What Top Consulting Firms Get Wrong About Hiring

Each year, around 185,000 MBA students graduate in the U.S. alone. A significant portion of these students spend more than 100 hours each preparing for so-called case interviews — the favored evaluation method of elite consulting firms such as McKinsey, in which candidates are presented with a business problem and asked to talk through how they would solve the problem. This is a colossal waste … [ Read more ]

Management Consultants as Professionals, or are They?

Managers make great use of consultants, giving rise to a rapid annual growth rate of 15% in consulting industry revenues where the authors estimate that today there are over one million consultants and $200 billion revenue worldwide. High industry growth has a big negative “Con” attached to it with a large influx of new consultants each year with problematic qualifications. Being a consultant is a … [ Read more ]

How to Lead Consultants to Exceed Expectations

If a client doesn’t control the consulting relationship, a project will fall short of expectations. Only when clients engage consultants based on merit and manage those consultants carefully, and only when company staff are seen as integral as the individual consultants, can companies hope to achieve or even exceed the goals they set. These authors tell readers how they can do that.

Opinion: The story BCG offered me $16,000 not to tell

A story from Keith Yost, an MIT grad, about his relatively short experience working at BCG in Dubai as a management consultant. [Hat tip to Brad Feld]

How to Succeed in the Age of Going Solo

Anybody can become a consultant. But not everybody does it well. Here’s what you need to know to thrive.

Management Consultants Are Often More Project Workers Than Ideas People

The popular impression that management consultants are key to spreading new ideas in organizations is exaggerated and misleading, according to a unique fly-on-the-wall study. The consultant’s image as an expert outsider bringing new knowledge or understanding to clients is firmly contradicted by findings from the three-year long project. For the investigation, researchers spent 30 months working alongside consultants and their clients in four diverse consultancy … [ Read more ]

Smart Questions for Your Tech Consultant

Your IT system needs a major overhaul, and hordes of consultants would love to fix it for you. How do you find one who’ll get the work done on time and on budget? Start by asking these questions.

Why Management Consultants

The management consultant has come to be taken for granted. But the management consultant is an extraordinary and indeed a truly unique phenomenon.

The 7 Rules of Engagement

Companies hiring management consultants have more choices than ever before, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy to find a bargain.

Position of Strength

When companies retain consultants to help implement strategic initiatives, they often fall into the trap of giving up too much control and overpaying for solutions that don’t work. Here’s how to strengthen consulting engagements and get your money’s worth out of expensive hired muscle.

Twilight of the IT Consultant? Don’t Hold Your Breath

To paraphrase Mark Twain, reports of the demise of the IT consultant have been exaggerated.

Traditionally, two roles have been associated with consultants: Superman, the expert who can do it faster and/or better than anyone else; and Prometheus, who brings the fire of innovation to the ambitious enterprise. In the realm of information technology in particular, neither of these roles is going to disappear. Indeed, … [ Read more ]

Eenie, Meenie, Miney, Moe … Isn’t There a Better Way to Pick a Consultant?

Organizations spend billions of dollars for impractical or incomplete data, ineffective or inappropriate interventions, and poorly thought-out or implemented recommendations. This article can help you select a qualified consultant.

It’s Time To Take Control

Fed up with the failure of consultant-led enterprise software projects, CIOs are demanding more (and less) from the big consultancies or doing without them altogether.

How to tell whether a potential client is worth your time

Asking the right questions can tell you whether a potential client is serious about using your services or is just wasting your time. Get the information on what every consultant should ask and how to know when you should bail out.

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Getting to Know You: Gearing your KM for Competition

When you’re forced to cut costs in your business, you must carefully weigh what’s most important to your competitive edge. The recently-constructed, expensive institutions supporting Knowledge Management (KM) may be the first to go – after all, their contribution to the bottom line is hard to measure, and they represent high fixed costs for the firm. But is this necessarily the right move? Professors Elie … [ Read more ]

Management consultants: what do they do?

Very little observational data are available on what management consultants actually do on an hour-to-hour basis. The purpose of the present research study is to gain insight into the work of management consultants by answering the following questions: (1) What are the characteristics of the management consultants’ working days? (2) What are the characteristics of the management consultants’ verbal interaction patterns during scheduled interactions? … [ Read more ]

Strategy: What Digital Business Service Providers Mean When They Say It

Strategy in digital business has become an increasingly significant component of Digital Business Service Provider (DBSP) offerings. Pure plays have and are becoming more experienced, and are serious competitors to the more traditional strategists. DBSP strategists take over where the traditional consultancy process lets go. They serve largely in the operational strategic role by taking the business idea to the step of design and architect … [ Read more ]

How Big 5 consulting firms use Intranets and what they can teach us

Article tracks some of the features and lessons learned from Intranet strategies to manage employee and expert knowledge at Booz-Allen, Arthur Andersen, E&Y and KPMG.

Ethics In The Advisory Industry

Consulting firms would do well to enact business ethics policies that are adhered to and managed