Book: The Mckinsey Way
Author: Ethan M.Rasiel
Who should read the book?
Any person who has little knowledge on how management consulting(MC) works. You could be an MC aspirant or someone working in the industry. You have a basic knowledge of how problem are solved in the industry and what methodologies are followed. But you are “curious” to understand how The Firm works and how it is different. Please note that this book does not tell any detail about the clients or problems already solved by Mckinsey. Client confidentiality is fully respected, perhaps just the way it is in The Firm. It will however give you a perspective on how problem solving is done and how Mckinsey problem solving is different. This is not the book to be recommended for someone with years of practice as a Management Consultant.
The Mckinsey Way is a typical weekend read. You could perhaps read the entire book at one go during your flight or train travel. The book is very easy to read and the language is simple. The book starts off with the author’s life at Mckinsey, some of terminologies/everyday work at Mckinsey. The entire problem solving approach is then discussed, right from the initial hypothesis to issue tree to storyboarding. As my work includes most of these, I was easily able to relate to all of the processes used. However, this might be difficult to understand for an MC newbie but he will be able to grasp all of these.
The book states of the interesting approaches followed at Mckinsey – 80/20 rule, the elevator test, looking at the big picture – all of which is extremely useful. For someone who is aspiring to be an MC, these turn out to be something which is pragmatic in everyday work-life. The book then proceeds to the do’s and don’ts at work and will probably act as a guide for a novice. The book also tells some of the secrets(:=D) like waterfall charts in presentations. Turns out that I was already aware of things like 80/20, waterfall charts before reading the book, but I am pretty sure it will be interesting to someone who is new to MC.
The book also mentions how Mckinsey-ites give importance to Clients, The Firm, Me – in that order as well as recruiting, mentoring – something which is essential for its functioning. The book ends with some interesting insights from ex-Mckinseyites about what they have learnt from the firm.
Verdict: The book gives a general idea on how management consulting works. Interesting read while travelling.