("Isn't that a little like JUMBO Shrimp or Government Efficiency?")

Top Fifteen Things You'll NEVER Hear A Consultant Say

15. "No, No. Don't book me into the Hyatt. The Red Roof Inn is fine with me."

14. "You're right; we're billing you way too much for this Project."

13. "Bet you I can't go a week without saying 'synergy' or 'value-added'".

12. "Let's take the Client to that new Steak House for dinner and pay out of our own pockets."

11. "Your Consultant is fresh out of Undergrad School & will be learning on this job for his next opportunity."

10. "How about paying us based on the success of the Project?"

9. "No. Everybody in the Firm has Master's degrees - someday."

8. "This whole strategy is based on a Harvard business case I read about a couple of years ago."

7. "I'm only going to bill you an hour for this one-hour meeting I had to fly in for."

6. "Actually, the only difference between us and our competitors is that we charge more than they do."

5. "I don't know enough to speak intelligently about that subject."

4. "Implementation? I only care about writing long reports that say very little."

3. "I can't take credit for that operational improvement. It was Mary in your Materials Management Department."

2. "The problem is, you have too much work for too few staff. You've got to add some FTE's."

1. "Everything looks okay to me. I don't need to bill you because I didn't find any opportunities here."

A shepherd was herding his flock in a remote pasture when suddenly a brand-new BMW advanced out of the dust cloud towards him. The driver, a young man in an Armani suit, Gucci loafers, Ray Ban sunglasses and YSL tie, leaned out the window and asked the shepherd, "If I tell you exactly how many sheep you have in your flock, will you give me one?" The shepherd looked at the man, obviously a yuppie, then looked at his peacefully-grazing flock and calmly answered, "Sure."

The yuppie parked his car, whipped out his IBM Thinkpad and connected it to a cell phone. Then he surfed to a NASA page on the Internet where he called up a GPS satellite navigation system, scanned the area, and opened up a database and Excel spreadsheet with complex formulas. He sent an email on his Blackberry and, after a few minutes while triangulation was being completed, received a response. Finally, he prints out a 150 page report on his miniaturized laser printer then turns to the shepherd and says, "You have exactly 1,586 sheep".

"That is correct, take one of the sheep," said the shepherd.

He watches the young man select one of the animals and bundle it into his car. Then the shepherd says: "If I can tell you exactly what your business is, will you give me back my sheep?"

"OK, why not," answered the young man.

"Clearly, you are a consultant" said the shepherd.

"That is correct," says the yuppie, "but how did you guess that?"

"No guessing required," answers the shepherd. "You turned up here, although nobody called you. You want to get paid for an answer I already knew to a question I never asked, and you don't know diddly crap about my business. Now hand me back my dog".

The Devil's Dictionary

Ambrose Bierce was one of the most famous newspaper columnists of the late 1880's. He was known as "the wickedest man in San Francisco" as a time when that town was a pretty rough-and-tumble place. Although not as popular as Mark Twain, his wit was just as satirical & biting. Case in point: The Devil's Dictionary - a caustic set of definitions for otherwise harmless words, written in installments for his column then compiled in a book. Your library probably has a copy; if you like dark humor, it's great bathroom reading. Here is a sample of what you'll find in it.

Consult - To seek another's approval of a course already decided upon.

Alone - In bad company.

Fault - One of my offenses, as distinguished from one of yours; the latter being crimes.

Novel - A short story, padded.

Reporter - A writer who guesses his way to the truth and dispels it with a tempest of words.

Lecturer - One with his hand in your pocket, his tongue in your ear and faith in your patience.

Road - A strip of land along which one may pass from where it is too tiresome to be to where it is futile to go.

Subject: Food Service Consultants

Last week, we took some friends out to a new restaurant, and noticed that the waiter who took our order carried a spoon in his shirt pocket. It seemed a little strange, but I made a mental note of this fact.

When the busboy brought our water and utensils, I noticed that he, also, had a spoon in his shirt pocket. Then I looked around and saw that all the wait & bus staff and had spoons in their pockets.

