I’ve been purging some stuff from my old office, and I guess I’m being nostalgic. I’ve been feeling like recommending and handing out books, which, thanks to my friend Leigh Davis, I’ve decided that giving away books is more profitable than selling them at an insulting price to Half Price Books.
I have gotten to know a former finance executive who has decided to get into professional services. He’s going to be in business development, which will be both challenging and rewarding for him, as he’s been around, has great credibility, and has an easy, humble, way about him. He and I have been talking about resources to help him shift his mind set from operational to services. I like to study the professional services industry, and especially consulting. I ran this guy through the gauntlet of two decades of reading. This is an email pasted, so it may sound a little funny.
- Managing the Professional Services Firm. This is the one that I think is the manual for how to run all things related to a professional services firm. Great suggestions on business development and building practices.
- The Trusted Advisor. Great way to consider how to set a high standard in your practice.
- True Professionalism. Similar to the above, but more conceptual.
- Strategy and the Fat Smoker. Super practical. Maister’s last book.
- First Among Equals. Leading a professional services firm by consensus and with intellectually honest persuasion.
- Practice What You Preach. Practical advice on how to lead by example.
Maister’s website also has a ton of resources on it, including some old video seminars that he did.
If you’re wanting to get more historical information on professional services firms, check out these resources:
I’m chock full of stuff on consulting. I really like consulting and have spent a lot of time reading up on it. There are two books that are a bit more difficult to find, but they are from THE two guys who are most responsible for the way consulting works today:
- Perspectives on McKinsey by Marvin Bower. Bower is credited with growing McKinsey into the powerhouse it is today.
- Henderson on Corporate Strategy by Bruce Henderson. Henderson is credited with the intellectual development of the strategy consulting industry.
There are also some great articles by Clay Christenson, Arthur Turner, and Pankaj Ghemawat, but we can talk about that another time.