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The McKinsey Way: Using the Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consultants to Help You and Your Business

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"If more business books were as useful, concise, and just plain fun to read as THE MCKINSEY WAY, the business world would be a better place." --Julie Bick, best-selling author of ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW IN BUSINESS I LEARNED AT MICROSOFT. "Enlivened by witty anecdotes, THE MCKINSEY WAY contains valuable lessons on widely diverse topics such as marketing, interviewing, te "If more business books were as useful, concise, and just plain fun to read as THE MCKINSEY WAY, the business world would be a better place." --Julie Bick, best-selling author of ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW IN BUSINESS I LEARNED AT MICROSOFT. "Enlivened by witty anecdotes, THE MCKINSEY WAY contains valuable lessons on widely diverse topics such as marketing, interviewing, team-building, and brainstorming." --Paul H. Zipkin, Vice-Dean, The Fuqua School of Business It's been called "a breeding ground for gurus." McKinsey & Company is the gold-standard consulting firm whose alumni include titans such as "In Search of Excellence" author Tom Peters, Harvey Golub of American Express, and Japan's Kenichi Ohmae. When Fortune 100 corporations are stymied, it's the "McKinsey-ites" whom they call for help. In THE MCKINSEY WAY, former McKinsey associate Ethan Rasiel lifts the veil to show you how the secretive McKinsey works its magic, and helps you emulate the firm's well-honed practices in problem solving, communication, and management. He shows you how McKinsey-ites think about business problems and how they work at solving them, explaining the way McKinsey approaches every aspect of a task: How McKinsey recruits and molds its elite consultants; How to "sell without selling"; How to use facts, not fear them; Techniques to jump-start research and make brainstorming more productive; How to build and keep a team at the top its game; Powerful presentation methods, including the famous waterfall chart, rarely seen outside McKinsey; How to get ultimate "buy-in" to your findings; Survival tips for working in high-pressure organizations. Both a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most admired and secretive companies in the business world and a toolkit of problem-solving techniques without peer, THE MCKINSEY WAY is fascinating reading that empowers every business decision maker to become a better strategic player in any organization.


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"If more business books were as useful, concise, and just plain fun to read as THE MCKINSEY WAY, the business world would be a better place." --Julie Bick, best-selling author of ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW IN BUSINESS I LEARNED AT MICROSOFT. "Enlivened by witty anecdotes, THE MCKINSEY WAY contains valuable lessons on widely diverse topics such as marketing, interviewing, te "If more business books were as useful, concise, and just plain fun to read as THE MCKINSEY WAY, the business world would be a better place." --Julie Bick, best-selling author of ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW IN BUSINESS I LEARNED AT MICROSOFT. "Enlivened by witty anecdotes, THE MCKINSEY WAY contains valuable lessons on widely diverse topics such as marketing, interviewing, team-building, and brainstorming." --Paul H. Zipkin, Vice-Dean, The Fuqua School of Business It's been called "a breeding ground for gurus." McKinsey & Company is the gold-standard consulting firm whose alumni include titans such as "In Search of Excellence" author Tom Peters, Harvey Golub of American Express, and Japan's Kenichi Ohmae. When Fortune 100 corporations are stymied, it's the "McKinsey-ites" whom they call for help. In THE MCKINSEY WAY, former McKinsey associate Ethan Rasiel lifts the veil to show you how the secretive McKinsey works its magic, and helps you emulate the firm's well-honed practices in problem solving, communication, and management. He shows you how McKinsey-ites think about business problems and how they work at solving them, explaining the way McKinsey approaches every aspect of a task: How McKinsey recruits and molds its elite consultants; How to "sell without selling"; How to use facts, not fear them; Techniques to jump-start research and make brainstorming more productive; How to build and keep a team at the top its game; Powerful presentation methods, including the famous waterfall chart, rarely seen outside McKinsey; How to get ultimate "buy-in" to your findings; Survival tips for working in high-pressure organizations. Both a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most admired and secretive companies in the business world and a toolkit of problem-solving techniques without peer, THE MCKINSEY WAY is fascinating reading that empowers every business decision maker to become a better strategic player in any organization.

30 review for The McKinsey Way: Using the Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consultants to Help You and Your Business