When the waiter came back to serve our soup I asked, "Hey, why the spoon in your shirt pocket?"

Well, he explained, the restaurants owners hired Food Service Industry Consultants from PriceWaterhouseCoopers to revamp all our internal processes. After several months of analysis, they concluded that the spoon was the most frequently dropped utensil. It represents a drop frequency of approximately 3 spoons per table per hour. They reasoned in their Report that if our personnel were better prepared, we'd be able to reduce the number of trips back to the kitchen. This, they felt, would result in a savings of 15 man-hours per shift. The FTE savings would be 30 hours/day times 6 days per week times 52 weeks per year, or about 4.5 FTE's. Overall labor savings is estimated at slightly over $70,000 annually.

As luck would have it, I dropped my spoon and my waiter was able to replace it with his spare right away. "Ill get another spoon next time I go to the kitchen," he said, "Instead of making an extra trip to get it right now."

Needless to say, I was impressed.

I also noticed that there was a string hanging out of each of the waiters' fly. Looking around, I noticed that all the waiters had the same string hanging from their flies. So before he walked off, I asked the waiter, "Excuse me, but can you tell me why you have that string right there?"

Oh, certainly! Then he lowered his voice, "Not everyone is so observant. That consulting firm I mentioned also found out that we can save time in the restroom. By tying this string to the tip of you know what, we can pull it out without touching it and eliminate the need to wash our hands, shortening the time spent in the restroom by 76.39 percent."

"Wait a minute - after you get it out, how do you put it back?"

"Well," he whispered, "I don't know about the others, but I use the spoon."

High Hotel Bill

The next time you think your hotel bill is too high you might want to consider this...

A husband and wife are traveling by car from Key West to Boston.
After almost twenty-four hours on the road, they're too tired to continue, and they decide to stop for a rest.

They stop at a nice hotel and take a room, but they only plan to sleep for four hours and then get back on the road. When they check out four hours later, the desk clerk hands them a bill for $350.
The man explodes and demands to know why the charge is so high. He tells the clerk although it's a nice hotel, the rooms certainly aren't worth $350.

When the clerk tells him $350 is the standard rate, the man insists on speaking to the Manager. The Manager appears, listens to the man, and then explains that the hotel has an Olympic-sized pool and a huge conference center that were available for the husband and wife to use.

"But we didn't use them," the man complains.

"Well, they are here, and you could have," explains the Manager.

He goes on to explain they could have taken in one of the shows for which the hotel is famous. "The best entertainers from New York, Hollywood and Las Vegas perform here," the Manager says.

"But we didn't go to any of those shows" complains the man again.

"Well, we have them, and you could have" the Manager replies.

No matter what facility the Manager mentions, the man replies, "But we didn't use it!"

The Manager is unmoved, and eventually the man gives up and agrees to pay.

He writes a check and gives it to the Manager.

The Manager is surprised when he looks at the check. "But sir," he says, this check is only made out for $50."

"That's correct," says the man. "I charged you $300 for sleeping with my wife."

"But I didn't!" exclaims the Manager.

"Well, too bad," the man replies. "She was here and you could have."

What You Say ????

Who wants to sound like an idiot? Not us.

That's why we turned to Rutgers University English professor William Lutz, author of Doublespeak Defined: Cut Through the Bull**** and Get the Point. Helping us out is also Brian Fugere, a principal at Deloitte Consulting and co-author of Why Business People Speak Like Idiots. They're experts at translating jargon into plain speech, which not only prevents idiot-speak, but also applies a little truth serum to language that's confusing, evasive, deceptive, self-contradictory or downright misleading. Just consult this chart for some truth serum of your own.



