Tag Archives: McKinsey

What is a best practice?

I wrote this post 5 years ago.  It is still true today.  Management consultants use the phrase “best practices” often.  Perhaps too often. You will see that magical phrase mentioned numerous times in white papers and research on these websites: Boston Consulting Group, Deloitte, PWC and Accenture.  A few pictures that help explain why a best practice can be so… Read More »

McKinsey: Testing your strategy

McKinsey, in a 2011 article entitled Have Your Tested Your Strategy Lately?, makes the very valid point that executives and leaders too often treat strategy as a ” procedural exercise or set of frameworks”, rather than a way of thinking through problems. Amen. McKinsey’s advice is to not look for the newest strategy fad or business guru, but instead… Read More »

McKinsey Report: Thriving in the New Abnormal, NA Asset Management

The global asset management business is huge. There are lots of billionaires and lots of people like you and me who have our wealth with pensions, 401K, and in stock/bond mutual funds. With the incredibly loose monetary policy (read: printing money), it is no surprise that global assets under management (AUM) have done well. In fact, they had… Read More »

McKinsey: How big is the gig economy?

McKinsey & Co published a very authoritative 148 page study here (3.8Mb pdf) arguing a fairly simple (perhaps obvious) fact; the number of people freelancing is larger than you might think (20%+) and growing quickly. For those who already do project-based solo work this is non-news. We all know ex-consultants, Uber drivers, photographers, web-sign designers, caterers, eBay arbitragers, mortgage attorneys, and real… Read More »

Review of 39pg McKinsey Presentation

McKinsey & Company do great work. On this blog, I have written about their leader, culture, high-visibility assignments at the CIA, and Department of Corrections. Overall, have enormous respect for the work they do, and the way they have built their practice. By any measure, they are monolithic at what they do.  So, now I would… Read More »

Review: McKinsey- Digital America’s Tale of the “Haves” and “Have Mores”

McKinsey published a 120 page report on the digitization of America here (2.6Mb). Some critics might argue the two main arguments are a bit obvious: 1) digitization drives productivity and 2) those gains are shared uneven across industries, companies, and people. It is a story of the digital divide – the “haves” and the “have mores”. On the surface… Read More »

McKinsey gets phase 2 on NY jail project for $7M

McKinsey & Company is a premiere management consulting firm with a long legacy of influential alumni, thought-provoking research, top-shelf billing rates, and legions of ivy-league smarties.They get called in to solve difficult problems – everything from corporate mergers to changing the organizational design at the CIA here. So, it is only with a bit of humor and… Read More »

McKinsey: 20% of CEO’s job can be outsourced

Routine work is going away. It always has been. Technology as old as the wheel, letter typeset, and the cotton gin have freed people from mundane and repetitive tasks. The market has a wonderful way of arbitraging work (thank you Adam Smith) to the least expensive person who can most reliably finish the job. That precisely is what leverage means.… Read More »

McKinsey’s managing partner interview – failing to make partner twice

For those interested in management consulting – Dominic Barton is a name you will recognize – the managing partner at McKinsey & Company.  Basically the chief of the chief consulting firm.  This interview with him is a 1,500 word read, but worth it here by Knowledge@Wharton, the business school’s magazine. Stay humble and learn.  Barton’s first assignment… Read More »

CIA hires McKinsey; $10M for a reorganization project

If there is any question that management consultants are hired to do difficult projects, look at this – McKinsey & Company will help the CIA reorganize and restructure here. Apparently, the plan is for the CIA to go from a functional structure (with separate analysis vs. espionage units), to one that is more integrated by regional focus or topic.… Read More »

Big Design: McKinsey & Company buys Lunar

Design is popular.  It’s not surprising that McKinsey & Company bought a design company. Many consulting firms are branching out with acquisitions in areas which were once considered non-core. Deloitte has picked up a few digital agencies. Accenture bought Fjord, a design firm. Hell, even Capital One bought a design agency called Adaptive Path. Strategic design… Read More »

New Darden dean is ex-McKinsey

UVA Darden is a strong business school known for its case study method. Like Harvard, UVA uses this method to teach everything from finance to ethics.  Over the course of 2 years, the students have more than 600 cases.  Yes, it’s rigorous. Darden is known for consulting. Of course, the case method parallels a lot of consulting.  Lots… Read More »

Why 14% of Harvard goes into Consulting

I recently read a 4,300 word article in the Harvard Crimson school newspaper that helps to explain why more than 14% of the Harvard graduating class goes into management consulting.  If you are interested in understanding the psyche of young top talent that goes from Harvard into the Big 3 or Big 4 consulting firms… Read More »

Quora: What is it like to work at McKinsey?

I have never worked at McKinsey. Yet, I have 10+ credible reference points and 10,000 words of interview-worthy comments written by previous employees. Is this an ebook that you purchase for 99cents on Kindle?  No. It’s on Quora, and it is free. What is it like to work at McKinsey? (7 answers) What is the day… Read More »

McKinsey Solutions: Disruptive innovation

Management consulting is changing. Don’t take my word for it. There is a recent a Harvard Business Review podcast interview with Clayton Christensen of the Innovator’s Dilemma fame (affiliate link) and Dominic Barton (global managing director of McKinsey). They give a half dozen reasons that white-shoe consulting firms need to continually disrupt themselves. McKinsey Solution might be a… Read More »

Management Consulting Outlook: To the brainy, the spoils (Economist 5/11/13)

Management consulting is doing well. The Economist posted this chart last week which shows that McKinsey, Bain, and BCG all grew by double digits in 2011. The data is a year old, but the revenue trend is clearly up. Bain grew by 17% YoY.  The consulting outlook is good. Companies are hiring. You know there is a… Read More »

Consulting Salary: How much money do consultants make?

Management consultants make good money.  They should not complain. If you look at the 2014 MBA graduation statistics of Harvard, Kellogg, Virginia, or Duke, you will see newly minted MBAs making about $135K + $25K of signing bonus if they go into consulting.  It is no wonder that it is one of the chosen careers of… Read More »

The Pyramid Principle in Consulting

Consultants must structure their thinking. This is the only way to present your ideas clearly to clients.  One excellent tool is the pyramid principle by an ex-McKinsey consultant by the name of Barbara Minto.   She authored a book called The Minto Pyramid Principle here (affiliate link) which essentially defined the way consultants structure most of their presentations. … Read More »

Simple PowerPoints

Death by PowerPoint. Presentations can be boring. We have all sat in large conference rooms held captive by a speaker wielding a poorly thought-out PowerPoint.   To misquote a bumper sticker, “PowerPoints don’t kill, people do.” Don’t put lipstick on a pig: Some people respond to this problem by trying to “spice up” their presentations with animation,… Read More »