McKinsey’s Larry Kanarek on Dealing with Activist Investors

Are activist investors having a profound effect on American board rooms? McKinsey Director Larry Kanarek says, “I think the answer is absolutely yes.” How should executives respond?

ACTIVIST investors are having a profound impact on American board rooms. Faced with this new situation, Larry Kanarek argues that executives should work with activists, rather than against them, in order to improve performance.

Kanarek may be right, but before we consider how executives should respond to activists, let’s first be clear on what we mean by “an activist”.

Basically, activists are individuals or groups that provide an alternative investment vehicle, like private equity or hedge funds, that seeks to achieve above average returns for investors by doing three things:

  1. Firstly, they identify companies that are under performing; this may be due to any number of reasons including mismanagement, a high cost structure, or poor corporate strategy;
  2. Once they have a company in their crosshairs, they buy a large number of shares in the target and seek to take control or gain influence by forming a voting bloc or obtaining a seat on the company’s board; and
  3. Finally, the activist attempts to use their influence to effect an organisational change (usually a major one) with the aim of increasing performance, raising the share price and selling its shares for a profit.

So, in essence, activists make a living by improving organisational performance. This sounds pretty reasonable, right?

Well, not so fast.

While it may be true that executives of public companies can be complacent in pursuing growth, and that this can attract activist investors in search of profit, we disagree with Kanarek’s broad and sweeping argument that executives should necessarily and happily work with activists in order to improve performance.

We suggest instead that executives take a more considered approach. Boards should deal with activists on case by case basis, and keep in mind that the long term best interests of the company and the interests of the activist will often not be aligned.

This view is based on two observations:

1. Short term profit versus long term growth: As Kanarek tells us himself, activists are seeking to achieve above average returns for investors. Given the time value of money (that is, a dollar today is worth more than a dollar tomorrow), activists by their nature are interested in short term profits. The problem for executives is that there are lots of ways to increase short term performance that can undermine the long term stability and growth of a company. For example, increasing the use of debt, divesting low growth (yet countercyclical) businesses, firing loyal long term (and hence expensive) employees, or paying dividends instead of holding cash.

Richard Branson, who recently spoke at the Skoll World Forum, outlined the predicament that executives of public companies find themselves in when he stated:

“The approach to running … private companies is fundamentally different to that of running public companies. Short-term taxable profits with good dividends are a prerequisite of public life. Avoiding short-term taxable profits and seeking long-term capital growth is the best approach to growing private companies.”

2. Stakeholder versus shareholder: Kanarek tells us that activists are all about driving shareholder value:

“[In a] few situations, they have gotten management in boardrooms, at least across America, on edge, talking about them, worrying about them. And by the way, I’m not so sure that’s a bad thing, because it means they’re asking themselves hard questions about whether they’re doing the kinds of things that drive shareholder value, which is what activists are all about anyhow.”

Or, to state Kanarek’s position another way, “Activists are all about driving shareholder value. That is, they are in it for themselves. They are not interested in driving value for customers, employees or the community.”

Executives should be cautious about favouring one set of stakeholders over another, and should certainly be skeptical about the argument that companies exist solely to drive shareholder value. For activists, this is a convenient story. However, in the long term it doesn’t ring true.

If executives are serious about the long term interests of shareholders then they need to focus on serving their customers. A company that loses the desire to serve its customers will soon be denied the privilege of doing so. Such a company is like a ship without a sail, it loses the ability to propel itself and will soon need to be fixed (restructured), salvaged (acquired) or scuttled (liquidated).

Activists are not necessarily illegitimate, nor should their activity be banned. But, we believe that Kanarek’s argument provides only one side of the story, the activist’s side.

Executives need to take a balanced and long term view, especially when dealing with people who, by their very nature, have short term interests at heart.

Why Are Public Companies Too Short Term Focused?

Public Companies Too Short Term Focused 2Boards of public companies, responding to investor demands, often pressure management to meet short term earnings estimates

DOMINIC Barton, global MD at McKinsey, talks with Tom Keene about how corporate boards of publicly listed companies tend to be too short term focused.

Barton explains that corporate boards, responding to investor demands, often pressure management to generate strong quarterly earnings. An increasing trend over the last 30 years, this short term focus comes at the expense of longer term investments in the company’s future. Barton explains that, based on McKinsey research, 55% of CFOs will not take a value enhancing long term investment if it will negatively affect the company’s quarterly earnings.

If pressure from investors causes excessive short term focus, then one available solution for public companies is privatisation. Barton suggests that private companies have more time and opportunity to make bolder long term investments because they are not subject to constant scrutiny from investors.

This insight helps to explain Michael Dell’s plans to privatise Dell. Best known as a PC manufacturer, Dell aims to shift its business towards high-margin enterprise services, software and cloud computing. Dell’s Chief Commercial Officer, Steve Felice, has stated that privatising Dell will make transforming the business much easier:

“When you do something like that, it makes your results maybe less predictable … We don’t feel the current structure as a public company helps us move that transformation along. We would rather do it without people looking at quarterly results.” (The Australian)

2013 List: Global Strategy Consulting Firms

List of Global Strategy Firms for 2013

BELOW is a hand-picked list of leading Global Strategy Firms.

The litmus test we used to decide whether a firm is truly “global” was whether it has an office in Sydney. A fair litmus test? Maybe not, but seeing as Sydney is at the other end of the earth you would expect a truly global strategy firm to have an office there (if you want to see a list of purely Aussie strategy firms for 2013, click here).

The below list will be of interest to you if:

  • you want to work for a leading strategy firm, or
  • your company, non-profit or government agency is looking for quality strategic advice.

The firms are:

  1. Bain
  2. BCG
  3. McKinsey
  4. Accenture
  5. Archstone Consulting
  6. A.T. Kearney
  7. Booz & Company
  8. The Birchman Group
  9. CVA
  10. Deloitte
  11. Edgar, Dunn & Company
  12. L.E.K. Consulting
  13. Millward Brown
  14. Oliver Wyman
  15. Partners in Performance
  16. Peppers & Rogers Group
  17. PwC
  18. Simon Kuch & Partners

1. Bain & Company

Website: bain.com

Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company. Bain has 49 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Bain helps to transform companies into sharper, smarter, better versions of themselves. Bain’s mission is to help management teams create such high levels of economic value that together Bain and its clients can redefine their respective industries.

2. BCG

Website: bcg.com

Founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson, BCG has 79 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

BCG is a global management consulting firm and a leading advisor on business strategy. BCG partners with clients from the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors in all regions to identify their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges, and transform their enterprises.

3. McKinsey

Website: mckinsey.com

Founded in Chicago in 1926, McKinsey is arguably the world’s most prestigious consulting firm. McKinsey has 102 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

McKinsey is a global management consulting firm and trusted advisors to the world’s leading businesses, governments, and institutions.

4. Accenture

Website: accenture.com

Founded in 1989, Accenture has approximately 195 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Accenture has capabilities across all industries and business functions, conducts extensive research on the world’s most successful companies, and collaborates with clients to help them become high-performance businesses and governments.

5. Archstone Consulting

Website: archstoneconsulting.com

Archstone has 13 offices worldwide including Sydney, Hyderabad, London, New York, and San Franscisco.

Archstone offers a range of services including business strategy, technology services, outsourcing, and supply chain management.

6. A.T. Kearney

Website: atkearney.com

Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney has 57 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

A.T. Kearney’s services include strategy, innovation, sales & marketing, operations, strategic IT, and procurement.

7. Booz & Company

Website: booz.com

Founded in Chicago in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz. In 2008, Booz separated its operations from the U.S. Government consulting business. That company retained the name Booz Allen Hamilton. In 2009, Booz combined with U.S.-based management consultancy Katzenbach Partners, a leader in organisational performance. In 2012, Axon Advisory Partners joined Booz to launch Booz Digital, a full-service team of strategists, designers, and technologists who help companies turn ideas into digital businesses.

Booz has 60 offices worldwide including Sydney, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, London, New York, and San Francisco.

Booz is a leading global management consulting firm focused on serving and shaping the senior agenda of the world’s leading institutions. Booz works with its clients to identify and build the differentiating capabilities they need to outperform. Booz has experience across a broad range of industries including high technology, finance, and consumer products.

8. The Birchman Group

Website: thebirchmangroup.com

Birchman has 15 offices worldwide including Sydney, Johannesburg, and London.

Birchman is an international company that provides Consulting, Solution Delivery and Managed Services to many of the world’s leading organisations. Birchman provides six core services: Value Management, Business Change, Software Development, Enterprise Applications, IT Advisory, and Business Advisory.

9. CVA

Website: corporate-value.com

Founded in 1987, CVA has 16 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, London, and Boston.

CVA is a global strategy boutique which has experience across a broad range of industries including Telecom Media & Technology, Financial Services, Private Equity, and Mining Metals & Materials.

