2006-08-02

References & Tips

Some books / references to help one prepare for a consulting role....

1. The McKinsey Way - the e-version of this book is circulating online. One should be able to get this free.
2.The McKinsey Mind
3.The Minto Pyramid Principle
4. Say It With Charts
5. Say It With Presentations
6. The Elements of Style - this is available for free
7. Austhink - some references to improve thought and language

Books 3 /4 are expensive and not easily available in India.

B-school provides many opportunities to practise slide writing and report writing. Consulting aspirants should never let go of such opportunities. Why am I writing so much about these two?

Slide Writing and Report Writing are not related to just presentation or writing skills. What you present and write reflect a lot about how you think. Because, slide writing has less to do with text and more to do with presenting messages that we interpret from data, in an easy to understand manner. Interpreting a message or messages from data involves thinking. Similarly, report writing requires one to think in a logical, orderly, and structured fashion. Saying what you know is not easy because thinking / ideas are abstract / non-linear, whereas writing is linear, with one sentence coming after another. Converting thinking and ideas into clear writing is thus not about writing skills alone.

PS: I am not saying that Consulting is just about these two. I need to spend much more time in Consulting before I can write about other important issues such as structured problem solving, project management, issues in implementation, et al

9 comments:

Kapil said...

I can certainly understand what you mean. We recently completed our LDP session on presentations and after we had the structured templates/formats for various presentation types, presentation making as simple as filling in the blanks.

About presenting your ideas graphically, there is no escaping the 2X2 matrix. One can get by pretty well just learning the few basic matrices. However, one can really rake it in if able to create a few original ones as BCG did with the product matrix (using data from PIMS)


http://equity.blogspot.com

pradeep said...

Hi,

I am presently working with a few MC's in my company and am sitting through many presentations made by them. I am from a ol' economy company but a new economy guy. Lol. Unfortunately i feel that the presentations are clustered with just too many jargons (which may not be jargons for MC's as it becomes a day to day usable word for 'em). sometimes they sound too artificial and hence though junta seem to be listening to the presentations ardently, once the same is over, they feel some sort of disillusionment tat all this is not practical. The jargons come inbetween the thought processes of MC's and the clients and create a "me" vs "them" attitude.. unless both work together and not just "generation of ideas" but the "execution" of the ideas take place, then the purpose is not met. Obviously this is jus a one sided view of someone who has just interacted with one or two MC's and been on the client's side and sat thru the presentations and overheard the gossips of the people who actually have to execute the ideas. I may be wrong or this may be a rare exceptional case. Jus felt like penning down my experience, if at all there is something to be learnt from it..

Ford Prefect said...

Hey Vijay,
I know what you mean ... At the end of the day ,it all boils down to the Power point ... I dont think Id be able to go through all the books you mentioned , but may be we can gettogether for a beer and you can give me the summary of the collaborative gyan ;-) ... Im now working in Mumbai... Would love to get together even if you dont feel like giving the gyan ;-)

itheabsolute said...

k

thanks for your comments. i however dont understand the centrality of 2x2 matrix or even other matrices. ideation can happen beyond 2x2 matrix.

cheers

itheabsolute said...

pradeep

it is the job of the MC to make things easy, not difficult. if the jargon are one too many, and they bring in me Vs them, then i dont understand what kind of MCs they are. giving the client an independent view and heping him execute is fundamental to a consulting role.

i am sure there are many kinds of consultants. what you have seen may not be representative....

thanks for your comments

cheers

itheabsolute said...

Saurabh

Have been following your escapades. good to know that you have now moved on to join our tribe...

sure, lets catch up. if the gyan gets boring, we can always talk about your other adventures....

c u sometime.

cheers

jasmine said...

Hey Vijay...though u havent really covered other aspects this was quite helpful as well i must say :)

a good shot at writing all the things ur going thru n oh thnx 4 those links...lets see will try pikckin up one of the books if i can
tc

Anonymous said...

hi,nice and useful post! I cant find the ebook that you are mentioning, Could you point me to a resource ?
Thanks,

Spew said...

Blog update due!

btw, the 2x2 matirx is management theory's attempt to get mathematical But you can't argue against its usefulness!

sorry - had to pitch in!

