Shenson on Consulting, by Howard Shenson

For my second resource review, I’ve selected Shenson on Consulting by the late Howard L. Shenson. For over 20 years (mid-1970s to mid-1990s) Howard Shenson wrote books, published newsletters, and conducted seminars that focused on beginning consultants. Before he suddenly passed away in 1994, he was known as the “consultant’s consultant.”

Howard’s materials were based on his experiences with his own individual and group consulting practices.  His background was in marketing, and as a result, he was very strong in that area. He was also very pragmatic.

Instead of  big company techniques like advertising, Howard emphasized methods that at the time were non-traditional — seminars, newsletters, trade journal articles, etc. He focused on niche markets, almost always a good strategy for small businesses.

I first met Howard at a consulting seminar he held in Minneapolis in 1978. At that time, I was just starting to explore consulting. His short seminar reshaped my thinking, and started me on my journey.  I consider him my original consulting mentor.

I’ve used many of his ideas with good success. Even though it may be dated, I feel anything written by Howard Shenson is still worth reading today.

Shenson on Consulting, by Howard L. Shenson. Published by Wiley, 1994. ISBN 0-471-00925-3.  (No web site.)

Copyright © 2014, jumptoconsulting.com. All rights reserved.

4 Responses to “Shenson on Consulting, by Howard Shenson”

  • dan pena says:

    as a grad student i was howards 1st and only grad assistant. he was working on his PHD and only a few yrs older tham me. i had recently returned from the ARMY IN 1969. I CONSTANTLY TOLD HIM GETTING A PHD WAS A WASTE OF HIS TIME AND IF HE THOUGHT HE KNEW – HE SHOULD NOT TEACH – BUT HE SHOULD DO! I USED AS AN EXAMPLE THE FORMER HEAD OF THE BUS SCHOOL WHO HAD BEEN A BIG SUCCESS IN THE REAL WORLD AND NOT MERELY AN ACADEMIC! i was dr rabe’s grad assistant as well and we both admired him!

    HE LEFT, AND 2 THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE HE NEVER FINISHED HIS PHD.

    IN THE LATE 70′S HE CONTACTED ME. HE WANTED 2 HAVE LUNCH. HE WANTED 2 GIVE SOMETHING 2 ME AND SAY THKS! I HAD NO IDEA WHAT HE HAD DONE! WE MET IN WESTWOOD 4 LUNCH. WE SPENT A FEW HRS AND TALKED BOT HIS CONSULTANCY PRACTICE AND WHAT HE HAD ACCOMPLISHED. I SAID I WAS VERY PROUD OF HIM! FUNNY BUT I TOLD HIM I GUESS UR NOT AN ACADEMIC PUSSY! he said dan – ur the main reason i left teaching! WE BOTH LAUGHED!

  • daryl says:

    Thanks for the great story, Dan!

    Only met him once (at his seminar) but I did talk with him by phone a few times. Subscribed to his newsletter, read his books, and bought other materials too. Without his stuff I might not have made it as a consultant. Or, as a minimum, it would have been a lot more difficult.

    You also have confirmed what I suspected — that he was a genuinely nice person. What a great resource, and I was very sad when I learned of his untimely passing in the 1990s.

  • [...] The late Howard Shenson observed that around 40 was a great age to start consulting. By that time one had figured out what [...]

  • [...] is a link on JumpToConsulting regarding [...]

Leave a Reply