10. Deloitte

Website: deloitte.com

Founded in 1893 in the U.S., Deloitte has a strong global presence including offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Although offering a large number of accounting services, Deloitte also has a consulting practice. Deloitte Consulting offers a broad range of services including Pricing & Profitability Management, Enterprise Cost Management, M&A, Enterprise Sustainability, Finance Transformation, Governance Risk & Regulatory, Health Care Reform, and Infrastructure Transformation.

11. Edgar, Dunn & Company

Website: edgardunn.com

Founded in 1978 in the U.S., Edgar, Dunn & Company has 8 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, London, and San Francisco.

EDC is an independent strategy consulting firm that was founded on two fundamental principles of client service:

  • Provide deep expertise that enhances clients’ perspectives, and
  • Deliver actionable advice that enables clients to create measurable, sustainable change in their organisations.

EDC is recognised among the world’s pre-eminent experts in the payments industry. Additional areas of expertise include new financial services channels, technologies and markets, retail financial services, and e-business.

12. L.E.K. Consulting

Website: lek.com

Founded in 1983 in London, L.E.K. has 22 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Bombay, New Delhi, London, New York, and San Francisco.

L.E.K. is a global strategy consulting firm that counsels clients on key strategic issues, leveraging deep industry expertise and using analytical rigor to help them make informed decisions more quickly and solve their toughest and most critical business problems. L.E.K. has expertise in a broad range of industries and has a range of capabilities including Strategy, Shareholder Value Management, Mergers & Acquisitions support, Operations & Organisation and Marketing & Sales.

13. Millward Brown

Website: millwardbrown.com

Founded in 1973, Millward Brown has 85 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Millward Brown is passionate about helping clients grow great brands. They are experts in advertising, marketing communications, media, digital and brand equity research, and work with 90% of the world’s leading brands.

14. Oliver Wyman

Website: oliverwyman.com

Founded in New York in 1984, Oliver Wyman has 50 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

Oliver Wyman is a leading global management consulting firm that combines deep industry knowledge with specialised expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, and organisation transformation. As part of Marsh & McLennan Companies, Oliver Wyman is also able to draw on experts from its sister companies in the areas of brand and identity management, microeconomics, human capital strategies, and insurance.

15. Partners in Performance

Website: pipint.com.au

PIP has 9 offices worldwide including Sydney, Johannesburg, Toronto, and Atlanta.

PIP identifies and delivers performance improvement to industrial, resources and services companies, using a specialist team and a hands-on approach. PIP has three divisions: Resultant®, Transaction Services and Investment. The Resultant® Division works as business coaches applying practical frameworks to address issues including strategy, procurement, revenues, bottlenecking, costs, safety, environment, and organisational culture. The Transaction Services Division provides commercial due diligence for potential investment opportunities. The Investment Division looks for situations where PIP can improve the performance of an organisation through both financial and operational assistance.

16. Peppers & Rogers Group

Website: peppersandrogersgroup.com

Founded in 1993 by Don Peppers and Martha Rogers, Ph.D., PRG has 9 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, Johannesburg, and Stamford Connecticut.

PRG is a management consulting firm recognised as a leading authority and thought leader on customer-based strategies and underlying business initiatives. PRG has particular expertise in the following industries: Financial Services, Government, Telecommunications, and Airlines.

17. PwC

Website: pwc.com

Founded in 1998 out of the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PwC has historical roots going back around 150 years. PwC operates in 158 countries worldwide including offices in Sydney, Singapore, Hong Kong, Bombay, New Delhi, Johannesburg, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

PwC helps organisations and individuals create the value they’re looking for by delivering quality assurance, tax and advisory services.

18. Simon Kuch & Partners

Website: simon-kucher.com

Founded in 1985, SKP has 26 offices worldwide including Sydney, Singapore, London, Toronto, New York, and San Francisco.

SKP is a global management consulting firm focusing on strategy, marketing, pricing and sales.

A Perfect Storm: Growth in Public Sector Consulting

Cash strapped governments seek counsel in these tempestuous times

THE United States government has utilised management consultants for the past fifty years, beginning when McKinsey organised the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) in 1958. The number of consultants hired for public sector projects has been steadily increasing ever since, spiking to new heights over the past few years in response to the tumultuous state of public sector finances. Top management consulting firms including Bain & Company and Boston Consulting Group have been marketing themselves to state and municipal governments as the solution to stringent austerity requirements. When approaching government clients in the United States, BCG strives to create a “lean” model: strategies focusing on contracting out nonessential government services and curtailing union power to increase flexibility.

The trend towards the prevalence of management consulting in the public sector most recently has been seen in the city of Detroit, Michigan. The emergency financial manager, hired by the state as a final attempt to avoid bankruptcy, has agreed to spend over $14 million this year on a range of financial and legal professional services. A city wrought by a failing auto-industry has been steadily losing its affluent tax base for decades, culminating now in a massive budget deficit and rapidly maturing long-term liabilities. A complete restructuring is needed to remedy the problems resulting from years of corruption and inefficiency. The three-consulting firm team assembled by Kevin Orr, the bankruptcy lawyer appointed as the city’s emergency financial manager, looks set to gain significant business from Detroit’s public sector restructuring.

Management consulting firms have worked successfully with municipal governments across the United States, particularly in the public education sector. BCG collaborated with the city of Philadelphia to completely revitalise their struggling public school system and develop private charter schools. Consultants in Colorado have captured a significant percentage of federal funds flowing into the state for education management, approximately 36% or $10 billion.

The ability of management consulting firms to successfully serve both private and public sector clients has led the industry to continued success, and further growth looks set to occur. Government organisations continue to seek out management consulting firms with the knowledge and skills necessary to work through the bureaucratic complexity of government organisations. At the same time, firms are seizing the opportunity to have a significant positive impact on the lives of millions of fellow citizens.

MECE Framework

MECE stands for “mutually exclusive” and “collectively exhaustive”

MECE

1. Background

MECE stands for “mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive” and is one of the hallmarks of problem solving at McKinsey (The McKinsey Way by Ethan M. Rasiel).

2. Benefit of the MECE framework

You can use the MECE framework to help you think clearly about a business problem.  The framework aids clear thinking in two ways:

  1. No overlap: categories of information should be grouped so that there are no overlaps, which helps to avoid double counting; and
  2. No gaps: all categories of information taken together should cover all possible options, which helps to avoid overlooking information.

3. MECE explained

MECE is a framework used to organise information which is:

  1. Mutually exclusive: information should be grouped into categories so that each category is separate and distinct without any overlap; and
  2. Collectively exhaustive: all categories taken together should deal with all possible options without leaving any gaps.

4. MECE tree diagram

The MECE tree diagram is a way of graphically organising information into categories which are mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive. The diagram as a whole represents the problem at hand; each branch stemming from the starting node of the tree represents a major issue that needs to be considered; each branch stemming from one of these major issues represents a sub-issue that needs to be considered; and so on.

A major issues list should not contain more than five issues, with three being the ideal number (see Rule of Three). If you are not able to categorise a problem in 5 major issues there is always the option of creating a category of “other issues”.

The MECE framework can be applied to a lot of different business problems, for example, “what is the source of Coca-Cola’s declining global profitability?”.  Coca-Cola could tackle this business problem by using a MECE tree diagram to help it locate the source of declining profitability.

MECE tree diagram v2

5. Resources

Victor Cheng, former McKinsey consultant and creator of CaseInterview.com, indicates that:

The definitive book on this subject is the Pyramid Principle by Barbara Minto. It’s a book that describes an approach to communicating complex ideas in easy to understand ways. It is based on the MECE Principles and was a book often referred to and used while I was at McKinsey.

[For more information on consulting concepts and frameworks, please download “The Little Blue Consulting Handbook“.]

Strategy and general business consulting firms in Australia 2012

[Last Updated: 31 May 2012]

THE list of strategy and general business consulting firms is part of the full list of consulting firms in Australia:

Tier One – Global

1. Bain
2. BCG
3. McKinsey

Tier One – Australian

4. Nous Group
5. Pacific Strategy Partners
6. Port Jackson Partners

Classic – Global

7. Accenture
8. A.T. Kearney
9. Booz Allen Hamilton
10. The Birchman Group
11. Deloitte
12. LEK
13. Oliver Wyman
14. PwC

Classic – Australian

15. Crescendo Partners
16. Momentum Partners
17. Oyster Consulting
18. SMT Consulting

1. Bain & Company

Website: www.bain.com

Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company. Bain operates in 47 offices across 30 countries. In Ausralia, Bain operates out of Sydney, Melbourne and Perth.

Bain is well-known for offering services like due diligence, IPO preparation, portfolio profit improvement and revenue enhancement geared toward leveraged buyout and venture capital firms.

