Monday, November 2, 2009

Management Consultant as Foreign Affairs Columnist?

Foreign Policy blogger and Tufts professor Daniel Drezner went to a management consultant conference and shared his top ten tips, both on his blog and Twitter. All I could think of was how it sounded just like 90% of Thomas Friedman's columns.
4) In Every Coversation with a Client, Mention Your Last Trip to China. This is tricky, as you have to be casual about it, while still drivng home the point that you are intimately familiar with the world's fastest-growing market. Here are some possible ways to get this point into casual conversation: "I was talking to one of our clients in Shenzhen On Monday, and...""I was sunbathing in Chengdu a week ago...""When I went bass-fishing in Chongqing last month...""A funny thing happened when I went to a cockfight in Harbin on Tuesday....""If, like me, you ever find yourself in Tianjin biting the head off of a live chicken...." ...
6) Use Factoids To Distract Amaze Your Audience. To drive home a point that might encounter pushback from the audience, be sure to snap off a statistic that seems related to your point. For example, if you're trying to convince your customers that Western Africa is a more promising market than Western Europe, you can say, "Did you know there are more live births in Nigeria than in W. Europe?" Some other possibilities:"Did you know that in Tokyo, a bicycle is faster than a car for any distance less than 30 miles?""Did you know that the most popular first name in the world is Muhammad?""Did you know that the first product to have a bar code was Wrigleys gum?""Did you know that Jedi is an official religion in Australia?"
7) Put a Modern Spin on Old Cliches. Example: "To paraphrase Keynes, 'In the long run, we're all liquefie-- I mean, we're all liquid.'"

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