- Paperback: 320 pages
- Publisher: Original Book Co (April 15, 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1872188060
- ISBN-13: 978-1872188065
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.9 x 9.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #361,419 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Rip-Off! The Scandalous Inside Story of the Management Consulting Money Machine Paperback – April 15, 2005
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Top Customer Reviews
Wish I'd had this a few years back. Press officers need to be as cynical as the journalists they work with, and working in this role with blue-chip companies there's plenty to be cynical about. I witnessed first hand some of the tactics in Mr Craig's book, particularly the management fads, first hand. I watched as companies' people were faced with, and confused and demotivated by, complete tosh whilst customers were left floundering. I hid, literally, from consultants who said that a company's PR people were its 'most important' and that they would be 'spending lots of time with me' (they say that to all the girls). I was angered most by the management that soaked up this rubbish (the MBAs being the biggest culprits, a subject also covered in 'Rip-off') and accused freethinkers of being negative whilst we tried to keep their businesses going. Where were you when we needed you most Mr Craig?
The book should be of interest to a wide readership including consultants, companies wishing to engage consultants, academics in the field and analysts as well as any reader wishing to be acquainted with the workings of consultants. Good consultants would no doubt be happy to guard against the failures highlighted in the book, of failing to provide practical workable advice and guidance to clients at reasonable fees. Managers in organizations would learn about more pragmatic ways to manage the relationship with consultants and ensure that they get value for their money. Students of the profession will learn some of the shortcomings that they need to avoid if they are to establish a trusting and mutually beneficial relationship with clients.
For the unethical consultants, well, the secrets of your tricks have been revealed, so it is time to change and avoid shaming a good and worthwhile profession.
I should also say that I have witnessed some excellent consultants that have done a wonderful job of turning some organizations around and saving the livelihoods of thousands of employees. At the end of the day, we have to appreciate that consultants give advice to change or improve a situation but have no direct control over the implementation.
Craig maintains that a very small percentage of consulting engagements (including his own), actually provide value to clients. If true, why is it that companies continue to shell out millions for consulting services that don't help? According to Craig, it's because those that purchase the services are not that bright. In fact, it's the poorest management teams that become so heavily dependent on consultants. They don't know how to effectively manage, so they look to the outside for assistance. Fortunately, for the myriad of consultants, there are plenty of such management teams in existence.
Craig goes into detail explaining the “art” of consulting, enumerating the dubious practices involved in: Winning a deal, staffing it, delivering it, selling add on business, maximizing profit, and even exiting gracefully when engagements fail miserably. He references many of his own experiences to illustrate.
If you've been in consulting for a while, you won't find many surprises. You will get a few chuckles. David writes with an irreverent style and does not hold back. Despite the laughs, if you have a conscience, you'll probably experience a bit of remorse for your past deeds as well.
For those that are buyers or potential buyers of consulting services, it would be a good idea to check this book out. It will help you decide if future engagements are warranted. If so, it will help you select the appropriate vendor, and manage the engagements effectively. Caveat Emptor!
--Nick McCormick, Author, "Lead Well and Prosper"
He is an also unashamedly sensational, selecting the most extreme of his experiences, spicing them with hyperbole and spinning each of them to build indignation or even outrage. But is it really a shock to find that consultants' fees have a 400% mark-up; or that the aim with any small project is to secure a multi-million deal; or that consultants may charge clients full fare for air travel and pocket the discounts from the airlines? To many, apparently, it is. Indeed Mr. Craig reserves much of his scorn for his consultancy-dependant clients whose habit is driving their companies into the hands of greedy and unaccountable outsiders; and that is why I can recommended this book. Business people may find all of this in a days work but they should keep a copy of `Rip-Off!' on their shelf for loan to colleagues - as an inoculation against the more dubious practices of their consultant vendors.
Mr. Craig reveals some common scams. He gives a sound description of the consultant's business model, explaining accurately how profits are delivered, not by high-fee partners, but by the numbers of junior consultants on surprisingly modest salaries. And he offers a sound account of standard Account Management techniques. But he struggled to fill 300 pages.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Argh! Why do some authors think they have to use hyperbole to entice a prospective reader to buy their book? Read morePublished on May 1, 2012 by The Global Wanderer
The book is a thin account of the author's experiences as a big 5 consultant, and takes place before the implosion and restructuring of the overall consulting market. Read morePublished on October 3, 2005 by M. Cleland
As the author of Rip-Off! I wanted to reply to the review "don't expect too much". I don't mind a bad review. Read morePublished on September 8, 2005 by Neil M. Glass