2. BCG

Website: www.bostonconsulting.com.au

Founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson, BCG operates in more than 75 offices worldwide. In Australia, BCG operates out of Sydney, Canberra, Melbourne and Perth.

BCG specialises in business strategy and draws most of its clients from the 500 largest corporations worldwide, as well as working with smaller companies, non-profit organisations and government agencies.

3. McKinsey

Website: www.mckinsey.com.au

Founded in Chicago in 1926, McKinsey remains one of the world’s most prestigious consulting firms. It is worth noting that, as at May 2012, McKinsey continues to receive negative publicity due to the ongoing Rajat Gupta insider trading scandal. It is still unclear what the ultimate impact of the scandal will be on McKinsey’s brand. McKinsey operates in 98 locations worldwide. In Australia, McKinsey operates out of Sydney and Melbourne.

McKinsey works internationally in a broad range of industries with large private sector institutions, governments and other non-profit institutions.

4. Nous Group

Website: www.nousgroup.com.au

Founded in 1999 by Tim Orton (ex-McKinsey), Nous Group has grown to be one of Australia’s most influential strategy firms. In 2012, the BRW Client Choice Awards named Nous “best management consulting firm in Australia” including most innovative firm and best client outcomes from across the professional services sector. Nous has offices in Melbourne, Sydney, Canberra, Perth, Adelaide and Manila and a workforce of 150 people that includes some of Australia’s leading critical thinkers, ex senior bureaucrats and business people.

Nous is best known for its ethos to create positive influence and use bold thinking to solve complex societal and business challenges. Nous service lines include business strategy, public policy, leadership & people development, organisational capability, and information management & technology.

5. Pacific Strategy Partners

Website: www.pacificstrategy.com.au

Founded in 2003, Pacific Strategy Partners has offices in Sydney and Melbourne.

Pacific Strategy Partners deploys low leveraged teams to provide clients with Strategy Development, Operational Improvement, and Transaction Support.

6. Port Jackson Partners

Website: www.pjpl.com.au

Founded in July 1991 by Terrey Arcus and Fred Hilmer to counsel the CEOs of select corporations. PJP is a boutique consultancy firm based in Sydney.

PJP’s Australian clients come from a diverse range of industries (e.g. financial sector, service industry, and industrial sector) and are typically top 100 listed companies, but a few are large government owned corporations. PJP focuses on helping companies with strategy and organisation.

7. Accenture

Website: www.accenture.com

Established in 1989, Accenture has offices in more than 200 cities in 54 countries. In Australia, Accenture operates in Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney.

Accenture offers management consulting services covering finance & performance management, talent & organisation performance, strategy, customer relationship management, and supply chain management.

8. A.T. Kearney

Website: www.atkearney.com

Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney operates across 57 locations world wide. In Australia, A.T. Kearney operates out of Sydney and Melbourne.

A.T. Kearney’s mission is to help the world’s leading corporations gain and sustain a competitive advantage, and to achieve profound, tangible results for its clients. Services offered include complexity management, enterprise transformation, operations, procurement solutions, strategic information technology, strategy and sustainability.

9. Booz Allen Hamilton

Website: www.boozallen.com

Founded in Chicago in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz, BAH operates in 115 offices across six continents. In Ausralia, BAH operates out of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, Brisbane, and Canberra.

BAH has its main area of expertise in strategy and technology consulting, working in both the commercial and government sectors.

10. The Birchman Group

Website: www.thebirchmangroup.com

The Birchman Group operates across 7 countries. In Australia, Birchman operates in Sydney, Perth, Brisbane, Melbourne, Canberra, and Adelaide.

The Birchman Group provides six core services: value management, business advisory, IT advisory, enterprise applications, software development, and business change.

11. Deloitte

Website: www.deloitte.com

Founded in 1893 in the US, Deloitte has a strong global presence and operates in all capital cities of Australia.

Although offering a large number of accounting services, Deloitte also has a consulting practice. The consulting practice offers HR, outsourcing, strategy & operations, and technology consulting.

12. LEK Consulting

Website: lekconsulting.com.au

Founded in 1983, LEK operates in 20 offices worldwide. LEK has offices in Sydney, Melbourne and Auckland.

LEK’s portfolio of services draws on its core capabilities of research, benchmarking, modelling, analysis and strategy development to help companies determine the best way forward.

13. Oliver Wyman

Website: www.oliverwyman.com

Founded in New York in 1984, Oliver Wyman operates in 60 offices across 23 countries. In Australia, Oliver Wyman operates out of Sydney.

Services offered by Oliver Wyman include business transformation, organisation & leadership, finance & risk, marketing & sales, operations & technology, and strategy.

14. PwC

Website: www.pwc.com

Created in 1998 out of the merger of Price Waterhouse and Coopers & Lybrand, PwC has historical roots going back some 150 years.  PwC  operates in 159 countries worldwide. In Australia, PwC has offices in Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Newcastle, Perth, Sydney and Townsville.

PwC provides assurance, advisory and tax services. PwCs consulting arm indicates that “people engage PricewaterhouseCoopers to help them design, manage and execute lasting change.”

15. Crescendo Partners

Website: www.crescendopartners.com.au

Crescendo Partners is based in Sydney and has extensive experience providing value to clients across the globe.

Crescendo Partners is an elite high value consulting, advisory and private equity firm. Services include strategy consulting, M&A support, capital raising, and private equity investment.

16. Momentum Partners

Website: www.momentumpartners.com.au

Founded in 2003, Momentum Partners has offices in Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.

Services include strategy, operational performance, organisational effectiveness, corporate advisory, business systems and processes. Momentum has consulted to thousands of different organisations across more than 50 countries. Clients include public and governmental organisations, private companies ranging from large global corporations to small, fast growing start-ups.

17. Oyster Consulting

Website: www.oysterconsulting.com

Oyster Consulting is based in Perth.

Oyster Consulting has strong resource industry experience, and offers a range of services including corporate strategy and business planning, business analysis, services optimisation, business improvement, and organisational design services.

18. SMT Consulting

Website: www.smt.com.au

SMT is located in Sydney and Melbourne.

SMT Consulting is a specialist provider of supply chain and logistics services.

List of strategy consulting firms in London 2011

List of strategy consulting firms in London

  1. Accenture
  2. Alpha Financial Markets Consulting
  3. Alvarez & Marsal
  4. Applied Predictive Technologies
  5. Applied Value Group
  6. Arthur D. Little
  7. A.T. Kearney
  8. Bain & Company
  9. BearingPoint
  10. Booz & Company
  11. Boston Consulting Group
  12. BTS
  13. Cambridge Strategic Management Group
  14. Candesic
  15. Capgemini
  16. Cedar Management Consulting
  17. Celerant Consulting
  18. Deloitte Consulting
  19. Frost & Sullivan
  20. Global Intelligence Alliance
  21. The Hackett Group
  22. LEK
  23. McKinsey
  24. Parthenon Group
  25. Roland Berger

1. Accenture

Website: www.accenture.com

Address:

Accenture
1 Plantation Place
30 Fenchurch Street
London EC3M 3BD
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 844 4000

Founded in 1950, Accenture has offices in more than 200 cities worldwide.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company. Its management consulting services include CRM, finance and performance management, process and innovation performance, risk management, strategy, supply chain management, and talent and organisation performance services.

2. Alpha Financial Markets Consulting

Websites: www.alphafmc.com

Address:

Alpha
60 Gresham Street
London EC2V 7BB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 796 9300

Founded in 2003, Alpha Financial Markets Consulting is based in the UK and also has offices in Luxembourg, Paris and NY.

Alpha is a leading global provider of consulting, benchmarking and implementation services to financial institutions with a particular focus on the asset and wealth management industries and the companies that service them.

3. Alvarez & Marsal

Website: www.alvarezandmarsal.com

Address:

Alvarez & Marsal
First Floor, One Finsbury Circus
London EC2M 7EB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 715 5200

Founded in 1983, Alvarez & Marsal is headquartered in New York and has 17 offices worldwide.

A&M specialises in turnaround and interim management, performance management and business advisory services. It also delivers specialist operational, consulting and industry expertise to management and investors seeking to accelerate performance and maximise value across corporate and investment lifecycles.

4. Applied Predictive Technologies

Website: www.predictivetechnologies.com

Address:

Applied Predictive Technologies
Berkeley Square House, 2nd Floor
London W1J 6BD
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 692 0772

Founded in 1999, APT has offices America, Europe, Asia and Australia.

APT provides software and consulting services for consumer-focused companies.

5. Applied Value Group

Website: www.appliedvaluegroup.com

Address:

Applied Value Group
53 Chandos Place
Covent Garden
London WC2N 4HS
United Kingdom 

Tel: +44 207 812 6635

Founded in 1997, AVG is headquartered in Boston with 7 offices worldwide: Stockholm, Shanghai, New York, London, Hong Kong, Detroit, and Boston.