  1. 5 out of 5

    ☘Misericordia☘ ⚡ϟ⚡⛈⚡☁ ❇️❤❣

    A very good book. Though, the best way to characterise it would be to requote from it: I think anything I say would be too cynical. —Former associate in the London office Here goes a bit of tongue-in-the-cheek vocab for it: 1. “What’s the so-what?” Translation: How is this analysis useful? Real meaning: You’re one up on me because you’ve done a ton of complex analysis and I haven’t. Allow me to reassert my authority by challenging you to explain the purpose, and implying that while you are living i A very good book. Though, the best way to characterise it would be to requote from it: I think anything I say would be too cynical. —Former associate in the London office Here goes a bit of tongue-in-the-cheek vocab for it: 1. “What’s the so-what?” Translation: How is this analysis useful? Real meaning: You’re one up on me because you’ve done a ton of complex analysis and I haven’t. Allow me to reassert my authority by challenging you to explain the purpose, and implying that while you are living inside a spreadsheet, I’m actually living in the real world. Example: “OK, so you’ve found that the client sells more beer in Australia than in New Zealand. But what’s the so-what?” 2. “MECE” Translation: Mutually Exclusive and Completely Exhaustive. Real meaning: Tell me you haven’t missed something big in your analysis that is going to bite us in the heiny. Example: “Have you checked your analysis for MECE-ness?” 3. “Quick wins” Translation: Easy cost savings we can show the client as soon as possible to justify our fees. Real meaning: Lay-offs. Example: “The entire Cleveland operation is a quick win.” 4. “Low-hanging fruit.” Translation: Really quick wins. Real meaning: Completely useless client operations and staff that even a child could lay off. Example: “Boy, that guy Bob in accounts is low-hanging fruit.” 5. “Directionally correct.” Translation: The analysis is correct in its broad conclusions. Real meaning: The analysis is incorrect in some of its numbers. Example: “Let’s not get hung up too much on the details. The analysis is directionally correct.” 6. “The right road, but the wrong direction.” Translation: The analysis is asking the right questions. Real meaning: The analysis is wrong, and one of the consultants is going to be fired. Example: “We found the right road, but we took the wrong direction.” 7. “At least we now have a better idea of the questions.” Translation: The next stage of analysis is going to add value. Real meaning: The analysis just finished is so completely wrong that we can’t even claim it is directionally correct, or even that we found the right road. Example: “OK, so’re going to have to go back and do this again. But at least now we have a better idea of the questions.” 8. “We’ve left that open.” Translation: We haven’t answered that question yet. Real meaning: We don’t know. In fact until you asked we hadn’t even thought about it. Example: “How will this impact the new product launch? We’ve left that open.” 9. “Boiling the ocean.” Translation: Doing a lot of analysis. Real meaning: We’re so busy in meetings we really want to economize on the amount of actual analysis have to do. Example: “You don’t need to look at the cost structure of each of the operations. Don’t boil the ocean.” 10. “Delta” Translation: Change. Real meaning: The consultant is so insecure he is afraid of using a simple word like “change.” Example: “It’s going to be hotter tomorrow than today? What’s the delta?” 11. “On the beach.” Translation: Between projects. (Has nothing to do with any actual beach) Real meaning: No other consultant wants me on their project. Example: “I’ve just spent a couple of weeks on the beach.” 12. “Peeling the onion.” Translation: Doing deeper and deeper analysis. Real meaning: We’re still trying to understand the client. Example: “We’ll get a better idea of that once we peel the onion a bit more.” 13. “Granularity.” Translation: Details. Real meaning: The consultant is so insecure he is afraid of the simple word “details.” Example: “Let’s see if we can get a little more granularity on that.” 14. “Version 2.0.” Translation: A new version. Real meaning: The first version didn’t work. Example: “We want version 2.0 of this.” 15. “IPM.” Translation: In Production Mode. Real meaning: It’s not finished yet. Example: “That latest analysis? Don’t worry, it’s IPM.” 16. On the runway Translation: Still taking off Real meaning: Hasn’t gone anywhere; still domestic. Example: “We haven’t really tested or launched yet but we’re on the runway” 17. “A robust conversation” Translation: we need to shop this idea around more. Real meaning: everyone we’ve spoken to so far hates it. Example: “We need to initiate a robust conversation with our stakeholders and gatekeepers that’s structured to fine tune our approach.” (c) Disclaimer: this hilariousity not mine, found on the web, immencely liked... ;) And some more scary cons stuff (Russian version only) /Accenture/ Работа в консалтинге. Дневник стажера-консалтера. (Disclaimer: all from Google) День 1. - Слово business видимо произошло от busyness. - Почти правила стройки. Кто не курит, тот работает. Попробую заменить на кофе. День 2. - Консультант это человек с воображением ребенка и IQ не ниже, чем у Эйзенхауэра. День 3. - Пришел в офис первый, хотя опоздал минут на 30. - Задание, которое я делал часа полтора, аналитик сделал за минут 15. Кажется, с помощью Excel он может захватить весь мир. - Девятичасовой день меня напрочь убивает, плюс - хоть ночью крепко спится. И это далеко не предел, надо привыкать. День 4. - Опаздывать, но приходить первым входит в привычку. - Всё ещё не привык к графику, свои девять часов нужно реально отработать, а думать приходится на каждом шаге. Мозги закипают. - Ещё никогда так не ждал выходных, а всего четыре дня прошло. День 5. - Понял, что обожаю пятницы. Это праздник с 18 часов. Полезные тренинги в офисе под горячий шоколад проходят на ура! День 6. - Впервые консультант обратился ко мне за помощью в каком-то вопросе. (Примеч.: кажется, от безысходности). - Сегодня учили общаться с коллегами из смежного проекта. Почувствовал себя коллектором долгов, пока смотрел, как требования собирают с них. День 7. - Оказалось, что консультанты очень любят конфетки. Принес пачку барбарисок - радовались, как дети. День 8. - Впервые был час свободного времени вне обеда, когда можно было не работать головой. Почитал проектный материал. - Команду все еще удивляет, когда я ухожу в половину восьмого вечера, но потом они вспоминают про мою стажировку. День 9. - Сделал свой первый легкий овертайм до десяти вечера. После 19:00 открывается второе дыхание, хотя я бы назвал это смирением. - Начал использовать оптимальные решения. Они здорово экономят время. - Есть коллеги, которые работают так каждый день. В ночные смены можно разгружать вагоны, а можно загружать базы данных, каждому своё. - Теперь мне снятся таблицы и схемы, а во сне я генерю и бормочу рандомные названия для них. В работе даже ночью.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Ahmed Bin Madhi أحمد بن ماضي

