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Consultants and Advisers Quotes

  • "Want to find cost savings? Call in one of the big accountancy firms. Got a PR crisis? Hire an agency. Directors’ pay—you’ve guessed it … If there’s something a company does, the chances are there will be a consultant out there to advise on it and protect executives by taking the hit if disaster strikes. The consultantification of British business, if not Western business, is complete."
    James Moore, British business journalist
    Source: Independent (London) (April 12, 2012)
  • "The two most dreaded words in any office are the same—management consultants. Their arrival rumbles through a workplace like the approaching thwump-thwump of the T-Rex in Jurassic Park, rattling our desks and making us all fear we will be picked up and gored at random."
    Johann Hari (1979–), British journalist
    Source: Independent (London) (July 8, 2011)
  • "The British state will soon be spending more on management consultants than upgrading its nuclear weapons."
    Johann Hari (1979–), British journalist
    Source: Independent (London) (August 20, 2010)
  • "The Cranfield School of Management studied 170 companies who had used management consultants, and it discovered just 36% of them were happy with the outcome—while two-thirds judged them to be useless or harmful. A medicine with that failure-rate would be taken off the shelves."
    Johann Hari (1979–), British journalist
    Source: Independent (London) (August 20, 2010)
  • "As the shamans who poison chickens and the soothsayers who read entrails have long demonstrated, sometimes it is more important to build a consensus around a good decision than to make the best possible decision; sometimes it is more useful to believe that a decision is sanctioned by a higher authority than to acknowledge that it rests on mere conjecture … Consultants, following in the footsteps of their pagan forebears, understand that they must adopt the holy mien of a priestly caste."
    Matthew Stewart, US writer and former management consultant
    Source: The Management Myth: Management Consulting Past, Present and Largely Bogus (2009)
  • "I landed the job by providing a credible response to this question: How many pubs are there in Great Britain? The purpose of that question, I realised after the interview, was to see how easily I could talk about a subject of which I knew almost nothing, on the basis of facts that were almost entirely fictional. It was an excellent introduction to management consulting."
    Matthew Stewart, US writer and former management consultant
    Source: The Management Myth: Management Consulting Past, Present and Largely Bogus (2009)
  • "Consulting is where product companies go to die. IBM is the most famous example. So starting as a consulting company is like starting out in the grave and trying to work your way up into the world of the living."
    Paul Graham (1964–), US computer programmer, writer, and venture capitalist
    Source: “How to Fund a Startup,” paulgraham.com (November 2005)
  • "We were proud of the way we used to make things up as we went along … It’s like robbing a bank but legal. We could take somebody straight off the street, teach them a few simple tricks in a couple of hours and easily charge them out to our clients for more than £7,000 per week."
    David Craig, British author and former management consultant
    On management consultancy
    Source: Rip Off! The Scandalous Inside Story of the Management Consulting Money Machine (2005)
  • "Thinking must be the hardest job in the world. What people want to do is outsource it to a mantra or a methodology like reengineering."
    Eileen C. Shapiro, US business consultant and author
    Source: Fad Surfing in the Boardroom (1998)
  • "Consultants eventually leave, which makes them excellent scapegoats for major management blunders."
    Scott Adams (1957–), US cartoonist and humorist
    Source: The Dilbert Principle (1996)
  • "A consultant is a person who takes your money and annoys your employees while tirelessly searching for the best way to extend the consulting contract."
    Scott Adams (1957–), US cartoonist and humorist
    Source: The Dilbert Principle (1996)
  • "I come from an environment where, if you see a snake, you kill it. At General Motors, if you see a snake, the first thing you do is hire a consultant on snakes."
    H. Ross Perot (1930–), US entrepreneur and presidential candidate
    Source: Speech (December 1991)
  • "Wall Street is the only place people ride to in a Rolls Royce to get advice from people who take the subway."
    Warren Buffett (1930–), US entrepreneur and financier
    Source: Newsday (August 1991)
  • "Timing; originality; forcefulness; a gift for self-promotion and perhaps above all else, the ability to encapsulate memorably what others recognize as true … are the hallmarks of the modern management guru."
    Carol Kennedy (1952–), British business executive, editor, and author
    Source: Guide to the Management Gurus (1991)
  • "Techniques shrouded in mystery clearly have value to the purveyor of investment advice. After all, what witch doctor has ever achieved fame and fortune by simply advising “Take two aspirins”?"
    Warren Buffett (1930–), US entrepreneur and financier
    Source: Letter to shareholders (1987)
  • "It is always easier to talk about change than to make it. It is easier to consult than to manage."
    Alvin Toffler (1928–), US social commentator
    Source: The Adaptive Corporation (1985)
  • "They are the people who borrow your watch to tell you what time it is and then walk off with it."
    Robert Townsend (19201998), US business executive and author
    Referring to consultants.
    Source: Up the Organization (1970)
  • "The function of the expert is not to be more right than other people, but to be wrong for more sophisticated reasons."
    Sir David Butler (1924–), British psephologist
    Source: Quoted in the Observer (London) (1969)
  • "Get the advice of everybody whose advice is worth having—they are very few—and then do what you think best yourself."
    Charles Stewart Parnell (18461891), Irish politician
    Source: Quoted in Parnell (Conor Cruise O'Brien, 1957)
  • "What a difficult thing it is to ask someone's advice on a matter without coloring his judgment by the way in which we present our problem."
    Blaise Pascal (16231662), French philosopher and mathematician
    Source: Pensées (1670)
  • "My greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions."
    Peter F. Drucker (19092005), US management consultant and academic
    Source: Attributed

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