AVG provides corporate entrepreneurship programs, financing and deal structuring, e-procurement strategy, technology portfolio management, operations strategy, acquisition analysis and valuation, post-merger integration, and corporate strategy.

6. Arthur D. Little

Website: www.adlittle.co.uk

Address:

Arthur D. Little Limited
2nd Floor, Shackleton House
4 Battlebridge Lane
London SE1 2HP
United Kingdom 

Tel: +44 207 766 0200

Founded in 1886, ADL has office in over 20 countries.

ADL is a global management consultancy specialising in strategy and operations management, serving major corporations and organisations worldwide.

7. A.T. Kearney

Website: www.atkearney.com

Address:

A.T. Kearney Limited
Lansdowne House
Berkeley Square
London W1J 6ER
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 468 8000

Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney is headquartered in Chicago and has 55 offices in 38 countries.

A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm focusing on strategic and operational issues faced by CEOs. Expertise includes supply chain management, growth strategies, mergers, innovation and complexity, IT strategies, transformation, procurement and sustainability.

8. Bain & Company

Website: www.bain.com

Address:

Bain & Company, Inc. United Kingdom
83 Piccadilly
London W1J 8JA
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 969 6000

Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company. Bain is headquartered in Boston and operates in 46 offices across 29 countries.

Bain focuses on strategy, marketing, organisation, operations, technology and M&A across all industries and geographies.

9. BearingPoint

Website: www.bearingpointconsulting.com

Address:

BearingPoint Limited
16 Great Queen Street
London WC2B 5DG
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 203 206 9600

Founded in 1997, BearingPoint has offices across 15 countries.

BearingPoint brings together management and technology capabilities to align and optimise processes, IT and operating models with business strategy.

10. Booz & Company

Website: www.booz.com

Address:

Booz & Company
7 Savoy Court
Strand
London WC2R 0JP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 393 3333

Founded in 1914, Booz has 60 offices in 33 countries.

Booz has its main area of expertise in strategy and technology consulting, working in the commercial sector.

11. Boston Consulting Group

Website: www.bcg.com

Address:

Boston Consulting Group
20 Manchester Square
London W1U 3PZ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 753 5353

Founded in 1963, BCG is headquartered in Boston with offices in 42 countries.

BCG delivers customised solutions that resolve clients’ most significant issues and create lasting competitive advantage.

12.  BTS

Website: www.bts.com

Address:

BTS
346 Kensington High Street
London W14 8NS
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 348 1800

Founded in 1986, BTS is headquartered in Stockholm and has 25 offices worldwide.

BTS is a global leader in strategy implementation through the use of business simulations and experiential learning programs.

13. Cambridge Strategic Management Group

Website: www.csmg-global.com

Address:

CSMG – London
Descartes House
8 Gate Street
London WC2A 3HP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 643 5550

Founded in 1989, CSMG has offices in Boston and London.

CSMG is a strategy consultancy for the communications, technology and digital media industries.

14. Candesic

Website: www.candesic.com

Address:

Candesic Limited
New Zealand House
80 Haymarket
London SW1Y 4TQ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 096 7680

Founded in 2002, Candesic is headquartered in London and also has offices in Paris and Madrid.

Candesic offers strategic review and performance benchmarking studies, operational risk model diagnosis, and business process redesign.

15. Capgemini

Website: www.capgemini.com

Address:

Capgemini
40 Holborn Viaduct
London EC1N 2PB
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 936 3800

Founded in 1967, Capgemini is headquartered in Paris and operates in 40 countries.

Capgemini is a global leader in consulting, technology, outsourcing, and local professional services.

16. Cedar Management Consulting

Website: www.cedar-consulting.com

Address:

Cedar Management Consulting
140 White House
9 Belvedere Road
London SE1 8YP
United Kingdom

Email: [email protected]

Founded in 1985, Cedar has a network of offices in 15 cities worldwide.

Cedar is a global management consulting firm, assisting in the areas of strategy, process, strategic HR and IT.

17. Celerant Consulting

Website: www.celerantconsulting.com

Address:

Celerant Consulting Holdings Limited
Avalon House
72 Lower Mortlake Road
Richmond
Surrey TW9 2JY
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0) 208 338 5000

Founded in 1987, Celerant has 38 offices worldwide.

Celerant is a global Operational Strategy and Implementation consultancy specialising in performance improvement.

18. Deloitte Consulting

Website: www.deloitte.com

Address:

Deloitte
2 New Street Square
London EC4A 3BZ
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7936 3000

Founded as an accountancy office in London in 1845, Deloitte has member firms in nearly 140 countries worldwide.

“Deloitte” is the brand under which a collection of independent firms collaborate globally to provide audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services.

19. Frost & Sullivan

Website: www.frost.com

Address:

Frost & Sullivan
4 Grosvenor Gardens
London SW1W 0DH
United Kingdom

Founded in 1961, Frost & Sullivan is headquartered in San Antonio, Texas and has 40 offices worldwide.

Frost & Sullivan’s Growth Consulting services encompass customised research, business strategy, and organisational development initiatives.

20. Global Intelligence Alliance

Website: www.globalintelligence.com

Address:

Global Intelligence Alliance UK
Holborn Gate, 1st floor, 330 High Holborn
London WC1V 7QT
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 203 8382

Founded in 1995, GIA is headquartered in Helsinki and has 25 offices worldwide.

GIA is a strategic market intelligence and advisory group which offers industry expertise coupled with research know-how and keen knowledge of local business and markets in more than 100 countries.

21. The Hackett Group

Website: www.thehackettgroup.com

Address:

The Hackett Group
Martin House
5 Martin Lane
London EC4R 0DP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 20 7398 9100

Founded in 1997, Hackett is headquartered in Miami, Florida and has 13 offices worldwide.

The Hackett Group is a global strategic business advisory, operations consulting and finance strategy firm with expertise in business best practices, business benchmarking, and transformation consulting services including strategy and operations, working capital management, and globalisation advice.

22. L.E.K.

Website: www.lek.com

Address:

L.E.K.
40 Grosvenor Place
London SW1X 7JL
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 389 7200

Founded in1983, LEK is headquartered in London and has 20 offices worldwide.

L.E.K. Consulting’s services draw on its core capabilities of research, benchmarking, modelling, analysis and strategy development to help companies determine with precision the best way forward.

23. McKinsey

Website: www.mckinsey.com

Address:

McKinsey & Company
No. 1 Jermyn Street
London SW1Y 4UH
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 839 8040

Founded in 1926, McKinsey is headquartered in New York and has 100 offices across 45 countries.

McKinsey provides management consulting services. It also offers business building, performance and structure management, organisational change, operations and customer management, and mergers and acquisitions advisory services.

24. The Parthenon Group

Website: www.parthenon.com

Address:

The Parthenon Group
39 Sloane Street
London SW1X 9LP
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 207 201 0460

Founded in 1991, Parthenon is headquartered in Boston and also has offices in San Francisco, London and Mumbai.

Parthenon offers strategic advisory services.  Parthenon is a strategic advisor to CEOs and business leaders throughout the world.

25. Roland Berger

Website: www.rolandberger.co.uk

Address:

Roland Berger Strategy Consultants Ltd
6th Floor, 55 Baker Street
London W1U 8EW
United Kingdom

Tel: +44 203 075 1100

Founded in 1967, Roland Berger is headquartered in Munich and has 43 offices across 31 countries.

Roland Berger operates a generalist strategy consultancy and provides the world’s leading corporations with a broad range of services including brand management, corporate finance, corporate responsibility, customer relationship management, franchising, information management, manufacturing, marketing, and research & development.

Are you doing something remarkable?

Loyal customers provide repeat business.  Do something remarkable, and they will spread the word

CUSTOMER loyalty is an important asset for any business for two reasons. Firstly, loyal customers will give you repeat business, to quote Tom Peters “all business success rests on something labelled a sale”. Secondly, and more importantly, loyal customers are the people who spread the good news about your business. Loyal customers are the passionate and unpaid marketers who provide authentic testimony to the quality of your goods and services. Walt Disney captured this idea of customer loyalty when he said, “Do what you do so well that they will want to see it again and bring their friends.

If a business can create something remarkable (e.g. beautifully designed products, superior service, or an uplifting experience) then its loyal customers will spread the word. In today’s competitive marketplace, a business that “does everything right” is a business that is merely “meeting expectations”, and Seth Godin identifies a number of reasons why word of mouth sometimes just doesn’t happen. If you can exceed expectations, dazzle and delight your customers with how much you really care then this will be worth talking about.

