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Masters of the universe, really?

 
#1 Masters of the universe, really?
06/08/2015 21:42

presidentbartlet

Had my first ever contact with a McKinsey team yesterday, was expecting their analysis and insight to be amazing but frankly they were no more than "good".

Some nice numerical breakdowns, that was clearly their strength but the rest of the team didn't really know the industry very well (some key holes in their analysis), some of them didn't really add any value at all (and were just annoying in the session) and I'm not sure we couldn't have got to the same conclusion in the end anyway...

Apparently they haven't impressed elsewhere in my organisation either...

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#2 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
07/08/2015 13:15

MAK. to presidentbartlet (#1)

Accenture - a client of McKinsey ?

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#3 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
07/08/2015 14:57

Rollercoaster to MAK. (#2)

Anyone have a recording of "In amongst the witch doctors" from 1999?

Read the review here: http://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/in-amongst-the-witch-doctors-1112814.html

I'd love to watch it again.

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#4 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
07/08/2015 15:11

presidentbartlet to MAK. (#2)

Accenture - a client of McKinsey ?

I work in industry these days, an actual client!

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#5 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
07/08/2015 16:22

marsday to presidentbartlet (#4)

If it had been Big or whomever you would have thought their work better than good perhaps? I think MBB have created such an expectation around their brand that there will inevitably be times when they don't live up to the hype.

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#6 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
07/08/2015 21:52

presidentbartlet to marsday (#5)

If it had been Big or whomever you would have thought their work better than good perhaps? I think MBB have created such an expectation around their brand that there will inevitably be times when they don't live up to the hype.

Nail, head, hit I think

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#7 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
11/08/2015 06:25

Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) to presidentbartlet (#6)

Interesting thread. Makes me wonder what the "real reason" was that they were brought in in the first place?

In my experience the value-add of a consulting project - and the perceived value-add within the organisation - is usually greatest when the "real reason" is a compelling one:

  • Major political hurdles within the organisation need to be overcome
  • Severe shortage of key talent is holding back the company from achieving an outcome
  • Experience from other countries or industries needs to be quickly tapped into
  • ...

If everyone in the company perceives there's a solid reason the consultancy have been brought in then everyone's happy when they are there. If no-one can understand why they are there, the project's tee'd up for failure from day one.

I'd be intrigued to know in broad-brush terms what the reason was for them being brought in?

Tony Restell

Founder, http://www.Top-Consultant.com and http://www.Social-Hire.com

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#8 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
11/08/2015 07:10

Bushy Eyebrow Partner to Tony Restell (Top-Consultant.com) (#7)

I'd hazard a guess at the real reason being "curiosity"...

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#9 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
13/08/2015 12:01

powernap to presidentbartlet (#1)

That's a bit naive.

Even if I had never worked for an ex McK partner at a B4, bid against McK, worked besides McK, had an ex McK as direct client and attended an MBB target MBA (clue, I have) I would be able to tell you (as could any reasonably competent graduate) that, in general, there is little discernible difference in intellectual ability, thought process and output of your average MBBer and the average non-audit/technie big 4 consultant.

Partially, that's due to the fact that no client is exactly trying to split the atom - most business problems are complex but unoriginal conundrums, usually based on crap data, and more than often solvable in different ways. So comparing solutions and how consultancies go about them is most effectively done by measuring the outcome, which to my knowledge they tend to deliver.

Another part of it is that (surprise) they are just people - with their own pressures, issues and motivations. Sure they are all hired from top schools and work for a firm with outsize reputation and fees to match, but to somehow expect them and McK to be consistently above the rest is plain unrealistic and to a large degree the product of envy and/or inexperience.

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#10 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
13/08/2015 16:09

Anon MCs to powernap (#9)

This is an interesting one.

While a full timer in industry a few years ago, my Exec at the time forwarded to me a recent MBB .ppt they had done for him and team (I dont want to state which of the three MBB), aim was to help me in relation to a project we were kicking off. It had useful info as input for the Business Case.

"Please don't forward it on etc etc" was caveated.

At the time I had only previously worked face2face with the usual Accenture, CapGemini etc hence was interested to see the style and output that MBB provided.

I would partly disagree with what has been said on this thread;

- From a pure "presentation" point of view, it was very very good. Excellent. I would say circa 20% better than the average of what I had been provided by other MCs before. Lots of complex issues and analysis provided in a simple to use and visually pleasing format. A lot of thought and effort had gone into this presentation, that was obvious. The cost of creating it considering their rates? You don't want to know.

- From a "content" point of view, I would say it was around as good as / on par to what I had received previously from other MCs. Yes it was insightful and I found the graphics pleasing to the eye and easy to understand, but I wasn't blown away with the actual results when you looked at them forensically. It was good, it told a story, it provided an ending, but it was about in line with what the others are likely to have come up with. But visually, it worked very well

I have had other experiences, but that one stuck with me.

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#11 RE: Masters of the universe, really?
14/08/2015 18:18

powernap to Anon MCs (#10)

It is a well known fact that McK, and others (including my firm) have a central function who touch up slideware overnight, so don't worry - very few billable hours go into manicuring charts.

Beyond this, it is really astonishing to me that somehow that's perceived as being distinctive - in general every presentation our practice produces gets storyboarded, every slide is meant to support the narrative and everything is sense checked for logic and simplicity. Hell we even have a no sub 10pt rule for text in order to keep straight and to the point.

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