Eliminate redundancies in the human resources area


 Career-change opportunity


 Negative advancement


 Reduced demand for product

 Low sales

 Significant adverse financial effect

 Decline in profits

 Leverage enterprise core competencies for maximum stakeholder value

Take advantage of strengths 

 Create synergistic alliances

Work together 

 Eliminate non-value-added work effort

Cut waste 

Initiate project action plan 


Repurpose intellectual assets 

Use existing knowledge 

 Paradigm shift


 Think outside the box

Be creative 

Top Ten Things a Consultant Shouldn't Tell a Client

1. "That was my first guess as well, but then I really thought about it."
2. "You should see the hotel I'm staying at."
3. "Hey, I just realized that I was in junior high when you started working here."
4. "I like this office space. I'll have them put me in here when you're gone."
5. "My rental car looks nicer than that junker you're driving."
6. "Sure it'll work; I learned it in business school last year."
7. "So what do you need me to tell you?"
8. "Of course it's right; the spreadsheet says so."
9. "I could just tell you the answer now and end the project early, but we're committed to a three month gig at your hospital."
10. "What are you, stupid?"

Top Ten Things You Shouldn't Say at a Consulting Interview

1. "I'm a t-shirt and jeans kind of person."
2. "Do you pay overtime?"
3. "I hate flying."
4. "I'm useless without ten hours of sleep a night."
5. "There are lies, damn lies, and then there are statistics."
6. "Do you cover rental cars for collision?"
7. "Stanford taught me that working in teams is great for slackers."
8. "I think three letter acronyms are for people too stupid to remember the whole phrase."
9. "Two words: family first."
10. "Call it whatever you want, it still means firing people."

Top Ten Ways To Know You're Dating or Married To A Consultant

1. Referred to the first month of your relationship as a "diagnostic period".
2. Talks to the waiter about a fractionated process flow when your dinner arrives late.
3. Takes a half day at the office because, "Sunday is your day."
4. Congratulates your parents on their successful value creation.
5. Tries to call room service from your home bedroom.
6. Ends any argument by saying, "let's talk about this off-line."
7. Celebrates your anniversary by conducting a performance review.
8. Can't be trusted with the car because they're too accustomed to beating up rentals.
9. His / her Valentine's Day card has bullet points.
10. Refers to lovemaking as a "win-win".

Top Ten Ways to Know You've Got the Consulting Bug

1. Can't stop using words that don't exist.
2. Worried that he or she who dies with the most frequent-flyer miles wins.
3. Use so much jargon in conversation, that friends think you're speaking a foreign language.
4. Has a constant urge to give advice on subjects that you know nothing about.
5. Always-hyphenating-words-that-don't-need-to-be-hyphenated.
6. Keeps seeing bullet points everywhere.
7. Able to fit the thematic undercurrents of "War and Peace" into a two-by-two matrix.
8. Tires of having a social life beyond work.
9. Feels that a two-page story in Business Week is all it takes to make one an expert.
10. Firmly believes that an objective viewpoint means more than any real work experience

Sign in a headhunter's open market in darkest Africa:

Ordinary brains: $9.00 / lb
Engineer's brains: $12.00 / lb
Doctor's brains: $11.00 / lb
Accountant's brains: $10.00 /lb
Consultant's brains: $97.00 / lb

Asked to explain the high cost of Consultant's brains, the proprietor said "You don't know how many consultants we have to catch to get a pound of brains!"

A consultant is an ordinary person 100 miles from home with a briefcase.

A consultant is someone who borrows your watch to tell you the time, and then keeps your watch.

A consultant who came upon hard times and had lost quite a few clients was forced to have a serious economic discussion with his wife and told her that they would simply have to cut back. "If you can learn to cook, we can get rid of the cook," to which the wife replied "Yes, dear, and if you can learn how to make love we can get rid of the gardener too."

A consultant's credo: Learn to be sincere, even if you have to fake it.

A consultant is someone who comes in to solve a problem and stays around long enough to become part of it.
The Senior Partner in a prominent Consulting firm died and headed for heaven, but was politely told by St. Peter to get into the Management Consultant line. Soon after he saw someone else come along, say he was a consultant and get right in. This Senior Partner complained, to which St. Peter responded "That was God. He only thinks he's a Management Consultant."

