Cover image

High-Performance Consulting Skills

This key text provides a practical understanding of the skills required to become a high-performance internal consultant, whatever your own area of expertise.


also available:

GBP 14.99

Buy now



This goldmine of ideas, advice and techniques provides a practical understanding of the skills required to become a high-performance ‘internal consultant’, whatever your own area of expertise.

As today’s managers in support functions seek to redefine their role and effectiveness, the concept of the ‘internal consultant’ is gaining considerable ground. By moving your perspective from being a ‘colleague’ to a ‘client’ within the business you can bring major benefits to both yourself and your organisation.

Including a large number of charts, diagrams and forms and using his considerable experience, Mark Thomas provides a practical understanding of the skills required to become a high-performance internal consultant. This book is packed full of hard-edged practical tips, techniques and checklists to help you achieve the right results.

With in-depth guidance and practical insights, this book will help you:

  • Develop stronger, more productive working relationships with internal clients
  • Secure greater internal client commitment to initiatives and change projects
  • Work effectively in a less formal and hierarchical way on projects and initiatives
  • Market your services and build powerful internal networks
  • Enhance your own worth and value to the organisation

All managers working in support functions, such as HR, audit, training, personnel and IT, as well as areas such as finance and marketing will benefit from this book. A high percentage of the content is also directly applicable to the role of the external consultant.


‘A highly practical and valuable guide to the world of internal consulting by a global practioner. Mark Thomas has produced a book that is filled with excellent advice, tips and real experience. It should serve as a real aid to all who want to succeed in the rapidly growing role of the internal consultant.’
Bie De Graeve, Director, Tias Business School, University of Tilburg, Holland

‘If you want a book that you can use on an almost daily basis then this is it. Whether you work in information technology, finance, HR or indeed any corporate advisory role, the skills outlined in this book can increase your influence and impact from the first reading. Written in the pragmatic style and approach that is characteristic of his consulting work Thomas has produced a real guide to the new frontier of internal consulting.’
Gordon Downey, Senior Manager – HR Internal Consultancy, Lloyds TSB

‘Thomas has made an excellent and practical contribution to shaping one of the key roles of the future organisation – the internal consultant. It could even be argued that Thomas is describing the future role of all managers. It is no longer about exercising hierarchy but rather influence and impact through others. He sets out a clear and practical roadmap – a job well done that will help many to make the exciting transition.’
Alf Chattel, futurist and author of Creating Value in the Digital Era and Managing for the Future

‘Mark Thomas is a consultant from whom we can all learn about managing change initiatives, projects and clients. In this book he sets out an agenda that will appeal to all types of professionals. Read it and benefit from real ideas, skills and know-how. For HR people these are the skills of today and the future.’
Esra Bozkurt, HR Director, DHL

‘A highly recommended addition to defining and developing the internal consultant’s role. Mark Thomas offers a clear operating mandate for the change agents of today’s organisation. This book will appeal to all kinds of internal specialists as it is packed with practical ideas and approaches.’
Pieter Allers, Director, Linkage International

‘… there are many highly expensive external consultants who should read and learn from this excellent guide.’
Peter Long, HR Director, S1



ONE: From managing change to managing surprise?

  • Support functions under attack
  • The opportunity
  • What exactly is consultancy?
  • The difference between expert and process consulting
  • What is the difference between the internal and external consultant?
  • The characteristics of internal consultancy
  • Why use an internal consultant?
  • How to become an internal consultant
  • Time to convert and redirect

TWO: The art of client management

  • Understanding the key stages of the internal consulting process
  • Implementation
  • Belbin’s team roles – questionnaire

THREE: Marketing internal consultancy

  • Getting in and contracting with your client
  • Developing your marketing strategy
  • Conducting a client demand analysis
  • What clients look for
  • Beginning to market yourself – recognising your starting point
  • Marketing to senior management
  • How to sell to senior management
  • Some practical tips to improve your marketing effort
  • Internal consultancy case study

FOUR: Managing initial client meetings

  • The essential rules for managing initial client meetings
  • Things to avoid at initial meetings
  • How to convey respect, openness and understanding at an initial client meeting
  • Initial client meetings consultant’s template
  • Initial terms of reference
  • Writing client proposals
  • Managing initial meetings checklist

FIVE: Understanding and defining the client’s problem

  • Desk research
  • Interviewing clients
  • Managing the client interview
  • Group interviews
  • Types of interview questioning techniques
  • Providing non-verbal encouragement during interviews
  • Using supportive statements
  • Counter-productive questions
  • Using questionnaires to gather information
  • Designing a questionnaire
  • Process mapping
  • Process analysis questions
  • Understanding and defining your client’s problem – being client focused

SIX: Managing change

  • Understanding organizational change
  • Individual reactions to change
  • The change transition curve
  • Managing organizational change
  • Organizational change readiness assessment
  • Managing organizational change template
  • Change management template– the critical success factors
  • Stakeholder Analysis
  • Managing organization change – a checklist of key questions to address
  • The critical questions to ask in change scenarios

SEVEN: Presenting client feedback

  • Introduction to report writing
  • Different types of client report
  • Getting your report structure right
  • A typical report structure
  • Writing a client report
  • Reviewing reports
  • Making client presentations
  • Presenting client feedback – being client focused

EIGHT: Implementing, reviewing and exiting projects

  • Project implementation
  • Project implementation – being client focused
  • Reviewing consultancy projects – being client focused
  • Evaluating consultancy projects
  • Summary

NINE: The internal consultant’s toolkit

  • The consultant’s toolkit
  • Organization capability: effectiveness questionnaire • ‘7s’ organization audit
  • Internal consultant skills – development needs checklist
  • Success factors in managing change
  • Change management action planning sheet

List of illustrations


Mark Thomas

Mark Thomas is a successful international business consultant who has worked with some of the world’s major businesses in the fields of strategy, change management, human resources and individual executive development. He is a highly experienced speaker and business presenter who has worked in over 40 different countries around the world. As a consultant he has successfully sold major consulting projects and development initiatives. In addition to his consulting work Mark has authored several books on his key specialist people skills areas.

Buy now

Buy now

Paperback ISBN-10: also 9781854184986
ISBN-13: 9781914928000
Pages: 308
GBP 14.99 Buy at Amazon UK
eBook ISBN-13: 9781854188533
Pages: 0
GBP 6.99
+ VAT @ 20.00%
Buy at Amazon UK