Insights for managing the business of businesses


Dec

14

2018

Consulting Headwinds or Tailwinds?

Ten years ago at this time, the financial meltdown started sucking the consulting industry down a vortex from which it took almost four years to recover. The industry has been strong for the last half-decade and the general consensus is that consulting’s boat has risen with the economic tide. The Wall Street Journal reported this week on the Big 4’s collective earnings reports by observing: “The 10.4% combined revenue growth was the firms’ strongest since at least the 2008 financial crisis.”

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Dec

7

2018

Consultants: “Do We Make Things Better … or Things?”

Branding consulting firms has always been a tricky proposition. The industry’s stalwarts all followed the values-driven underpinnings of their founders. McKinsey, Bowers, Kearney, Henderson, Bain were the Rockefellers, Vanderbilts, and Carnegies of consulting.

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Nov

2

2018

Consultants Face Their Demons

Three seemingly unrelated events within the consulting world add credence to the industry’s altering landscape.
First, LEK, the highly respected strategy boutique, filed its inaugural annual report, which detailed its restructuring from a partnership into a corporate group. The rationale was “based on a desire to grow and develop the business through greater investment.” Translation: partners’ own money probably couldn’t underwrite the business enough to keep pace with larger players.

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Oct

24

2018

Of Rodents and Consultants

A recent Financial Times article compared consultants to rats -- the hypothesis being that both are plentiful and both are able to sniff out plentiful food sources.

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Oct

15

2018

Tiffany Prices in a Walmart World

“Fee fungibility” is a term I’ve used quite often to describe how management consultants approach pricing. Yes, all firms have rate cards that show hourly/daily rates by various staff levels. Those rate sheets hark back to a simpler time, when consulting’s time-and-materials approach resembled genteel country lawyers or green-shaded accountants.

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