Speaking of the need to be remarkable, the McKinsey Quarterly recently sent me an email which is worth mentioning. Apparently, there has been a security breach at the The Quarterly and some customer details have been compromised.  While this could be a source of major embarrassment, McKinsey have turned the security breach into an opportunity to build customer loyalty.  The Quarterly’s email (set out below in full) demonstrates 3 things:

  1. McKinsey places the interests of its readers ahead of their own reputation;
  2. McKinsey takes confidentiality very seriously (much-needed marketing after the Rajat Gupta scandal); and
  3. McKinsey will apologise if it has made a mistake.

Here are the contents of the email I received from Rik Kirkland, Senior Managing Editor of McKinsey & Company:

Important information from McKinsey Quarterly

We have been informed by our e-mail service provider, Epsilon, that your e-mail address was exposed by unauthorized entry into their system. Epsilon sends e-mails on our behalf to McKinsey Quarterly users who have opted to receive e-mail communications from us.

We have been assured by Epsilon that the only information that was obtained was your first name, last name and e-mail address and that the files that were accessed did not include any other information. We are actively working to confirm this. We do not store any credit card numbers, social security numbers, or other personally identifiable information of our users, so we can assure you that no such information was accessed.

Please note, it is possible you may receive spam e-mail messages as a result. We want to urge you to be cautious when opening links or attachments from unknown third parties. Also know that McKinsey Quarterly will not send you e-mails asking for your credit card number, social security number or other personally identifiable information. So if you are ever asked for this information, you can be confident it is not from McKinsey.

We regret this has taken place and apologize for any inconvenience this may have caused you. We take your privacy very seriously, and we will continue to work diligently to protect your personal information.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact McKinsey Quarterly at [email protected] For any media inquiries, please contact Humphrey Rolleston at +1-212-415-5321.

Sincerely,
Rik Kirkland
Senior Managing Editor
McKinsey & Company

GE-McKinsey 9-Box Matrix

The GE-McKinsey 9-Box Matrix offers any decentralised corporation with multiple business units a systematic approach to help it decide where to invest its cash

GE-McKinsey 9-box matrix

IN SEPTEMBER 2008, the McKinsey Quarterly published an interactive audio presentation on the GE-McKinsey 9-Box Matrix

An outline of this framework is provided below, but I highly recommend watching the original presentation.

1. Background

The 9-Box Matrix follows in the footsteps of Boston Consulting Group’s growth share matrix which was introduced in 1968.

The 9-Box Matrix was developed as part of work that McKinsey did for GE in the early 1970s. At that time, GE had around 150 business units and was faced with the challenge of how to manage such a large number of business units profitably.

The 9-Box Matrix was developed as a result of the realisation that it is important to separate the ability of a business to generate cash from the decision about whether to put more cash into the business.

2. Purpose

The 9-Box Matrix offers any decentralised corporation with multiple business units a systematic approach to help it decide where to invest its cash.

The 9-Box Matrix solves the problem of trying to compare potentially very different business units: one might be capital intensive; another might require high advertising expenditure; a third might have economies of scale.

Instead of relying on the projections provided by the manager of each individual business unit, the company can determine whether a business unit is going to do well in the future by considering two factors:

  1. attractiveness of the industry; and
  2. the business unit’s competitive strength within that industry.

3. Using the matrix

GE-McKinsey 9-box matrix

(Source: McKinsey Quarterly)

Placing each business unit within the 9-Box Matrix offers a framework for comparison between them.

In order to keep things simple, the framework offers only three investment strategies:

  1. Invest/Grow;
  2. Selectivity/Earnings; and
  3. Harvest/Divest.

Allocating one of these investment strategies to each business unit is a necessary first step. However, it is important to note that two business units that have been given the same strategy will not necessarily be treated in the same way. For example, a strong unit in a weak industry is in a very different situation than a weak unit in a highly attractive industry.

After placing a business unit into one of the nine boxes, there are at least two questions that are worth asking:

  1. If a business unit is in one category, say “selectivity/earnings”, is there anything that can be done to change its position? That is, would it be possible to move a business unit from the “selectivity/earnings” category and into the “invest/grow” category by making any kind of strategic investments?
  2. If a business unit is to receive money, what should it do with that money? It is important that money is given with a purpose in mind because the best use of money will vary depending on the industry and on the business unit. For example, advertising to enhance the brand might work for one business unit, whereas investing to increase research and development might work for another.

4. Axes of the matrix

The 9-Box Matrix places “industry attractiveness” along the vertical or y-axis, and “competitive advantage” (otherwise known as competitive position, or competitive strength of the business) along the horizontal or x-axis.

4.1 Industry attractiveness

Industry attractiveness refers to whether the industry is going to do well in the future. Are most players in the industry likely to do well? How easy will it be for the average company in the industry to make profits over the long run?

There are a number of different factors that affect industry attractiveness and those factors will vary in importance from industry to industry, for example: long run growth rate of the industry, current profitability, etc.

The Structure Conduct Performance model or, its more popular simplified version, the Porters Five Forces model both provide a formal approach to look at industry attractiveness.

4.2 Competitive advantage

According to Coyle, the first formal definition of “sustainable competitive advantage” was not determined until the mid-eighties.

In the early days of the 9-Box Matrix, analysts used proxies for sustainable competitive advantage:

  • Is the business unit’s market share growing? Maybe we can infer from this something about its competitive advantage.
  • How strong is the business unit’s brand equity? That is, how much of a price premium can it charge?
  • Is the company more profitable than its competitors?

A business has a competitive advantage when it is able to achieve profits that exceed the industry average. Competitive advantage may be established by offering consumers greater value by way of:

  • lower prices;
  • differentiated goods or services that justify higher prices; or
  • establishing a market niche and achieving a narrow, rather than an industry wide, competitive advantage.

5. Available strategies

5.1 Invest / Grow

A business unit will be in the “invest/grow” category if the prospects for the industry as a whole are attractive and the business unit’s position in the industry means that it is likely to do better than most of the other firms in the industry.

A business unit in this category should be given as much money as it needs regardless of whether it can generate those funds itself.

5.2 Selectivity / Earnings

Business units in this category are given second priority to those in the “invest/grow” category. So, the amount of money spent on business units in the “invest/grow” category will determine how much money is left over for business units in this category.

When allocating money to a business unit in this category, it is important to be selective about where the money is spent and monitor earnings closely. With the right combination of strategies, it may be possible to move the business unit into the “invest/grow” category.

In this part of the matrix it is a good idea to be careful. If the business unit doesn’t improve then it may be best to invest money elsewhere.

5.3 Harvest / Divest

A business unit will be in the “harvest/divest” category if it is in an unattractive industry and its competitive position is weak.

There are two suggested strategies:

  1. sell the business unit (divest); or
  2. increase short-term cash flows as far as possible, even at the expense of the business unit’s long term future (harvest).

[For more information on consulting concepts and frameworks, please download “The Little Blue Consulting Handbook“.]

List of consulting firms in India

PREVIOUSLY I created a list of certain consulting firms in Australia and America. I have decided to do the same thing for India. This list provides quick access to a list of the top consulting firms in India and provides a short description of each. I hope you find it useful.

The list of consulting firms is long, so I have divided the firms into 3 categories:

  1. Strategy and general business consulting firms in India
  2. IT consulting firms in India
  3. HR consulting firms in India

Strategy and general business consulting firms in India 2008

THIS list of strategy and general business consulting firms forms part of the full list of consulting firms in India:

  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain Consulting India Pvt Ltd
  4. AT Kearney
  5. Accenture
  6. Tata Strategic Management Group
  7. A. F. Ferguson & Co.
  8. Arshiya International Ltd
  9. Deloitte
  10. KVP Business Solutions
  11. PRTM Management Consultants
  12. Madras Consultancy Group
  13. Noesis Strategic Consulting Services
  14. RAMMS
  15. Resonate Consulting Pvt Ltd
  16. Sampling Research
  17. Sathguru Management Consultants
  18. Technopak Advisors Pvt Ltd
  19. Vision Consulting
  20. Pristine Ventures
  21. Lakshy Management Consultant Pvt Ltd
  22. Synovate Business Consulting
  23. Breakthrough Management Group
  24. Axis Risk Consulting Services Pvt Ltd
  25. BMR & Associates
  26. Fractal Analytics
  27. Intellecap
  28. Denave India Pvt Ltd
  29. Axience
  30. MarketGate Consulting
  31. Qimpro Consultants Pvt Ltd
  32. i2m Management Services Pvt Ltd
  33. Avalon Consulting
  34. Global eProcure
  35. Innoversant Solutions

1. McKinsey & Company

Websitewww.mckinsey.com/locations/india

Founded in Chicago in 1926 and operating in India since 1993, McKinsey is the world’s most prestigious consulting firm and operates in 90 locations across 51 countries. In India, McKinsey has an office in Mumbai and Gurgaon (near New Delhi).

In India, McKinsey serves leading companies, nonprofits, and governments on issues ranging from enhancing operational efficiency to charting an India strategy.

