Insights for managing the business of businesses


May

24

2018

Qui s’excuse s’accuse: Trust in Management Consulting

One of the features of the Toyota Production System – the genesis of now-pervasive lean process improvement – is that it empowered assembly workers to stop the production line. Recognizing that errors compound as they move down the line, Taiichi Ohno (the originator of this system) instituted systematic problem-solving to remove them once and for all. Once implemented, this advanced problem-solving meant the line practically never stopped.

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May

10

2018

Opacity No More

A couple weeks back, McKinsey was roughed up by the Wall Street Journal regarding the firm’s lack of transparency when working on bankruptcy engagements. The gist of the story claimed that McKinsey had potential conflicts of interest based on investments and/or relationships with entities related to the bankruptcy. And even when it did disclose, the list was minuscule relative to other types of advisors.

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May

4

2018

Can Consultants Transform Themselves?

Boil it down to its essence and management consulting has always been about transformation. Specifically transforming their clients’ production transformation functions -- how they transform inputs into outputs. So it’s a bit like a second-order transformation function. As it happens, consultants are also in the process of transforming themselves to meet their clients’ demand to “get it done.” This means translating strategies and plans into outcomes for their clients.

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Apr

26

2018

BFFs: Consulting’s Virtuous Cycle

Forbes’ annual “Best” Consulting Firms has elicited a fair bit of chest-thumping by many of the the 229 firms that made the list. Then again, with 32 sectors and services areas and multiple sub-lists by size and function, virtually every firm scores well in one category or another. So huzzahs all around, and feel free to pop the champagne.

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Apr

19

2018

“Consulting as a Product” Becomes Product

I’m often asked what’s meant when consulting firms “productize” their services. In the classic sense, we’re describing how they codify their service process/delivery for repeatability and scalability.

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