One consultant, upon being told he was a pain in the neck, said he was glad to have been moved up.

A client with one consultant knows what to do. A client with two consultants is never sure.

There once was a consultant who lived his whole life without ever taking advantage of any of the people he worked for. In fact, he made sure that every job he did resulted in a win-win situation for both the Client and his Firm. One day while walking down the street, he was tragically hit by a bus and died immediately afterward. His soul arrived in Heaven, where he was met at the pearly gates by St. Peter himself. "Welcome to Heaven," said St. Peter. "Before you get settled in, though, it seems that we have a problem. You see, strangely enough, we've never once had a consultant make it this far and we're not really sure what to do with you."

"No problem, just let me in." said the consultant. "Well, I'd like to, but I have a Higher Authority who has different orders. What we're going to do is let you have a day in Hell and a day in Heaven and then you can choose whichever one you want to spend an eternity in."

"Actually, I think I've made up my mind. I prefer to stay in Heaven." "Sorry, we have rules ..."
And with that, St. Peter put the consultant in an elevator; it went down-down-down all the way to Hell. The doors opened and the consultant found himself stepping out onto the putting green of a beautiful golf course. In the distance was a country club and standing in front of him was all of his friends - fellow contractors that he'd worked with or for. They were all dressed in tuxedos and evening gowns, all cheering for him. They ran up and shook his hand and talked about old times. They played an excellent round of golf and at night went to the Country Club where he enjoyed an excellent steak and lobster dinner. He then met Satan, who was actually a really nice guy, and he had a great time telling him jokes and smoking cigars with him and others in Hell. The consultant was having such a good time that before he knew it, it was time to leave. Everybody shook his hand and waved goodbye as he got back on the elevator. The elevator went up-up-up and opened back up at the pearly gates and found St. Peter waiting for him. "Now it's time to spend a day in Heaven."
So, the contractor spent the next 24 hours lounging around on clouds and playing the harp and singing. He had a great time and before he knew it, his 24 hours were up and St. Peter came and got him.

"So, you've spent a day in Hell and you've spent a day in Heaven. Now you must choose - where will you want to spend your eternity?"

The consultant paused for a second and replied, "Well, I never thought I'd say this, I mean, Heaven has been really great and all, but I think I had a better time in Hell." So, St. Peter took him to the elevator where he went down-down-down, back to Hell. When the doors of the elevator opened, he found himself standing in a desolate wasteland covered in garbage and filth. He saw his friends were dressed in rags and were picking up the garbage and putting it in sacks. Satan then came up to him and put his arm around him.

"I don't understand," stammered the consultant, "Yesterday I was here and there was a golf course and a Country Club and we ate lobster and smoked some really great cigars and had a great time. Now all there is is a wasteland of garbage. All my friends look miserable."
Satan looked at him and smiled. "That's because yesterday you were a consultant, but today you've become a permanent staff member just like us."

A physician, a civil engineer, and a consultant were arguing about what was the oldest profession in the world.

The physician remarked, "Well, in the Bible, it says that God created Eve from a rib taken out of Adam. This clearly required surgery, so I can rightly claim that mine is the oldest profession in the world."

The civil engineer interrupted, saying, "But even earlier in the book of Genesis, it states that God created the order of the Heavens and the earth from out of the chaos. This was the first, and certainly the most spectacular, application of civil engineering. Therefore, fair doctor, you are wrong: mine is the oldest profession in the world."

The consultant leaned back in his chair, smiled, and then said confidently, "Ah, but who do you think created the chaos?"

An efficiency expert concluded his lecture with a note of caution. "Don't try these techniques at home."

"Why not?" asked somebody from the audience.
"I watched my wife's routine at breakfast for years," the expert explained. "She made lots of trips between the fridge, stove, table and cabinets, often carrying a single item at a time. One day I told her, "You're wasting too much time. Why don't you try carrying several things at once?"

"Did it save time?" the guy in the audience asked.
"Actually, yes," replied the expert. "It used to take her 20 minutes to make breakfast. Now I do it in ten."