2. Boston Consulting Group

Website: www.bcg.com

Founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson and operating in India since 1996, BCG operates in 66 offices across 38 countries. In India, BCG has an office in Mumbai and New Delhi.

BCG is an international strategy and general management consulting firm. As a truly global firm, its strong global presence offers clients a wealth of cross-cultural experience.

3. Bain Consulting India Pvt Ltd

Website: www.bain.com

Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company, Bain operates in 38 offices across 25 countries. In India, BCG has an office in New Delhi.

Bain India works with a range of corporate and private equity clients and has experience across more than thirty industries.

4. AT Kearney

Website: www.atkearney.com

Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney has offices in 34 countries around the world. In India, A.T. Kearney has an office in Mumbai and New Delhi.

A.T. Kearney is a global management consulting firm with a broad range of capabilities ranging from strategy through to implementation.

5. Accenture

Website: www.accenture.com/Countries/India

Founded in 1989 and operating in India since 1987, Accenture has offices and operations in more than 150 cities across the world. In India, Accenture has an office in Bangalore, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Chennai, New Delhi, Gurgaon and Noida.

Accenture is a global management consulting, technology services and outsourcing company.

6. Tata Strategic Management Group

Website: www.tsmg.com

Founded in 1991, Tata has headquarters in Mumbai.

Tata is a large management consulting firm with expertise in various areas including: telecom, chemicals, automobiles, retail, consumer products, power, IT, banking, financial services, healthcare, insurance, infrastructure and government.

7. A. F. Ferguson & Co.

Website: www.afferguson.com

Founded in 1893 as a firm of Chartered Accountants by Alexander Fletcher Ferguson, AFF’s management consultancy division was established in 1967. AFF has an office in Mumbai, Bangalore, Calcutta, Chennai, Hyderabad, New Delhi and Vadodara.

AFF provides a range of services including: business strategy, marketing, finance, business effectiveness, human resource management, and systems and IT solutions.

8. Arshiya International Ltd

Website: www.arshiyainternational.com

Arshiya has headquarters in Mumbai and has offices in 15 cities globally. In India, Arshiya has an office in Ahmedabad, New Delhi, Vadodara, Kolkata, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, Bangalore and Chennai.

Arshiya provides knowledge driven solutions focused on the areas of innovative technology, business process outsourcing, supply chain, demand chain and financial flow management services.

9. Deloitte

Website: www.deloitte.com/view/en_IN/in/index.htm

Founded as an accountancy office in London in 1845, Deloitte has member firms in nearly 140 countries worldwide. In India, Deloitte has an office in Ahmedabad, Bangalore, Baroda, Chennai, Coimbatore, Goa, Hyderabad, Jamshedpur, Kochi, Kolkata, Mumbai, New Delhi, and Pune.

Deloitte offers a broad range of integrated services in the areas of audit and enterprise risk services, consulting, financial advisory, and tax.

10. KVP Business Solutions

Website: www.kvpcorp.com

KVP is based in Bangalore.

KVP works with global customers to optimize their cost of operations and increase revenues by providing consulting services for outsourcing and go-to-market strategies.

11. PRTM Management Consultants

Website: www.prtm.com

Founded in 1976, Pittiglio Rabin Todd & McGrath (PRTM) is a global management consulting firm, which has over 20 offices across the Americas, Europe and Asia. In India, PRTM operates through its Bangalore office.

PRTM works with companies to build operational capabilities, drive product innovation, expand into new markets, and facilitate brand management. PRTM also works with global corporations to identify and forge local partnerships. PRTM focuses on the Automotive, Aerospace, Industrial, Healthcare, Telecommunications, and FMCG industry sectors.

12. Madras Consultancy Group

Website: www.consultmcg.com

Founded in 1985, MCG is based in Chennai.

MCG provides marketing advisory services and assists clients to develop market entry strategies, conduct industry studies, and carry out B2B market research and feasibility studies.

13. Noesis Strategic Consulting Services

Website: www.noesis.in

Noesis is based in New Delhi.

Noesis provides consultancy and advisory services on public policy and regulatory issues, formulation of corporate social responsibility strategies, investment advice in relation to infrastructure, equity and hedge funds.

14. RAMMS

Website: www.ramms.co.in

Founded in 1991, RAMMS has an office in Bangalore, New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Kolkatta and Secunderabad.

RAMMS is a leading retail solutions company. RAMMS is part of the MAA Group headquartered in Bangalore.

15. Resonate Consulting Pvt Ltd

Website: www.resonateconsulting.com

Resonate Consulting is based in Mumbai.

Resonate Consulting is a group of change management and organisation development consultants.

16. Sampling Research

Website: www.samplingresearch.com/web

Sampling Research is based in New Delhi and has an office in Hayward, California.

Sampling Research offers audit, consultancy, and training services in innovation management, IP rights, research and statistics, and HR development & training.

17. Sathguru Management Consultants

Website: www.sathguru.com

Founded in 1985, Sathguru has an office in Hyderabad and Dhaka.

Sathguru is organised in three divisions: management consulting, information technology, and capital markets. Areas of expertise include life sciences, financial services, hospitality & entertainment, retailing, infrastructure, and IT solutions.

18. Technopak Advisors Pvt Ltd

Website: www.technopak.com

Founded in 1995 as a joint venture partner of US based Kurt Salmon Associates, Technopak has an office in Gurgaon, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Technopak is an international consumer products services and solutions company.

19. Vision Consulting

Website: www.visionconsultingindia.com

Vision has an office in New Delhi, Riyadh and Kuala Lumpur.

Vision provides management, training & e-learning, IT, and certification & rating consultancy services.

20. Pristine Ventures

Website: www.pvindia.com

Pristine is based in New Delhi.

Pristine is a strategy consulting firm specialising in market entry and business strategy.

21. Lakshy Management Consultant Pvt Ltd

Website: www.lakshy.com

Lakshy has an office in Mumbai, Baroda, Delhi, Bangalore, Pune, Kolkata and Orissa. They also have an office in New York, Calgary and the Maldives.

Lakshy provides consulting services in the fields of quality management, marketing management, human resources management, finance & strategic management. Lakshy specializes in the ISO management system certification standards. Lakshy provides consulting services and training for achieving ISO 9001 Quality Management, ISO 14001 Environment Management, HACCP ISO 22000 Food Safety Management, OHSAS 18001, and SA 8000 Social Accountability.

22. Synovate Business Consulting

Website: www.synovate.com

Founded in 1994, Synovate has offices in Australia, Bangkok, Beijing, Hong Kong, Jakarta, Kuala Lumpur, Mumbai, New Delhi, Seoul, Shanghai, Singapore, Taipei and Tokyo.

Synovate provides market and competitive intelligence-based strategic advice to corporate clients in 22 Asia Pacific markets.

23. Breakthrough Management Group

Website: www.bmgindia.com

BMG India has its headquarters in Mumbai. BMG also has an office in Africa, Australia, China, Europe, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Taiwan, Thailand, Turkey and the United States.

BMG is a leading provider of training and consulting services including.

24. Axis Risk Consulting Services Pvt Ltd

Founded in 2004 as a joint venture between Axis and the Ambit RSM Group, Axis Risk Consulting Services has an office in New Delhi, Mumbai and Bangalore.

Axis Risk Consulting Services provides risk consulting services, tax advisory and assurance and corporate advisory services.

25. BMR & Associates

Website: www.bmrtax.com

BMR has offices in Delhi, Mumbai, Bangalore and Chennai.

BMR is a premier professional services firm that provides clients with tax and regulatory advice.

26. Fractal Analytics

Website: www.fractalanalytics.com

Fractal has an office in Jersey City, Singapore and Mumbai.

Fractal provides analytics services including: modelling and analysis, data management, and text mining.

27. Intellecap

Website: www.intellecap.com

Intellecap has an office in Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Intellecap is focused on the multiple bottom-line investment industry. Intellecap facilitates investment initiatives, incubates innovative businesses and provides expert advice to assist profitable and sustainable development.

28. Denave India Pvt Ltd

Website: www.denave.com

Founded in 1999, Denave has headquarters in New Delhi and also has an office in Pune, Nagpur, Cochin, Coimbatore, Hyderabad, Guwahati, Ahmedabad, Surat, Indore, Bhopal, Chandigarh, Ludhiana, Jaipur, Lucknow, Bangalore, Kolkata ,Mumbai, and Chennai.

Denave is a pan-Indian integrated business process design and restructuring organization that provides a host of services in the sales and marketing domain. Denave aims to make businesses more competitive in their markets through precise execution of analytical strategies, supplemented by cutting-edge technologies and processes.

29. Axience

Website: www.axience.com

Founded in 2007, Axience is based in Mumbai.

Axience is a specialized provider of services to the financial services industry combining high end financial analytics, modelling and data services with high quality business intelligence.

30. MarketGate Consulting

Website: www.market-gate.com

MarketGate is based in Mumbai.