    Pros: - Simple language, very accessible and follows a logical flow of topics - Short. You can read it in a short/mid flight (not that I did:) - Structured approach for many commonsensical things business professionals naturally do (some may see this as a con) - Some useful tips here and there (e.g. interviewing tips) Cons: - Not much insight as one would expect from the book title.. no mind blowing/eye opening revelations about McKinsey’s inner workings - Too generalist (though I believe one should no Pros: - Simple language, very accessible and follows a logical flow of topics - Short. You can read it in a short/mid flight (not that I did:) - Structured approach for many commonsensical things business professionals naturally do (some may see this as a con) - Some useful tips here and there (e.g. interviewing tips) Cons: - Not much insight as one would expect from the book title.. no mind blowing/eye opening revelations about McKinsey’s inner workings - Too generalist (though I believe one should not expect secret recipes or detailed problem-solving algorithms from such a book.. I was still very eager for some level of detail or specificity) - Outdated techniques in some areas (e.g. Research). It could benefit from an updated version for the era of massive internet use - Certain topics/tips make the book look too shallow at times (e.g. list of items needed in travel!) Overall, the author offers some useful general tips throughout the book, but I have to say I was disappointed that the book did not provide in-depth explanation of the philosophy, original thought, breakthroughs, or novel methodologies developed at McKinsey (compare this to The Toyota Way and the point gets clearer). Also, despite the author’s repeated attempts to assert the contrary, the book depicts McKinsey as an average/ordinary business organization..with a little more structure.. and a lot more self-proclaimed prestige! So, either McKinsey is actually that way (which is implausible) or, as it may seem, the book falls short to deliver what its title promises.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Boyd Coleman

    This is the most worthless book ever written. Some of the McKinsey wisdom: Put charts in you presentations to display data. Really!? A good assistant is priceless. I was thinking of someday getting an awful one. Don't become a work-a-holic? hmmmm..... Every problem has 3 causes and 3 solutions. That would make solving problems easier. If only it were true! That's not how you solve problems, that's how you sell solutions to clients! Consultants suck. I hope for nobody else to waste their money on this This is the most worthless book ever written. Some of the McKinsey wisdom: Put charts in you presentations to display data. Really!? A good assistant is priceless. I was thinking of someday getting an awful one. Don't become a work-a-holic? hmmmm..... Every problem has 3 causes and 3 solutions. That would make solving problems easier. If only it were true! That's not how you solve problems, that's how you sell solutions to clients! Consultants suck. I hope for nobody else to waste their money on this book.

  4. 5 out of 5

    Suhrob

    This book has: 1. lots of trivial advice (be organized, use charts...) 2. tiny bits of interesting (but not world-shattering) concepts (e.g. MECE) described in a shallow enough detail so that it won't help you all that much 3. McKinsey-ites work long hours*. You'll hear that on every second page. 4. mixture of boring business stories with occasional glances of the borderline sociopathic business power-player archetype. There are also bits that are clearly incorrect, mostly when he tries to branch ou This book has: 1. lots of trivial advice (be organized, use charts...) 2. tiny bits of interesting (but not world-shattering) concepts (e.g. MECE) described in a shallow enough detail so that it won't help you all that much 3. McKinsey-ites work long hours*. You'll hear that on every second page. 4. mixture of boring business stories with occasional glances of the borderline sociopathic business power-player archetype. There are also bits that are clearly incorrect, mostly when he tries to branch out a bit into the scientific method and complexity theory ("branch out" is too generous, he just wants you to know he read (and obviously half-understood) a book). Business book at it its tripest. * I'm sure they work 70% more hours than you... they also get ~400% more pay. Who knew that your marginal productivity just booms after 10 hours of work? The wonders of human brain!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Advait Jasoria

    I was deterred from reading this book for a good two years because of the polarised reviews it has received. Readers have deemed it to be too generic, not up to date, and inadequate in providing actual insight into the firm’s operations and culture. After having read the book, I think it’s safe to say that the disappointment of the readers is due to their highly unrealistic expectations. Most look to this book to provide a formula to doing better in their own jobs, reveal never-before-seen criti I was deterred from reading this book for a good two years because of the polarised reviews it has received. Readers have deemed it to be too generic, not up to date, and inadequate in providing actual insight into the firm’s operations and culture. After having read the book, I think it’s safe to say that the disappointment of the readers is due to their highly unrealistic expectations. Most look to this book to provide a formula to doing better in their own jobs, reveal never-before-seen critical thinking techniques, unleash their potential and become a professional of McKinsey calbire. As much as I hate to say it, the professionalism, work ethic, and wealth of knowledge that a McKinsey consultant possesses cannot be gained by reading one book. There’s a reason why consultants from MBB firms have stellar academic and professional backgrounds: they’ve doggedly been in pursuit of excellence and personal improvement for the better part of their lives. It’s unrealistic to expect a book to achieve the same in 180 pages, or divulge trade secrets for that matter. That being said, the book is a must read for the following reasons: 1. It provides a glimpse into how structured the thought process of a McKinsey consultant is: Structure is the most important ingredient in consulting. It frees the mind to think in a logical manner, allows clarity of thought and clear communication of ideas. This is represented perfectly by how well the book has been organised. With each ‘part’ and chapter starting off with an introduction and executive summary. Each section beginning with an assertion, followed by reasons and facts. The book flows seamlessly, with each topic logically and effortlessly transitioning to the next. 2. Actionable information: Topics including ‘developing an approach’, ‘interviewing for information’, ‘brainstorming’ and ‘selling the idea’ have actionable recommendations which we can benefit from by putting them into use in our own jobs. 3. Attitude: The book illustrates the attitude and traits that a McKinsey consultant possesses: one of curiosity, professional skepticism, clarity of thought and hunger for persistent personal growth. These are fundamental to being successful in any career. We must strive to inculcate these in our personalities. However this raises the question, to what extent can these be developed? Are they innate, or a matter of practice and habit? Being a recent believer in the growth mindset, I sincerely hope that it’s the latter of the two. Perhaps the book is a bit outdated with respect to minor technical details (brainstorming, charts, etc.). However, the purpose of the book was to help the reader understand the attitude, level of professionalism and intelligence that an individual requires to be a Mckinsey consultant, and it achieves that objective perfectly. Hence, I recommend this book to people of all ages, especially to college students or those starting off their careers. Side note: I’m slightly sceptical of the idea that an initial hypothesis must be constructed in order to arrive at the solution. The author asserts that through fact-finding either this initial hypothesis will hold true or it won’t, in which case you have enough information to arrive at the correct answer. What if the initial hypothesis takes you along a wrong path? Yes, intermittent course correction is carried out as new information comes to light. That’s why Im of the opinion that fact-finding, brainstorming and constructing the initial hypothesis go hand in hand, rather than one after the other.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Antonina Sh