2006-08-02

References & Tips

Some books / references to help one prepare for a consulting role....

1. The McKinsey Way - the e-version of this book is circulating online. One should be able to get this free.
2.The McKinsey Mind
3.The Minto Pyramid Principle
4. Say It With Charts
5. Say It With Presentations
6. The Elements of Style - this is available for free
7. Austhink - some references to improve thought and language

Books 3 /4 are expensive and not easily available in India.

B-school provides many opportunities to practise slide writing and report writing. Consulting aspirants should never let go of such opportunities. Why am I writing so much about these two?

Slide Writing and Report Writing are not related to just presentation or writing skills. What you present and write reflect a lot about how you think. Because, slide writing has less to do with text and more to do with presenting messages that we interpret from data, in an easy to understand manner. Interpreting a message or messages from data involves thinking. Similarly, report writing requires one to think in a logical, orderly, and structured fashion. Saying what you know is not easy because thinking / ideas are abstract / non-linear, whereas writing is linear, with one sentence coming after another. Converting thinking and ideas into clear writing is thus not about writing skills alone.

PS: I am not saying that Consulting is just about these two. I need to spend much more time in Consulting before I can write about other important issues such as structured problem solving, project management, issues in implementation, et al

9 comments:

Kapil said...

I can certainly understand what you mean. We recently completed our LDP session on presentations and after we had the structured templates/formats for various presentation types, presentation making as simple as filling in the blanks.

About presenting your ideas graphically, there is no escaping the 2X2 matrix. One can get by pretty well just learning the few basic matrices. However, one can really rake it in if able to create a few original ones as BCG did with the product matrix (using data from PIMS)


http://equity.blogspot.com

pradeep said...

Hi,

I am presently working with a few MC's in my company and am sitting through many presentations made by them. I am from a ol' economy company but a new economy guy. Lol. Unfortunately i feel that the presentations are clustered with just too many jargons (which may not be jargons for MC's as it becomes a day to day usable word for 'em). sometimes they sound too artificial and hence though junta seem to be listening to the presentations ardently, once the same is over, they feel some sort of disillusionment tat all this is not practical. The jargons come inbetween the thought processes of MC's and the clients and create a "me" vs "them" attitude.. unless both work together and not just "generation of ideas" but the "execution" of the ideas take place, then the purpose is not met. Obviously this is jus a one sided view of someone who has just interacted with one or two MC's and been on the client's side and sat thru the presentations and overheard the gossips of the people who actually have to execute the ideas. I may be wrong or this may be a rare exceptional case. Jus felt like penning down my experience, if at all there is something to be learnt from it..

Ford Prefect said...

Hey Vijay,
I know what you mean ... At the end of the day ,it all boils down to the Power point ... I dont think Id be able to go through all the books you mentioned , but may be we can gettogether for a beer and you can give me the summary of the collaborative gyan ;-) ... Im now working in Mumbai... Would love to get together even if you dont feel like giving the gyan ;-)

itheabsolute said...

k

thanks for your comments. i however dont understand the centrality of 2x2 matrix or even other matrices. ideation can happen beyond 2x2 matrix.

cheers

itheabsolute said...

pradeep

it is the job of the MC to make things easy, not difficult. if the jargon are one too many, and they bring in me Vs them, then i dont understand what kind of MCs they are. giving the client an independent view and heping him execute is fundamental to a consulting role.

i am sure there are many kinds of consultants. what you have seen may not be representative....

thanks for your comments

cheers

itheabsolute said...

Saurabh

Have been following your escapades. good to know that you have now moved on to join our tribe...

sure, lets catch up. if the gyan gets boring, we can always talk about your other adventures....

c u sometime.

cheers

jasmine said...

Hey Vijay...though u havent really covered other aspects this was quite helpful as well i must say :)

a good shot at writing all the things ur going thru n oh thnx 4 those links...lets see will try pikckin up one of the books if i can
tc

Anonymous said...

hi,nice and useful post! I cant find the ebook that you are mentioning, Could you point me to a resource ?
Thanks,

Spew said...

Blog update due!

btw, the 2x2 matirx is management theory's attempt to get mathematical But you can't argue against its usefulness!

sorry - had to pitch in!