MarketGate is a strategic business and marketing consulting firm, which aims to grow the brands of its clients with well executed winning strategies.

31. Qimpro Consultants Pvt Ltd

Website: www.qimpro.com

Founded in 1987, Qimpro is based in Mumbai and has conducted assignments in India, Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Indonesia, Iran, Pakistan, Sultanate of Oman and Kenya.

Qimpro has pioneered the quality movement in India through professional services that range from assessment to transformation management, and from training to coaching and facilitation.

32. i2m Management Services Pvt Ltd

Website: www.i2mservices.com

Founded in 2005, i2m is based in Mumbai.

i2m provides consulting and project management services including: capability development, project portfolio management, methodology development, and project support.

33. Avalon Consulting

Website: www.consultavalon.com

Founded in 1989, Avalon has an office in Mumbai, Chennai, and New Delhi.

Avalon is a strategy and management consulting firm. Avalon provides services including: customer relationship enhancement, corporate strategy, web strategy, performance improvement, financial engineering, biotechnology, and business research.

34. Global eProcure

Website: www.globaleprocure.com

Global eProcure has an office in Los Angeles, Washington DC, London, Prague, Shanghai, Mumbai and Hyderabad.

Global eProcure is a procurement transformation solutions company that provides the Sourcing and Procure-to-Pay (P2P) Software, consulting, and outsourcing services.

35. Innoversant Solutions

Website: www.innoversant.com

With over 30 years experience providing consulting services, Innoversant Solutions has its head office in Bangalore.

Innoversant Solutions is a boutique, multi-disciplinary management consulting firm assisting international and domestic businesses and economic development agencies. Innoversant Solutions provides various services, including Business Development and Marketing, Investment Attraction and Trade Promotion.  Innoversant Solutions is a member of several prestigious industry bodies including CII, TiE, and Indo-American Chamber of Commerce.

List of consulting firms in America

PREVIOUSLY I created a list of certain consulting firms in Australia. I have decided to do the same thing for the United States. This list provides quick access to a list of the top consulting firms in America and provides a short description of each. I hope you find it useful.

The list of consulting firms is long, so I divided the firms into 5 categories. I have only listed each firm once, but some firms could easily have been placed under more than one heading. The breakdown is a pretty ad hoc, but hopefully it makes the list a little easier to digest. Within each category, the firms are ordered as they appear in the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms (2008 edition). Let me know if you find this list helpful.

Without further ado, the 5 categories of consulting firms are as follows:

  1. General business and strategy consulting
  2. IT consulting
  3. HR consulting
  4. Economic advisory and executive education
  5. Litigation support services

General business and strategy consulting firms in America 2008

General business and strategy consulting firms

THE list of general business and strategy consulting firms forms part of the full list of consulting firms in America:

  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain & Company
  4. Booz & Company
  5. Booz Allen Hamilton
  6. Monitor Group
  7. Oliver Wyman
  8. The Parthenon Group
  9. Deloitte Consulting LLP
  10. L.E.K. Consulting
  11. Marakon Associates
  12. A.T. Kearney
  13. Accenture
  14. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants
  15. Katzenbach Partners LLC
  16. Cambridge Associates LLC
  17. CRA International
  18. Mars & Co
  19. ZS Associates
  20. Arthur D. Little
  21. Navigant Consulting, Inc
  22. BearingPoint
  23. First Manhattan Consulting Group
  24. Kurt Salmon Associates
  25. Stern Stewart & Co.
  26. Analysis Group, Inc.
  27. Dean & Company
  28. Giuliani Partners LLC
  29. PRTM
  30. Strategic Decisions Group
  31. OC&C Strategy Consultants
  32. Putnam Associates
  33. Mitchell Madison Group
  34. FTI Consulting

1. McKinsey & Company

Website: www.mckinsey.com

Founded in Chicago in 1926, McKinsey is the world’s most prestigious consulting firm and operates in 90 locations across 51 countries. In America McKinsey operates out of Seattle, San Francisco, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Orange County, Houston, Dallas, Miami, Atlanta, Charlotte, Minneapolis, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, Pittsburgh, Boston, Stamford, New York, New Jersey, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C.

McKinsey works internationally in a broad range of industries with large private sector institutions, governments and other non-profit institutions.

2. Boston Consulting Group

Website: www.bcg.com

Founded in 1963 by Bruce Henderson, BCG operates in 66 offices across 38 countries. In America, BCG operates out of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, Houston, Los Angeles, Houston, Miami, Minneapolis, New Jersey, New York, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

BCG specialises in business strategy and draws most of its clients from the 500 largest corporations worldwide, as well as working with smaller companies, non-profit organizations and government agencies.

3. Bain & Company

Website: www.bain.com

Founded in 1973 when Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company. Bain operates in 38 offices across 25 countries. In America BCG operates out of San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, Boston, New York and Atlanta.

Bain is well-known for offering services like due diligence, IPO preparation, portfolio profit improvement and revenue enhancement geared toward leveraged buyout and venture capital firms.

4. Booz & Company

Website: www.booz.com

Founded in Chicago in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz, Booz & Co broke away from Booz Allen Hamilton in 2008. The company operates in 55 offices across six continents. In America Booz & Co operates in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Houston, Dallas, Atlanta, Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland, McLean, Florham Park, Parsippany, and New York.

Booz & Co has its main area of expertise in strategy and technology consulting, working in the commercial sector.

5. Booz Allen Hamilton

Website: www.boozallen.com

Founded in Chicago in 1914 by Edwin G. Booz, the company was split in two in 2008. The company operates in 68 offices globally, 64 of which are in America.

Booz Allen Hamilton’s clients are government agencies and institutions that want to change their organizations.

6. Monitor Group

Website: www.monitor.com

Founded in 1983, one of its co-founders was Michael Porter creator of the Five Forces analysis framework. Monitor operates in 29 offices across 18 countries. Monitor has its head office in Cambridge and also operates out of Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, and San Francisco.

Monitor works with corporations to help them grow, governments to help them improve economic development, and non-profits to help them grow their social impact.

7. Oliver Wyman

Website: www.oliverwyman.com

Founded in 1970, the company operates in more than 40 cities across 16 countries. In America, Oliver Wyman has offices in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Columbus, Dallas, Houston, Lisle, Los Angeles, Melville, Milwaukee, New York, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Portland, Princeton, Reston, San Francisco, Troy, and Washington D.C.

Oliver Wyman has expertise in strategy, operations, risk management, organizational transformation, and leadership development.

8. The Parthenon Group

Website: www.parthenon.com

Founded in Boston in 1991, the Parthenon Group operates out of Boston, San Francisco, London and Mumbai.

The Parthenon Group are strategic advisors with a boutique philosophy. The majority of its business revolves around corporate advisory to global 1000 corporations and high-potential growth companies, private equity, education and health.

9. Deloitte Consulting LLP

Website: www.deloitte.com

Founded as an accountancy office in London in 1845, Deloitte has member firms in nearly 140 countries worldwide. In America Deloitte has offices in more than 80 cities.

“Deloitte” is the brand under which a collection of independent firms collaborate globally to provide audit, consulting, financial advisory, risk management, and tax services.

10. L.E.K. Consulting

Website: www.lek.com

Founded in 1983, LEK has 20 offices in North America, Europe, and Asia Pacific. In America, LEK has offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and New York.

LEK advises FTSE 100, Eurotop 300, Fortune 500 and the largest Asia-Pacific firms in business strategy, finance, marketing and sales, operations, organization, and transaction services.

11. Marakon Associates

Website: www.marakon.com

Founded in 1978, Marakon operates out of Chicago, London and New York.

Marakon’s advice stems from the point of view that a company should be managed to create the most long-term value possible for its owners. In particular, Marakon helps clients in the areas of strategy, execution, organic growth, growth through acquisition, producivity, risk management, leadership & organisation, and managing for value.

12. A.T. Kearney

Website: www.atkearney.com

Founded in 1926, A.T. Kearney has offices in 34 countries around the world. In America A.T. Kearney operates out of Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Dallas, Detroit, New York, San Francisco, and Washington D.C.

As one of the largest high-value management consulting firms in the world, A.T. Kearney has a broad range of capabilities and expertise ranging from strategy to operations, business technology, enterprise services transformation and executive search.

13. Accenture

Website: www.accenture.com

Founded in 1989, Accenture has offices and operations in more than 150 cities across the world. In America Accenture operates out of Phoenix, Los Angeles, Sacramento, San Diego, San Francisco, San Jose, Walnut Creek, Denver, Hartford, Wilmington, Washington D.C., Miami, Tallahassee, Tampa Bay, Atlanta, Chicago, Indianapolis, Kansas City, Boston, Detroit, Minneapolis, St. Louis, Florham Park, Murray Hill, Albany, New York, Charlotte, Raleigh, Cincinnati, Cleveland, Columbus, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, Austin, Dallas, Houston, Reston, Seattle, and Milwaukee.