    This is the first book I started my digging into consulting industry with - and I think I made the right choice. A very fast and easy reading, I'd say even fascinating. Great for the starters, to give you a general insight into the industry and how it works. Actually, I guess anyone in business management/corporate world would find something useful to get out of it. Some really helpful advise and tips. It helped me understand what I really want to do, and where to start. That being said, I'll pr This is the first book I started my digging into consulting industry with - and I think I made the right choice. A very fast and easy reading, I'd say even fascinating. Great for the starters, to give you a general insight into the industry and how it works. Actually, I guess anyone in business management/corporate world would find something useful to get out of it. Some really helpful advise and tips. It helped me understand what I really want to do, and where to start. That being said, I'll probably get back to it, to review the highlights, before my first interview at one of the Top Consulting companies (secretly hope it's going to be McKinsey) :)

  7. 4 out of 5

    Sirabhop

    I'm not sure this book worth money, few knowledge compared with the price. Anyway if you think it this way, in order for him to get in there and cristalyze the McKinsey-ites knowledge, it might worth it after all... I'm not sure this book worth money, few knowledge compared with the price. Anyway if you think it this way, in order for him to get in there and cristalyze the McKinsey-ites knowledge, it might worth it after all...

  8. 5 out of 5

    Shantanu

    Loved the book. Wonderful insights on the management skills needed for consultants, the do's and dont's. Definitely a must read for a beginner consultant. Loved the book. Wonderful insights on the management skills needed for consultants, the do's and dont's. Definitely a must read for a beginner consultant.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Cakra

    Easy to read, but a lot of gimmick that praises McKinsey or author achievements too much. Some points are good and can be applied in general. Some others are specific to politics in workplace. Key takeways: - Make data-driven decision. - Things at McKinsey come in threes. Three items in list, three hypothesis, three actionable items, etc. - Structure everything: facts, framework of thinking. - Think about the big picture: take a step back, figure out what to achieve, look at what we're doing, and ask Easy to read, but a lot of gimmick that praises McKinsey or author achievements too much. Some points are good and can be applied in general. Some others are specific to politics in workplace. Key takeways: - Make data-driven decision. - Things at McKinsey come in threes. Three items in list, three hypothesis, three actionable items, etc. - Structure everything: facts, framework of thinking. - Think about the big picture: take a step back, figure out what to achieve, look at what we're doing, and ask 'Does this really matter?'. - Documentation is helpful for future similar problems. - Be practical. Only attempt feasible solutions. - Make use of 80/20 rules. Don't boil the ocean: don't try to analyze everything. Focus on 20% effort that yields 80% result. - Get your job done, don't try to do the work of the whole team. You will raise unrealistic expectations and it is hard to regain credibility once you fail to meet them. - Tips on interviewing people: silence is powerful; response with filler like "yes,", "I see,", "uh-huh" to show that you're paying attention; talk just enough to keep the interview on track; paraphrase to confirm; prepare three things you most want to know by the end of the interview. - On brainstorming: there are no bad ideas; no dumb questions; be prepared to kill your ideas; take notes. - On making presentation: be structured; resist the temptation to tweak your presentation up to the last minute; keep it simple. - On growing: find your own mentor, it makes difference. McKinsey stuff: - Many people work at McKinsey (McKinsey-ites) really value the smartness of the coworkers. - McKinsey value meritocracy and welcome opposing point of view. - Many McKinsey-ites work for crazy hours, some even don't have life. - The client can mess up. Politics, rivalry, not willing to cooperate, feeling threatened by restructuring. - Travel sometimes can feel tiring. Try to look it as an adventure. - McKinsey hires the best, by their definition, it's having good grades from reputable universities.

  10. 5 out of 5

    Jacek Bartczak

    In last months I read a couple of books somehow connected with consulting (it includes pure consultants and VC funds founders as well). Mostly to gain business insights and check how people smarter than I think about solving problems. "The McKinsey Way" doesn't give a lot of business insights (examples are very general) rather focuses on how many aspects of consulting may be structured. The author covers many topics but no so deeply. I am aware he couldn't write everything that he knew but you w In last months I read a couple of books somehow connected with consulting (it includes pure consultants and VC funds founders as well). Mostly to gain business insights and check how people smarter than I think about solving problems. "The McKinsey Way" doesn't give a lot of business insights (examples are very general) rather focuses on how many aspects of consulting may be structured. The author covers many topics but no so deeply. I am aware he couldn't write everything that he knew but you won't learn from that book about business. I would even say that most of the mentioned tips at Casbeg were "discovered" in the first months of the company's existence. If you think about doing consulting projects or already do them - it is worth to read that book. If you don't plan do any advisory projects - probably you will be disappointed. I have to admit that a book is easy to read and many business authors should treat it as an example.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kyle C.

