This course exposes students to this suite of consulting skills. The emphasis in the course is on developing structured problem-solving skills, with additional focus given to communication and influencing skills. The learnings from the course are broadly applicable across business functions and across industries, and besides their relevance to consulting, will be valuable in corporate strategy assignments, business development and entrepreneurship.
The course is organized around the phases of a typical strategy engagement: problem definition, problem structuring, data gathering & analysis, recommendations development & presentation. Students will get to learn and practice specific consulting tools and principles associated with each of these five phases, such as issue trees, hypothesis-driven problem-solving, interview guides and the pyramid principle.
The course emphasizes hands-on practice and real-time feedback. Formal discussion of consulting tools and skills will be supplemented by mini-cases and strategy cases based on real-life engagements. Students will get a number of opportunities to exercise and hone the skills they are introduced to during the course.
Marco Viola was a Columbia Business School faculty member from to 2016.