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What I've Learned in Business So Far...

Discussion in 'Business, Careers & Education' started by Artisan Fan, Mar 1, 2011.

  1. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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  2. Lord-Barrington

    Lord-Barrington Senior member

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    You missed Douglas and my debate on this in the reality show thread (it was a cross-post). I backed down quite a bit. I am in consulting and I certainly have teams that fire on more than 20% of cylinders.. but that's not true in most industries.

    Turns out that skew of the pareto principle was adopted by the moron who wrote "The 4 hour work week"

    The concept is somewhat valid. You need to identify your go-to people, and you need to make sure the tasks you are giving your "needy" workers are simpler and better defined so you don't get bogged down answering questions and doing QA on basic work.


    I think industries like consulting where most employees are high achievers is different in this respect than many other industries/business functions. In consulting everyone is expected to sacrifice for work and deliver at a high level. I think it comes with the territory. In many different industries and functions you have to balance the needs of a larger and more varied group of employees. Some will be ambitious and results oriented and some are there just to pay the bills. I think both workers can actually be beneficial to a business, you just need to know how to maximize their usefulness.

    So I agree that the 20/80 dynamic exists, but I think it's more prevalent in industry than it is in consulting or banking, for instance.
     
  3. istasi

    istasi Senior member

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    Great thread; very informative.

    I am currently a freshman liberal arts major at a top LAC, and I'm looking for advice as to what supplementary courses I should take to bolster my attractiveness to consulting firms. I've already taken intro econ, and intend on taking both intermediate micro and macro next year, as well as Calc II. Will I need to take courses like econ stats and econometrics? Accounting? Corp fin? Just want to make sure I'm up to snuff on the numbers side of things.
     
  4. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    Depending on the type of consulting, advanced statistics are always good. Also Organizational Psychology.
     
  5. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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  6. ChicagoRon

    ChicagoRon Senior member

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    The comments are way better than the article. As an interviewer, about half that stuff would fly right by me and certainly wouldn't cost someone a job.

    I've never been asked, and would never ask "how would your co-workers describe you?".

    I have been asked for a personal "brand statement" - which I think is a much better way to frame that. It allows the responder to be somewhat aspirational, but they probably won't over-sell in that situation, or they know they'll be in over their heads later.

    Ironically, when it comes to the strengths and weaknesses, the only thing I can't stand is the answers that interview guides tell you to give: "turn your weakness into a strength by saying 'I'm too organized' or 'I'm too detail oriented and always stay late to fix other people's stuff".
     
  7. hannibal06

    hannibal06 Well-Known Member

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    Just finished reading "Blue Ocean Strategy" and "Start With Why".

    I can see BOS's value for consulting, it delivers nice analytical tools / visualisation aides; apart from that, I found some conclusions too obvious.

    SWW was a nice quick read which continuously stresses the "WHY" part. Speaking of which, I found the capitalisation annoying after a while.
     
  8. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    I became partner recently at work so as a reward they have loaded me up with work so my apologies for neglecting this thread for a while.

    Collaboration is given a lot of lip service but I have discovered over and over that it is essential to good work product.

    Recently we had a very complex deal that involved creating scenarios of optimization for a big company. We had never done such a variation of optimization. What we did was create a solution based on client needs but then we worked with our "delivery" organization to help allocate resources by level of consultant and then generate a pricing workbook that allocated hours by week and then applied client charges and profit margin for each stream.

    I also negotiated some pricing from an optimization partner which we built into the mix for the final proposal. Given the size of the deal we went through a formal "deal review" process which looks at sales strategy, pricing, profit margin, and resource allocation.

    We also had a super short turnaround for the project as well within a work week.

    It meant a lot of late nights but by collaborating across the our account management team, the sales executive, delivery, and the optimization team we got it done.

    So the lesson is to work to craft the internal networks you have at your company so the collaboration is more natural. Yet another use of LinkedIn here as well.
     
  9. Matt

    Matt Senior member

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    I became partner recently at work
    congratulations AF.
     
  10. Storm33

    Storm33 Senior member

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    Congratulations on your new appointment! Well done on the collaboration piece; that's an amazing accomplishment in such a short period of time. [​IMG]
     
  11. iVoRy

    iVoRy Active Member

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    congratulations on your promotion AF.
     
  12. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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  13. tiger02

    tiger02 Senior member

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    Also! Two-prong US adapters are readily available abroad, three-prong adapters can't be had for love or money (particularly in eastern Europe). If you need one, bring it from home.
    Still reading through the thread so apologize if this has already been brought up but: you can cut/drill a third hole with no ill effects. There are also short/wide adapters that leave room for the third prong if you need. Also I have found AmEx useless overseas. Getting ready to cancel mine. Great thread.
     
  14. runsurfswim

    runsurfswim Active Member

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    what I saw:
    clothing advice: power suit + one good jacket
    soemthing about credit cards
    powerpoint bitching
    career advice
    emailing and the worries of BBCing

    I was really only interested in the suit advice, though, excepting maybe a littlebit at the end.
     
  15. Superfluous

    Superfluous Senior member

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    I just finished reading through the 16 pages from my hot tub before my phone battery dies [​IMG] . Now one question, how have you had time to rack up 29,000 posts? [​IMG] I'm just kidding. I think someone mentioned another 'consulting' thread, where is this?
     
  16. yjeezle

    yjeezle Senior member

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    ask me a consultant anything or something like that it's by AF
     
  17. globetrotter

    globetrotter Senior member

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  18. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    congrats AF!

    Thanks! [​IMG]
     
  19. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    Selling ideas...this is what I have learned.

    1. Create a visual map of the business model for the product or service. Show the key components and business or consumer delivered.

    2. Create a visual of who gets what benefits. Many ideas create value for multiple segments.

    3. Create a financial forecast of what it takes to get to the next milestone. Make sure your milestones make sense. Have a plan B.

    4. Tell a short and compelling story. How did you develop it? Where is the value in it? Who is on the team that created it? How much money do you need to commercialize?

    5. Avoid venture money as long as possible because it is VERY expensive in terms of equity. When you do want it, find the best VCs you can and by best I mean both connections and expertise.
     
  20. Artisan Fan

    Artisan Fan Senior member

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    Following some disrespect by LA Guy and j, I have decided to stop posting to this thread. I hope that members here enjoyed my commentary and found it of value. Best of luck to each of you in your careers and jobs. [​IMG]
     

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