    This book has been hopelessly ravaged by the passage of time. It does offer insight into a nebulous industry and, although the methods are not revealed, the state of mind is. The sections that are not outdated and rendered completely useless by the use of the internet have some decent bits of information. I understand that a non-disclosure agreement limits what can be published, but I wish the author threw me a bone. I would have appreciated more insight into how they achieve their goals. This i This book has been hopelessly ravaged by the passage of time. It does offer insight into a nebulous industry and, although the methods are not revealed, the state of mind is. The sections that are not outdated and rendered completely useless by the use of the internet have some decent bits of information. I understand that a non-disclosure agreement limits what can be published, but I wish the author threw me a bone. I would have appreciated more insight into how they achieve their goals. This is not a book to learn about consultant's methods/tools (read McKinsey's Valuation textbook instead), but how a consultant thinks, uses obfuscating language, drinks coffee, fires people without remorse, and works 100 hours a week. The bastardization of the scientific method was asinine (e.g. "come up with a hypothesis"); this trend unfortunately emanates from consulting firms and trickles down into other companies, where business people try to solve business problems with scientific logic. It doesn't work. All in all, a decent read. 3/5 Should have had more waterfall charts.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Tyler Wright

    This book is a must read for anyone working in government, private sector, corporate America, or just small business. It gives high level insight on solving some of the most complex problems businesses face. McKinsey is regarded as the most prestigious consulting firm on planet earth. This book will give the reader great ideas on presentations, interviewing, brainstorming, and planning. I give it 5 stars due to the level of detail that is provided and how easy it is to implement on your own life This book is a must read for anyone working in government, private sector, corporate America, or just small business. It gives high level insight on solving some of the most complex problems businesses face. McKinsey is regarded as the most prestigious consulting firm on planet earth. This book will give the reader great ideas on presentations, interviewing, brainstorming, and planning. I give it 5 stars due to the level of detail that is provided and how easy it is to implement on your own life!

  13. 4 out of 5

    Frederik Jukema

    Great book if you’re into consulting, or want to know more about consulting. The author, Rasiel, describes perfectly how McKinsey thinks, what they do (from a day-to-day- basis) and explains why McKinsey is such a magnet for passionate people.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Avishek Saha

    Very well written, filled with interesting anecdotes and practical examples. A must-read for anyone who wishes to know more about the consulting industry

  15. 4 out of 5

    Emad Aly

    One of the most important and useful books. Easy to follow.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Dave Bolton

    Interesting enough but not super insightful. I gleaned a couple of points about how to structure thinking in a business setting, but overall it was mainly common sense. It's a quick read though so it was worth it just for the couple of takeaways. Interesting enough but not super insightful. I gleaned a couple of points about how to structure thinking in a business setting, but overall it was mainly common sense. It's a quick read though so it was worth it just for the couple of takeaways.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Tung Do

    Great book to have a peak into how a career at McKinsey is like. The book also showed very smart ways of tackling a problem - "The McKinsey Way" Some methods were very eye-opening to me. Great book to have a peak into how a career at McKinsey is like. The book also showed very smart ways of tackling a problem - "The McKinsey Way" Some methods were very eye-opening to me.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Alex

    Despite my better judgement, I read this after someone rather sincerely recommended it to me. Am now weighing whether to 'restructure' that relationship after enduring this book's rapidly deteriorating prose for 2 hours. Despite my better judgement, I read this after someone rather sincerely recommended it to me. Am now weighing whether to 'restructure' that relationship after enduring this book's rapidly deteriorating prose for 2 hours.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Prashant

    The McKinsey Way is a light and enjoyable read for those who want a brief overview of what management consulting is, for those who would love a better picture of what it’s like to work at McKinsey & Company, and for those who want to understand some principles of consulting which they can apply in their work. Although the book is fun and well structured, the book skims the surface on a wide variety of topics and doesn’t go into great detail. Because of that, I feel some chapters are worth reading The McKinsey Way is a light and enjoyable read for those who want a brief overview of what management consulting is, for those who would love a better picture of what it’s like to work at McKinsey & Company, and for those who want to understand some principles of consulting which they can apply in their work. Although the book is fun and well structured, the book skims the surface on a wide variety of topics and doesn’t go into great detail. Because of that, I feel some chapters are worth reading twice though few chapters should be just skimmed through, I will leave it to you to decide, which of the chapters you feel should be skipped. The crux of the book is that Mckinsey is a fact-based, structured and hypothesis-driven organization & while I haven’t worked in the consulting world ever in my career yet I found a lot of advice which can be applied in my field as well i.e. Solving a problem, Working out with clients and selling your solution to them. The McKinsey Way is divided into 5 parts: 1. McKinsey way of thinking about business problems. In this part of the book, the author shares about Mckinsey and how does it work. Ethan Rasiel then continues to give an overview of how to develop an approach for each unique business problem. He ends this section by sharing some basic business rules like the 80/20 rule, finding the key drivers, and so on. 2. McKinsey way of working to solve business problems. Here Ethan talks about McKinsey’s approach to selling a study – to sell without selling – and then goes on to describe the basics of assembling a team, managing hierarchy, conducting research, conducting interviews, and brainstorming. 3. The McKinsey way of selling solutions. Consultants recognize that even if they had the best solution in the world, they wouldn’t make an impact unless they could successfully sell the solution to the client. Rasiel gives advice on making presentations, working with clients, and getting buy-in from all necessary parts of an organization in this section. 4. Surviving at McKinsey. Consultants work long hours, travel a lot (especially at McKinsey due to their global staffing model), and put up with significant pressure to deliver in their jobs. In this section, Ethan Rasiel shares insights on how to survive (and possibly thrive) at McKinsey and he gives a couple of snippets about McKinsey’s recruiting style. 5. Life after McKinsey. Ethan states in the last part of this book, “Leaving McKinsey is never a question of whether—it’s a question of when”. In this brief section, the author shares significant lessons and memories from working at McKinsey. Insights From The Book 1. Structure, structure, structure. The word “structure” comes often in this book. Learning how to structure life, problem-solving processes, solutions, emails, and so on is one of the first and most things an associate will learn at McKinsey. 2. Keeping it simple / hit home runs. “It’s much better to get to first base consistently than to try to hit a home run—and strike out 9 times out of 10.” When working at a prestigious firm like McKinsey, it very tempting to try and come up with solutions that will “hit the ball out of the park”. There are several reasons that hitting single runs are more advantageous, though, one of them being that if you manage to hit the ball out of the park once-through “superhuman effort”, you will be expected to do the same every time you step up to bat. 3. Someone needs to step up to the plate. Implementation is tough and requires a great deal of work. After delivering the solution, it’s vitally important to put specific people (within the organization receiving the consulting services) in charge of implementing the solutions. If there isn’t a person responsible for the changes required, chances are the changes will not be implemented efficiently, if they are implemented at all. The book is interesting. Very beautifully gives layman a glimpse of consulting. Anyone thinking of a career in one of the big 3 or trying to learn the practices of the consulting world should definitely read this book. Drawback: since it was published in a pre-digital era, so for tech-savvy junta looking for insights that could help them cope with the tips and tricks used nowadays in the laptops and ipads of the world, this book could be a bit of disappointment from that angle.

