One of the great myths among aspiring consultants, is that strategy consultants go in and basically take over and run the entire strategy and direction of a company. That does happen at times, but is more the exception than the norm. In fact, there are dangers to this outsourcing of thinking. Yet, the danger is not the outsourcing itself, but rather who is doing the outsourcing: a strong and accountable CEO or a weak CEO.
The greatest risk to a company is a weak CEO who outsources accountability to consultants. In this podcast, I discuss my own personal experiencing of advising such a CEO and the chaos which ensued.
At least 90% of aspiring management consultants assume that all McKinsey et al cases MUST be solved with frameworks. That is a dangerous myth. At least 60% of all McKinsey full cases (we are not referring to brainstorming, estimates etc) cannot be solved with structures and you will fail if you used structures to solve them. In this podcast, we use the experiences of a client, Felix, to explain how to identify this second group of cases and what you can do to solve them.
This podcast describes the journeys of two people and where they ended up in life.
The first is one of Harvard’s most distinguished MBA graduates ever who was not even invited to a McKinsey internship interview.
The second is a McKinsey Principal from humble beginnings who is rejected the partnership, not once, but twice.
Who they are and what they eventually achieve professionally is a lesson in perseverance, confidence and being analytic.
In early 2013, we were invited by the chairman of a major IT/Outsourcing provider to analyze their business and determine why their significant acquisitions of strategy/operations/general consulting skills had not created a “McKinsey-Killer”.
The chairman believed that their IT skills and consulting abilities should have blended together to create a very strong competitor in the market – which should have toppled McKinsey BTO. Despite some big wins in the early days, the consulting team has been marginalized over the last 5 years and currently contributes <4% of revenue, <1% of profit and no consulting director sits on the operating committees, board, management committees or business division councils.
Our findings, shared in this podcast, present important lessons for any IT, engineering or audit firm trying to “bolt-on” their existing technical skills to create a consulting firm which is unique and useful to clients.
Firmsconsulting will be hosting a series of events for MBA and PhD students/graduates over the final few days of September. If you would like to meet us for breakfast, or dinner please email a copy of your résumé to firstname.lastname@example.org. A cover letter is not necessary and any résumé format will be accepted. Some of our most eminent mentors, including Kevin Coyne (the former McKinsey Worldwide Strategy Co-Leader) and the former Bain worldwide strategy leader will be in attendance.
Selection will be entirely merit based and we look forward to meeting many talented MBA and PhD students. This event is open to clients and non-clients of Firmsconsulting.
Applications should be addressed to Michael Boricki.
Although this was written for the legal industry, it explains why elite consulting firms should not, and do not, follow a billable hour model.
Reproduced in its entirety from the New York Times.
The Tyranny of the Billable Hour
By STEVEN J. HARPER
“THAT bill shall know no limits,” wrote one DLA Piper lawyer to another in 2010 in what the firm is now calling “unfortunate banter” between associates about work for a client. But what is truly unfortunate is the underlying billable-hour regime and the law-firm culture it has spawned. Read more
This is a short post to wish everyone a Merry Xmas and prosperous New Year, and explain the relative silence on our website.
Over the last year we have recently lots of feedback/ideas/strategies from clients and readers about changes Firmsconsulting should make. Some of you went out of your way to even offer strategy analyses which was of a very high quality. I keep two of these documents with me at all times since the ideas have forced us to review how we engage our clients. One is a Yale PhD and the other is a PhD in Computer Science. Most of the recommendations were very insightful and has made us think about what we do and why we do it.
“Is this the best way to train clients for case interviews and prepare them to be future consulting leaders?”
We will not ever stray from our heavy focus on values, only using ex-MBB partners and high quality content. Yet, while we discuss the changes we thought it best to continue producing unique content but holding it offline.