The chickens in a large hen house started to quarrel, wounded each other and many of them died every day. The upset farmer hurried to a consultant, and asked for a solution to his problem.
"Add baking-powder to the chickens' food," said the consultant, "it will calm them down."

After a week the farmer came back to the consultant and said: "My chickens continue to die. What shall I do?" "Add strawberry juice to their drinking water. That will help for sure".

A week passed, and again the farmer came to the consultant: "My chickens are still quarrelling. Do you have any more advice?"
"I can give you more and more advice," answered the consultant. "The real question is whether you have any more chickens."

The classified ad said, "Wanted: CEO needs a one-armed Consultant, with a MBA degree and five year's worth of experience."
The man who won the job asked, "I understand most of the qualifications you required, but why the 'one armed' reference?"
The CEO answered, "I've had many Consultants come through this Hospital over the years. Frankly, I'm tired of hearing with each advice the phrase 'on the other hand'."

A priest, a rabbi and a Consultant were traveling on an airplane. There was a crisis and it was clear that the plane was going to crash and they would all be killed. The priest began to pray and finger his rosary beads, the rabbi began to read the Torah and the Consultant began to organize a committee on air traffic safety.

A man had a Siamese cat that howled all night, every night. The sleepless man concluded that the cat has too much testosterone, so he took him to the Vet to be "fixed". To the great surprise of the man and his neighbors, the cat continued his howling after that visit.
"Why are you still howling all night?" they asked the cat.
"Now I am a consultant."

There was a glass of water on the table.
One man says, "It's half full". He is perceived to be an optimist.
The second man says, "It's half empty". He is perceived to be a pessimist.
The third man says, "It's twice as big the other two glasses and carries too much water".
He is a Management Consultant.

A Consultant is ...
A man who knows 99 ways to make love, but doesn't know any women.
Someone who is called in at the last moment and paid enormous amounts of money to assign the blame.

Consulting Revisited

Good advice is something a man gives when he is too old to set a bad example.
Always listen to experts. They'll tell what can't be done and why. Then do it.
It takes two things to be a consultant - grey hair and hemorrhoids. The grey hair makes you look distinguished and the hemorrhoids make you look concerned.
In case of doubt, make it sound convincing.
An expert is one who knows more and more about less and less, until he knows absolutely everything about nothing.
To spot the expert, pick the one who predicts the job will take the longest and cost the most. After all is said and done, a hell of a lot more is said than done.
If you consult enough experts, you can confirm any opinion.
Hiring Consultants to conduct studies can be an excellent means of turning problems into gold, your problems into their gold.

You Might Be a Consultant if...
You ask the waiter what the restaurant's core competencies are.
You decide to reorganize your family into a "team-based organization."
You think that it's actually efficient to write a ten-page paper with six other people you don't know.
You believe you never have any problems in your life, just "issues" and "improvement opportunities."
You explain to your bank manager that you prefer to think of yourself as "highly leveraged" as opposed to "in debt."
You can explain the difference between "down-sizing," "right-sizing," and "firing people's butts," and you actually believe your explanation.
You can spell "paradigm" and you actually know what a paradigm is.

How many Consultants does it take to change a light bulb?
We don't know. They never get past the feasibility study.
Three: One to change the bulb and two to write the standards and tell him what he did wrong.
Five: One to change the bulb and four to contemplate how Tom Peters would have done it.
Five: One to change the bulb and four to tell him how much better they could have done it.

An American consultant was at a pier in a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied "Only a little while." The consultant then asked why didn't he stay out longer and catch more fish. The fisherman said he had enough to support his family's immediate needs. Then the American asked how he spent the rest of his time.

The Mexican fisherman said, "I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take a siesta with my wife, Maria, and then stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos. I have a full and busy life, senor."

The American consultant scoffed, "I am a very successful business consultant and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and, with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat. With the proceeds from the bigger boat, you could buy several boats, and eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then Los Angeles and eventually New York City where you will run your expanding enterprise."