  20. 4 out of 5

    محمد بن عبدالعزيز

    I believe it's one of the essential books for business development and entrepreneurs although it's all about McKinsey's management consulting experience. Main Focuses: - Structure Thinking for most common business situations - Business and Data Storytelling - Presentation skills development - Communication skills I saw in some points of the book that it explains trivial situations in a very boring context. I believe it's one of the essential books for business development and entrepreneurs although it's all about McKinsey's management consulting experience. Main Focuses: - Structure Thinking for most common business situations - Business and Data Storytelling - Presentation skills development - Communication skills I saw in some points of the book that it explains trivial situations in a very boring context.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jordan

    Another business book that gives occasional business advice, but mostly platitudes and anecdotes. I went into this book expecting more than it had to offer. My thought was that McKinsey was the top consulting company and there must be something unique to that competitive advantage. The advantage mostly seems to stem from a little hard work and mostly existing personal connections. Advisor such as, “Analysis must be fact based”, and, “consider searching the internet for information on a client befo Another business book that gives occasional business advice, but mostly platitudes and anecdotes. I went into this book expecting more than it had to offer. My thought was that McKinsey was the top consulting company and there must be something unique to that competitive advantage. The advantage mostly seems to stem from a little hard work and mostly existing personal connections. Advisor such as, “Analysis must be fact based”, and, “consider searching the internet for information on a client before beginning an engagement” range from common sense to opinion. The writing style is good, not distracting from the content. It provides the writing in an accessible manner. The drawback is it comes from an employee. The author was a two year analyst for the company. This results in the feel of someone who has drunk the kool aid while mainly just being star struck at the brand of McKinsey. There is some good business advice nestled in this ad for McKinsey. But this book being out of time and out of insight ultimately make it just an ok book.

  22. 4 out of 5

    karthik Vidyaranya

    Part four is golden, rest of the parts are too mainstream towards the McKinsey.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Papuna

