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Consulting Demons : Inside the Unscrupulous World of Global Corporate Consulting

Lewis Pinault

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Format: Paperback, 288pp.
ISBN: 9780066619989
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Pub. Date: December 2001

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Description and Reviews
From The Publisher:

"What is a Management Consultant?" the prized MBA candidate asked.

"The best of us—and that could be you—know without ever needing to ask. We're a Breed Apart," the consultant observed, arrogance and irony in perfect balance.

"Okay, so that could be me, but what does that mean?" the MBA persisted.

"Of course there's money involved," the consultant offered.

"Great deals of money. World travel, first-class living. A chance to influence every corporation on the planet. Virtually no limits to whatever secrets and appetites you feel you need to indulge."

"Yes, but what is it that we do?" the recruit tried one last time, his doubts rapidly evaporating.

"You'll see.

In this gripping and colorful account of the American dream gone astray, Lewis Pinault takes us to the shiny heights scaled, and the darkest depths sunk to, by those ill-defined creatures known as "Management Consultants." At once a riveting narrative, an alarming cautionary tale, and a treasury of useful advice, Consulting Demons is a rare insider's view of the lucrative arena of global management consulting. In this stunning expose of some of the most prestigious and respected names in the business, Pinault takes his readers by the hand and leads them into a world where a client's interests are skillfully subordinated to those of the consultants, where money rules the day, and where principles and morals are but unwelcome baggage. For aspiring consultants, this is an unvarnished look at the life of a consultant, with essential, darkly revealing guidelines on how to get ahead and an enlightening perspective on the brutal infighting that can engulf even the most civilized consulting firm.

For current executives and potential clients, Pinault reveals what consultants are really thinking and scheming, and explores the unscrupulous lengths to which a consulting firm will go in order to protect and increase its own lucrative fees.

For the general reader, this is a rollicking yarn brimming with vignettes drawn from a consultant's daily work, including such characteristic consulting activities as "benchmarking" (deep-cover corporate espionage), "business transformation" (mass brainwashing), and "client entertainment" (global debauchery).

In this unique firsthand account, Pinault takes readers behind the scenes of the dehumanizing indoctrination of an academic intellectual into an exploitative—and exploited—"global transformation contractor." This incisive and telling book details his ascension in the business, the compromises he made to his integrity, and his eventual escape from a world he could no longer come to terms with.With true accounts of harrowing days spent in the hallowed trenches of consulting, and nights pondering personal relationships gone out of control, Consulting Demons offers the most complete look at an industry that exacts the highest prices for the most questionable standards of success.

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About the Author

Lewis Pinault spent more than a decade rising through the ranks of management con-sulting's most esteemed players, including the Boston Consulting Group in the U.S. and Japan, Gemini Consulting throughout Europe and Asia, and Coopers & Lybrand, where he became a Financial Institutions partner in Hong Kong, before leaving it all behind to pursue his first passion--International Space Law and Planetary Geosciences--at the University of Hawaii where he now works with both NASA and the UN Office of Outer Space Affairs.

Table of Contents
Author's Notexiii
Preface to the Paperback Editionxv
Introduction: About Consulting Demons1
1.Consulting and Me7
2.The Recruiting Machine19
3.Consulting Spycraft31
4.The Client-Consultant Matrix61
5.The Hierarchy of Fear83
6.Big-Time Consulting101
7.Business Prop Wash119
8.The Clock-Face Sales Interview143
9.Deferred Living171
10.The Great Centurion199
11.The Professions at Bay219
12.Zirconium Proposals233
13.Colonizing Consulting249
Epilogue: Heros for the Zeros275
Afterword to the Paperback Edition279

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