The Mexican fisherman asked, "But senor, how long will this all take?"
The consultant replied, "Probably 15 to 20 years."
"But what then, senor?" asked the fisherman.

The consultant laughed, and said, "That's the best part! When the time is right, you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public. You'll become very rich, you would make millions!"

"Millions, senor?" replied the Mexican. "Then what?"

The American said, "Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siestas with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos."

A Consultant and a hospital executive decide to go bear hunting one season.
They arrive at a little cabin in the woods where the Consultant begins to set up the array of equipment he has brought along for the bear hunt.
The Consultant disappears out the front door of the cabin and is gone for at least two hours.
All of a sudden, the hospital executive hears a scream and opens the door to their cabin. He sees the Consultant comes running full tilt back in through the front door, being followed closely by a huge grizzly bear.
As he disappears out the back door he yells over his shoulder to the Hospital CEO,
"OK. You skin this one. I'm gonna go get another!"

A PricewaterhouseCoopers Consultant and a Deloitte Consultant are sitting next to each other on a long flight from LA to NY. The PWC Consultant leans over to the Deloitte Consultant and asks if he would like to play a fun game. The Deloitte Consultant just wants to take a nap, so he politely declines and rolls over to the window to catch a few winks. The PWC Consultant persists and explains that the game is real easy and a lotta fun. He explains "I ask you a question, and if you don't know the answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $5."

Again, the Deloitte Consultant politely declines and tries to get to sleep. The PWC Consultant, now somewhat agitated, says, "OK, if you don't know the answer you pay me $5, and if I don't know the answer, I'll pay you $50!"

This catches the Deloitte Consultant's attention, and he sees no end to his torment unless he plays, so he agrees to the game. The PWC Consultant asks the first question. "What's the distance from the earth to the moon?"

The Deloitte Consultant doesn't say a word, but reaches into his wallet, pulls out a five dollar bill and hands it to the PWC guy. Now, it's the Deloitte Consultant's turn. He asks the PWC Consultant "What goes up a hill with three legs, and comes down on four?"

The PWC Consultant looks up at him with a puzzled look. He takes out his laptop computer and searches all of his references. He taps into the Airphone with his modem and searches the net and the Library of Congress. He hooks into the PWC Knowledge Xchange (R), and consults with his peers around the world, all to no avail. After about an hour, he wakes the Deloitte Consultant and hands him $50. The Deloitte Consultant politely takes the $50 and turns away to try to get back to sleep.

The PWC Consultant, more than a little miffed, shakes the Deloitte Consultant and asks, "Well, so what's the answer?"

Without a word, the Deloitte Consultant reaches into his wallet, hands the PWC guy $5, and turns away to get back to sleep.


Question: Why did the chicken cross the road?

PWC Consulting:
Deregulation of the chicken's side of the road was threatening its dominant market position. The chicken was faced with significant challenges to create and develop the competencies required for the newly competitive market. PWC Consulting, in a partnering relationship with the client, helped the chicken by rethinking its physical distribution strategy and implementation processes. Using the Poultry Integration Model (PIM), PWC helped the chicken use its skills, methodologies, knowledge, capital and experiences to align the chicken's people, processes and technology in support of its overall strategy within a Program Management framework.

PWC Consulting convened a diverse cross-spectrum of road analysts and best chickens along with PWC consultants with deep skills in the transportation industry to engage in a two-day itinerary of meetings. These were held to leverage their personal knowledge capital, both tacit and explicit, and to enable them to synergize with each other in order to achieve the implicit goals of delivering and successfully architecting and implementing an enterprise-wide value framework across the continuum of poultry cross-median processes.

The meeting was held in a park-like setting, enabling and creating an impactful environment which was strategically based, industry-focused, and built upon a consistent, clear, and unified market message and aligned with the chicken's mission, vision, and core values. This was conducive towards the creation of a total business integration solution. PWC Consulting helped the chicken change to become more successful.

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