    Book exercised pretty chill, open and simple style for the communication of what one of the most demanding jobs on Earth is about. Liked it, however some things seemed just too obvious to be written in it. Overall, I recommend this book to everybody who think they want to get engaged in solution selling even at their present spots of employment not really stepping into consulting. some interesting for me excerpts follow • Mckinsey is to management as Cartier is to jewels • Firms strict policy: up Book exercised pretty chill, open and simple style for the communication of what one of the most demanding jobs on Earth is about. Liked it, however some things seemed just too obvious to be written in it. Overall, I recommend this book to everybody who think they want to get engaged in solution selling even at their present spots of employment not really stepping into consulting. some interesting for me excerpts follow • Mckinsey is to management as Cartier is to jewels • Firms strict policy: up or out • On an engagement Mckinsites will search for key drivers in their quest to add value • The cost of all management consulting in the application of objective analysis by dispassionate outsiders • Forewarned is forearmed • The organization you work for is your client • Problem solving is everything you do at Mckinsey • A part of you is always asking why something is always done in this ways this the best way it can be done? • Mckinsey solutions are always : - Fact based - Rigidly structured - Hypothesis driven • Hierarchy in Mc 1. client 2. firm 3. you • Never fear the facts with them you lay the path to solution • Gathering and analyzing facts is your raison d’etre • Mckinsey-ites are generalists they know a little about a lot of things • Mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive –MECE – sine qua non of the problem-solving process at MCK • A good MCK issue contains neither less than two nor more than five list items, of course three is the best • For building initial hypothesis digest as much facts about the industry as possible and look for the key drivers • Mckinsey builds issue trees • Ill produced by teams is much stronger than by individuals, most us are poor critics of our own thinking • Increase profitability problem is the business equivalent of patient telling the doctor I don’t feel well • Forces at work – identifying client’s suppliers, customers, competitors and substitute products • Similarities between problems does not mean that similar problems have similar solutions – if all you have is hammer than every problem seems like a nail • Verify your gut with facts • Don't make the facts fit your solution • Even best solution is useless if your client can not implement them • If I can do three things I’ll do three biggest • 80/20 is the problem solving rule of thumb at the firm –e.g. 80% of profits come from 20% of customers • Rather than dividing the pie more fairly we increased the size of the pie • Don't try to boil the ocean. Ignore most of the data you can work on. People should be able to absorb it • Focus on the factors that affect your business – key drivers • Square Law of Computation – for every component of a system, every equation of the problem, the amount of computation required to solve the system, increases at least as fast as the square of the number of equations • Know your solution so thoroughly that you can explain it clearly and precisely in 30 seconds – elevator test • Little wins matter – pluck quickly low hanging fruit - whether it is your boss or client keep him happy let him think he is your top priority • Impossible to do everything yourself all the time – few people have brain power and energy to be one-man show all the time • Have big picture – does this really matter? • Admitting you don’t have a clue is a lot less costly than bluffing • Don't accept I don’t have an idea as an answer, dig with selected questions • Business problems are like mice, they go unnoticed until they start nibbling your cheese. People who don’t have mice won’t be interested until the mice show up. Then they want to know if you have the mouse trap but MCK doesn’t sell • Make sure your name is the one your customers think of when they have a need you can fill • When clients come to MCK they want their problem to be fixed yesterday and for nothing • Tell your client you’re doing x and y but not z but then to the team that you’ve already promised your client x y and z. than they work to its limit as client thinks • By accepting any task you are setting up yourself for a fail – try to get more time or break up task into bitesize chunks • If you face complex problem put up a team • Intellectual horsepower is everything, try to find smartest people regardless of their experience or hygiene • If you have complex data to decipher you need number crunchers, regardless of whether they can simultaneously walk and chew gum • When team bonding, try to get teams significant others to be involved • Steer a steady course – if you change your mind too quickly team becomes demoralized and confused they should see value in what they’re doing • Make your boss look good – quid pro quo hierarchy • Make sure your boss knows everything he needs to know • Whatever the problem chances are some one somewhere has worked on something similar • They use PDNET practice development pretty well • Get the company’s annual, read skeptically messages to shareholders • Look for the outliers and the best practice • First of all before going to an interview in a Mckinsey style you have to be prepared, you should have your interview guide • Write the questions to which you really need to get answers, What do you really need from this interview? What are you trying to achieve? Why are you talking to this person? • You have to approach every person in the organization differently • Don’t dive into sensitive areas like what are your responsibilities or how long have you been with the company • Ask about the industry overall. Help the interviewee to warm up • Ask questions to which you already know answers to check the interviewee’s honesty • Look at it and ask yourself what are the three things I most want to know by the end of the interview? • At the end of the interview ask the interviewee if there’s anything else he’d like to say or any question you forgot to ask • Always let the people do talking • Nature abhors the vacuum chances silence make it and they will start talking • Have the interviewee’s boss set up the meeting • Interview in pairs, ask open questions and paraphrase what you hear • Use Columbo tactic, before the end of the interview excuse me maam I forgot to ask something • If someone says something blatantly false like that you have to challenge him – establish credibility • When going for brainstorming be prepared • There are no bad ideas while brainstorming as well as bad questions • Be structured – presentation should be MECE • Before actual presentation nitpicking changes no longer add value • Good business presentation should contain nothing new for audience • Use the waterfall chart to show the flow • Information is to your team what gasoline is to a cars engine • Mushroom method is unproductive • Frequent meetings are good unnecessarily long ones are not • Communicate with your team openly and frequently • A good business message has three attributes : brevity, thoroughness and structure • Be just a bit paranoid • One true hierarchy: client firm and you • Make sure that members of the team understand why their efforts are important to you and beneficial to them • Who pays you, should be a part of the problem solving • Communicate your solution to every level • Treat subordinates well give them room to grow and tell them clearly your needs • Mckinseys mission is to build a firm that is able to attract develop excite, motivate and retain exceptional people • The firm hunts first and foremost for analytical ability • Succeeding in case interview requires breaking the problem apart, asking relevant questions and making reasonable assumptions when necessary • Some rejected super intelligent nasty people • Ony do things you’re comfortable to read about you in WSJ about yourself • Whatever you’re doing someone else has done it before • Honesty and integrity – value it strongly • Structured thinking, clear language, a meritocracy with the obligation to dissent and professional objectivity allow an organization and its people to reach their maximum potential • In corporate world average caliber employee is far below Mckinsey’s least intelligent • Fact-based, structured thinking combined with professional integrity will get you on the road to your business goals

  24. 5 out of 5

    Jan Sumerakin

    Highly insightful, though a bit outdated.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Vimal Sevak

    Hmmm , It was interesting to pick the book with big brand of " Mckinsey Way" . I had lot of expectation with this book on business problem solving but book failed to do it. If you are just management graduate , it may found interesting but for the experienced professional its just normal guidelines. I would love to rate it higher side if Rasiel has added some tools / technics / Models in this book . It may be because of confidentiality agreement with Mckinsey , he has not added it in the part . Hmmm , It was interesting to pick the book with big brand of " Mckinsey Way" . I had lot of expectation with this book on business problem solving but book failed to do it. If you are just management graduate , it may found interesting but for the experienced professional its just normal guidelines. I would love to rate it higher side if Rasiel has added some tools / technics / Models in this book . It may be because of confidentiality agreement with Mckinsey , he has not added it in the part . But for the title of book , it is must required to add some real life models. I would like to recommend this book to management pass out students so they can have bit more clarity on their understanding of organization . For Professional , you can go through it in one sitting and can predict the chapters and contents.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Sneha Bhargava

    Don’t think I should have read this book. I already have had the consulting experience and McKinsey experience is not much different. Also, reading this book would bring anyone down about the lack of possibility of getting into McKinsey. In summary, you work long hours, so your life is miserable. You can’t talk openly, cause of politics, and you can’t get in because you have to be from a top school with exceptional grades. Thanks Ethan M Rasiel for showing me the reality that I had in the back o Don’t think I should have read this book. I already have had the consulting experience and McKinsey experience is not much different. Also, reading this book would bring anyone down about the lack of possibility of getting into McKinsey. In summary, you work long hours, so your life is miserable. You can’t talk openly, cause of politics, and you can’t get in because you have to be from a top school with exceptional grades. Thanks Ethan M Rasiel for showing me the reality that I had in the back of my head already.

