How the so-called McKinsey Quarterly-Killer, Deloitte Review, died a painful death
In an earlier post we discussed Punit Renjen and Deloitte Consulting. We also discussed a new initiative by their strategy and operations practices. It is time we followed up.
In 2007, Deloitte Strategy & Operations (S&O), a part of Deloitte Consulting was really excited about a new internal project. The firm was going to launch an-house journal called the “Deloitte Review”. At the time, while we liked the initiative, we had some reservations:
- Deloitte S&O did not have a culture of producing well written articles. They produced many articles but not at the same quality levels as HBR and MQ.
- Deloitte had a team of researchers sitting in a unit called Deloitte Research. We were concerned that if only this small group was writing the articles, they would appear too academic, would be drawn from a too small pool of contributors and eventually die off as these few writers ran out of ideas.
- Did Deloitte S&O have a mechanism internally to extract the key insights from projects? After all, that is what clients were most interested in reading.
- Could Deloitte S&O write in a prescriptive way? The writing needed to be very simple, straight-forward and practical.
Despite all the excitement and, we have been told, an initial version produced, the project was cut. The latest Deloitte Review can be found here and is no match for the HBR and MQ. It is so far from the original idea as shown in the screenshots below. Clearly the idea lost traction and probably its funding as well. What happened?
- Sources tell us it was impossible to convince partners outside the UK and US practices to contibute.
- This goes back to our earlier criticism of Deloitte Consulting. We explained why a federated consulting firm cannot drive the right behavior.
- The researchers at Deloitte Research also apparently monopolised the journal and did not allow interest to grow.
- To see this fail is all the more shocking since, as we reported before, Deloitte hired the former head of the McKinsey Quarterly.
We could not find examples of the Deloitte Review anywhere on the internet, except on one place on Deloitte’s own website. It therefore cannot be such a popular journal. A random call to Deloitte S&O (usually called consulting in many smaller offices) offices in New York, London, Moscow, Paris, Hong Kong, Beijing, Munich, Rome, Buenos Aires, Rio de Janeiro and Dubai indicated that 100% of the reception staff had never heard of the publication and could not point us to the correct person for the latest copies.
A Booz partner mentioned that they were originally “worried” when Deloitte S&O decided to launch the journal . They felt Deloitte had the resources to make a real impact and could give their Strategy + Business publication a credible competitor. Seems a pity the idea died. Clearly it was going in the right direction. Some screenshots provided, by a Deloitte partner in the UK, of the original mock-ups show a really polished and professional looking publication. Lets hope Deloitte S&O brings this back. It was a great idea. It still is.