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Big 6 Cultural Differences?

#1 Big 6 Cultural Differences?
20/04/2005 12:19


Does anyone have a view about which of the following has the most 'friendly' culture? Accenture, IBM, Atos, Deloitte, CapGem and PA? I want to work in consulting, but not in an "everyone for themselves, up or out" type of environment...

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#2 Re: Big 6 Cultural Differences?
21/04/2005 08:36


There is no denying that consulting can be a tough career choice - but you will find that there are some firms that are making some progress in terms of refining their more aggresive tendencies - Deloitte and Atos, and to a lesser extent, CapGem, pride themselves on their more 'human' approach...

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#3 Re: Big 6 Cultural Differences?
21/04/2005 13:07


A more human approach may be a good thing, but the less aggressive model can be frustrating if you are ambitious and want to be pushed and promoted.

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#4 Re: Big 6 Cultural Differences?
21/04/2005 13:18

A humanoid

Good question - not sure about one of the responses though. I thought for most people these days in their established markets McD's had an 'in or out' culture, but it's only an observation and I'm not an expert on McD's.

When you are in a consultancy there are certainly going to be days when you feel 'in or down' makes more sense than 'up or out'. However there is some sense in meritocratic organisations even if they are less obviously fashionable, particularly if you are looking for a consultancy role and the employment market is picking up or for employers who want to reward talent/performance. My preference is 'up or out and in or down', and avoid cultures that are sold as 'flat structures' when in reality they are steeper than a tower block.

Ultimately you should aim to get out there and meet people at consultancies when you can because they often seem more 'human' in person than they are made out to be.

One person's list of 'human consultancies' might vary from another's, whilst both people reckon their experiences make their's the list. Why? Lots of reasons including the fact that we are not all the same (we have varying expectations, and varying ways of deciding what is a 'human' approach). Business cultures also change a bit with time as individuals join and leave, so person X in year dot might have a very different impression of ACME consultants from person Y in year dot+15. I agree that there is some progress being made though in this area.

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#5 Re: Big 6 Cultural Differences?
21/04/2005 22:15

Bhupinder Sandhu


Although I have only Capgemini as my own frame of reference, I beleive that Capgemini do have the best culture. We have plenty of ex-Accenture, Deliotte and IBM consultants all of whom have commented on Capgemini's innate ability to be 'nice'.



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#6 Re: Big 6 Cultural Differences?
25/04/2005 23:00


That's interesting... we have loads of ex-Accenture & ex-IBM folks at Deloitte too ;) Personally I'd recommend applying to a few companies, and go to as many presentations/drinks/informal evenings as you can. The people you meet at these events and interviews will give you a pretty good idea what the culture is like, as getting someone to describe something that subjective is practically impossible. Just talk to whoever you meet, ask them what keeps them in their jobs and with the company after 1,2,5,10,n years. Needless to say, I believe Deloitte have the best culture!

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#7 Re: Big 6 Cultural Differences?
06/05/2005 10:29


I was in Accenture for quite a while - and I from what I've hard I agree that Cap & PA also have good cultures. IBM/Atos & Deloitte is less consistent (e.g. 'old-school' cultures & new 'nice' cultures within the same org)

However, summary is that all organisations have an underlying 'general' culture but pockets of significant difference exist - best advice is to meet with some of the team your are joining - the culture can be quite different between, say, Financial Services, Government, CPG.

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