  27. 5 out of 5

    Rajesh

    Essentially doesnt offer too much insight into the tools that make McConsulting so valued. However, it is a very simple read touting the basic tenets of problem solving, the lifestyle of a consultant, the "firm"'s ethos touched upon on a superficial basis. Takeaways...MECE, information flow, doing the best one can within time and resource limits, hypothesis driven approaches etc. Essentially doesnt offer too much insight into the tools that make McConsulting so valued. However, it is a very simple read touting the basic tenets of problem solving, the lifestyle of a consultant, the "firm"'s ethos touched upon on a superficial basis. Takeaways...MECE, information flow, doing the best one can within time and resource limits, hypothesis driven approaches etc.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Prashant

    This book could be your preliminary coursework on How to be a Consultant? Very lucidly written and replete with example from the company itself this book is indispensable if you want to know the life about the life of a consultant.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Deepak Imandi

    An utter disaster. The book doesn't give a sneak-peek into the inner workings of Mckinsey, it just touches nooks and corners of the firm in a superficial manner. Uninteresting and too boring to recommend. #NotRecommended An utter disaster. The book doesn't give a sneak-peek into the inner workings of Mckinsey, it just touches nooks and corners of the firm in a superficial manner. Uninteresting and too boring to recommend. #NotRecommended

  30. 5 out of 5

    Sudheendra Fadnis

    I have an omnivorous taste when it comes to reading books, and my choice of books is driven by my curiosity. If I want to learn any subject, I have a thumb rule. I would read the best 5 books written on that subject. Recently, I was fascinated by the subject of consulting, and decided to master the subject by reading the best books ever written on that subject. So,when I typed in Google, “ the best books on consulting, the book The McKinsey Way was among the top 5 books. Hence, I decided to give I have an omnivorous taste when it comes to reading books, and my choice of books is driven by my curiosity. If I want to learn any subject, I have a thumb rule. I would read the best 5 books written on that subject. Recently, I was fascinated by the subject of consulting, and decided to master the subject by reading the best books ever written on that subject. So,when I typed in Google, “ the best books on consulting, the book The McKinsey Way was among the top 5 books. Hence, I decided to give it a try. So, in this blog post, I want to share with you whatever knowledge I have gained from reading the book. The book McKinsey Way was written by Mr. Ethan M Rasiel, a former consultant who worked for McKinsey. Having been with McKinsey for few years, he enlightens the readers about the so called closely guarded secrets, techniques and concepts which McKinsey has been using for many years to solve the pressing problems of the major corporations and the different governments of the world at large. The McKinsey, among the elite corporate circles, is known as the Firm. It was founded in the year 1926. The firm’s hierarchy is plain and interesting. First comes the client, second the Firm and third are the employees. To start with, the author introduces the readers to the concept of MECE. It stands for Mutually Exclusive and Collectively Exhaustive . To simplify it,MECE is a way of thinking about a problem.With the given constraints and taking into account certain incompatibilities, how to arrive at a solution. Anybody who steps into McKinsey, the first thing that h/she would learn is MECE. It is an indispensable tool for solving the problems of the clients.Apart from this there are so many conceptual tools,such as the 80/20 rule being the obvious one, which would help not only an aspiring consultant for instance, but also the business managers and even the individuals with problem solving. One of the key takeaways from the book is that, what doctors are for the individuals, the consulting firms are for the businesses. Individuals go to the doctors because they have some health issues, organizations too approach consultants because of their inefficiencies and sub optimal productivity, or they just want to grow bigger , or to grab a bigger share in the market. You might be wondering, why not the firms do the analysis themselves instead of paying the consulting firms in millions of dollars. The catch here is that, corporations , just like individuals lack the insight about their problems. Hence, a dispassionate outsider perspective with objective analysis is how the consulting firms help the organizations or the governments in attaining their objectives.To elaborate a bit more, a patient with a headache might think that it’s just a simple headache, but it might be something more serious than that.Similarly, even the consultant’s job is not to just solve the problems posed by the client, but have a look at the bigger picture and point out to them the real problems, which might be in some cases,more serious than they have actually imagined. That being said, let me now take you through the exact problem solving methodology of McKinsey. 1.Initial Hypothesis- It is how you actually frame the problem or define the problem 2.Fact Based Analysis- Gather data from as many sources as you can for the objective analysis of the problem. 3.Rigid structure- Every problem has to go through a set pathyway of problem solving. Now, you might be wondering, how does McKinsey gets clients? The obvious answer that comes to anybody’s mind is selling. But no.The firm doesn’t do active selling. The Firm doesn’t sell its services by cold calling or marketing or any other means that you can think of. Rather doing that, it markets itself. And, there is a big difference. What the firm does is , it encourage its employees to actively participate in networking events, become the board members of the organizations,play advisory role to the NGO’s etc. In this way, so much of leads get generated informally. Word of mouth marketing, being the most powerful one, is how business is generated for McKinsey. It is every MBA grad’s dream to get into McKinsey Firm. To get into the Firm, is not as easy as you imagine it to be. They look for stellar academic record, MBA from a premier university in the world, and yes you need to be of average intelligence to make the cut.But, the story doesn’t end there. Even after you become a part of the McKinsey, you have to prove your mettle, as, the organization is purely meritocratic.You are only as good as your last assignment. There is no room for mediocrity at all. The consultants , known as the Engagement Mangers work in a small team of 3-6 members, and go on to form very close bonds with each other. Working with McKinsey can be an intense learning experience. Astonishingly, the average tenure of a consultant in the McKinsey is 2 years. Need I say more? This book is over all, a good book, though it didn’t cover all the aspects of consulting. This book would have been even better if the concepts were illustrated with specific case studies, so that the reader would understand the context better. Moreover, this books has routine advice such as the importance of team bonding, active listening, obsession to service among others. That’s why I felt, as the book progresses, only 70 percent of it is actually worth reading. The rest of the content can be found in other business books too.

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