietersma.
With over 33,500 copies sold of the previous edition, the winning formula of this incredibly successful book will remain the same. From SWOT analysis and core competencies to risk reward analysis and the innovation circle, Key Management Models explains each model in a clear, structured and practical way. There is a brief overview of each of the 61 essential models that spans no more than 3-4 pages. For each model you will find: * The model in a nutshell (the big idea) * Its applicability (when to use it) * The practicalities of applying it (how to use it) * A critical appraisal (the final analysis) The PERFECT reference book, no matter what business you’re in. A truly excellent and up-to-date resource.
Note you will not find popular ‘self-help’ or ‘who moved my whatever’ type books here. On the contrary, these management consulting resources are suggested to help wean people off the typical positive thinking (Self Help and Motivation—SHAM!) industry books that are so widespread. Neuromagic is a brand new and evolving science so no reading suggestions there for now.
You could also support your local bookshop and place an order there, of course. And finally, don’t forget your local library to read more books than we have time for. Hong Kong is blessed with a truly world-class library system. For those of us in Hong Kong, here is Hong Kong’s library where you can find and reserve books (and media resources) online.