Accenture has expertise in a broad range of industries and provides a range of services including: customer relationship management, finance management, marketing, service management, strategy, supply chain management, and talent management.

14. Roland Berger Strategy Consultants

Website: www.rolandberger.com

Founded in 1967 in Munich, Roland Berger has 36 offices worldwide and is very well represented in Europe. In America Roland Berger operates out of Chicago, Detroit, and New York.

Roland Berger is committed to three core values: excellence, entrepreneurship and partnership. Its expertise includes branding, corporate finance, corporate responsibility, financial & risk effectiveness, IT, manufacturing, marketing, organization, real estate management, research and development, restructuring, sales, strategy, and supply chain management.

15. Katzenbach Partners LLC

Website: www.katzenbach.com

Founded in 1998, the firm expanded its office locations to New York, Houston, Chicago and San Francisco.  As of June 5, 2009, Katzenbach Partners has joined Booz & Company. For more information about this combination, please click here.

Prior to joining Booz & Company, Katzenbach described itself as providing a range of services aimed at bringing organizations to peak performance, including: business strategy, informal & formal organization, leadership & capability development, motivation & pride, performance improvement initiatives, and change management.

Within Booz & Company, The Katzenbach Center focuses on the development and application of innovative ideas for organizational culture and change, based on a guiding philosophy of client-based innovation. The Center promotes new thinking on achieving breakthroughs in higher performance, developed through active collaboration with clients and thought leaders around the world.

16. Cambridge Associates LLC

Website: www.cambridgeassociates.com

Cambridge Associates was founded in 1973 by Jim Bailey and Hunter Lewis after they conducted a comprehensive review of Harvard University’s investment approach. Cambridge Associates has 7 offices worldwide. In America it has offices in Arlington, Boston, Dallas, and San Francisco. Overseas it has offices in London, Singapore and Sydney.

Cambridge Associates began serving private clients in 1982, however nonprofits remain its core client base. Cambridge Associates selectively works with large institutional investors beyond the nonprofit world including pension, agency, and government funds.

17. CRA International

Website: www.crai.com

Founded in 1965, CRA has headquarters in Boston and 26 offices across North America, Europe, Asia Pacific, and the Middle East. In America CRA has offices in Atlanta, Austin, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, College Station, Dallas, Houston, New York,Oakland, Pasadena, Philadelphia, Pleasanton, Salt Lake City, Tallahassee, and Washington D.C.

CRA offers economic, financial, and business management expertise to major law firms, industries, accounting firms, and governments around the world. It claims particular strength in analytics and offers litigation and regulatory support, business strategy and planning, market and demand forecasting, policy analysis, and risk management consulting.

18. Mars & Co

Website: www.marsandco.com

Founded in 1979, Mars & Co has offices in Greenwich(Connecticut), San Francisco, London, Paris, Tokyo and Shanghai.

Dominique Mars formed Mars & Co because he felt it was essential for a strategy consulting firm to guarantee the exclusivity of its services to each client. Its major “raison d’être” remains to bring competitive leverage to a very limited number of clients and serve them worldwide on an exclusive basis. That is, Mars is the only consulting firm of any consequence to guarantee “fidelity”.

19. ZS Associates

Website: www.zsassociates.com

Founded in 1983 by Andris A. Zoltners and Prabhakant Sinha, two marketing professors from the Kellogg School of Management, ZS Associates operates out of 17 offices in North America, Europe and the Asia Pacific. In the America ZS Associates has offices in Boston, Chicago, Evanston, Los Angeles, New York, Philadelphia, Princeton and San Francisco.

ZS Associates is a global management consulting firm specializing in sales and marketing consulting, capability building, and outsourcing. A large portion of its work is with Global 500 companies, although it also has a substantial number of client relationships with mid-market, small, and start-up companies.

20. Arthur D. Little

Website: www.adlittle.com

Founded in 1886, Arthur D. Little was the world’s first management consultancy. ADL has 29 offices across 20 countries. In America it has offices in Boston, Houston and New York.

Arthur D. Little offers information management, operations management, strategy & organization, sustainability & risk, and technology & innovation management.

21. Navigant Consulting, Inc

Website: www.navigantconsulting.com

Navigant has offices in over 40 cities in North America, Europe and Asia. In America it has offices in Chicago, Seattle, Rancho Cordova, San Francisco, Palo Alto, Los Angeles, Irvine, Phoenix, Denver, Dallas, Austin, Houston, Atlanta, Tampa, Coral Gables, Reston, Vienna, Washington D.C., Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Lawrenceville, New York, Westbury, Fairfield, Burlington, Boston, and Troy.

Navigant provides independent consulting services across industries undergoing substantial regulatory or business-model change. Representative industries include: construction, energy, financial services, healthcare, insurance, legal, and government services.

22. BearingPoint

Website: www.bearingpoint.com

BearingPoint has 170 offices across 36 countries and has its headquarters are in McLean, Virginia. In America BearingPoint has offices in Arizona, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Louisiana, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Virginia, and Washington D.C.

BearingPoint describe themselves as management and technology consultants and provides various services including: Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Agility, Enterprise Solutions, Finance Solutions, Managed Services, Management Consulting, Outsourcing, Search Solutions, Strategy, Process & Transformation, Supply Chain Management, Technology Infrastructure & Integration.

23. First Manhattan Consulting Group

Website: www.fmcg.com

Founded in 1980, FMCG has office in New York (HQ), Seattle, Boston, and Taos.

FMCG’s mission is to be the consulting firm of choice for managers of financial services firms.

24. Kurt Salmon Associates

Website: www.kurtsalmon.com

KSA has offices in Atlanta, Los Angeles, New York, Princeton and San Francisco.

KSA is a global leader in supply chain management and technology solutions, and is the premier solutions provider to the retail, consumer products, and health care industries.

25. Stern Stewart & Co.

Website: www.sternstewart.com

Founded in 1982 in New York by Joel M. Stern and G. Bennett Stewart III, Stern Stewart has offices in North and South America, Europe, Asia, Australia and South Africa.

Stern Stewart is a global consulting firm that specializes in helping companies in the measurement and creation of shareholder wealth through the application of tools based on modern financial theory. The company pioneered the development of its proprietary EVA® (Economic Value Added) framework, which offers a consistent approach to setting goals and measuring performance. In addition, Stern Stewart provides consulting services in the area of corporate financial policy with an emphasis on restructurings and recapitalizations, share repurchases, acquisitions and divestitures, and financial strategy.

26. Analysis Group, Inc.

Website: www.analysisgroup.com

Founded in 1981, Analysis Group has offices in Boston, Dallas, Los Angeles, Montreal, San Francisco, Chicago, Denver, Menlo Park, New York, and Washington D.C.

Analysis Group provides economic, financial, and business strategy consulting to law firms, corporations, and government agencies.

27. Dean & Company

Website: www.dean.com

Dean operates out of Washington D.C.

Dean is a strategy consulting firm. Dean assists Fortune 500 companies on strategic issues and involves itself in various industries including: financial services, life sciences, private equity, manufacturing, and telecommunications.

28. Giuliani Partners LLC

Website: www.giulianipartners.com

Founded in 2002, Giuliani operates out of New York.

Giuliani is dedicated to helping leaders solve critical strategic issues, accelerate growth, and enhance the reputation and brand of their organizations in the context of strongly held values. Giuliani’s professional guidance to leaders is based on 6 fundamental principles: integrity, optimism, courage, preparedness, communication, and accountability.

29. PRTM

Website: www.prtm.com

Founded in 1976, PRTM has 19 offices worldwide. In America PRTM has offices in Boston, Chicago, Silicon Valley, Orange Country, Dallas, Detroit, New York, and Washington D.C.

PRTM has expertise in operational strategy, supply chain management, product development, customer value management, and business technology innovation.

30. Strategic Decisions Group

Website: www.sdg.com

Founded in 1981, SDC operates in the US out of its Californian Palo Alto office.

SDC is a strategy consulting firm renowned for applying leading-edge decision theory to uncover opportunities for creating shareholder value.

31. OC&C Strategy Consultants

Website: www.occstrategy.com

Founded in 1987, OC&C has 15 offices across 10 countries, namely: Abu Dhabi, Boston, Brussels, Dubai, Düsseldorf, Hamburg, Hong Kong, London, Mumbai, New Delhi, New York, Paris, Rotterdam, San Francisco, and Shanghai.

OC&C is a strategy consulting firm.

32. Putnam Associates

Website: www.putassoc.com

Founded in 1988, Putnam has offices in London and Burlington, Massachusetts.

Putnam is a strategy consultancy to the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries.

33. Mitchell Madison Group

Website: www.mitchellmadison.com

Founded in 1991, MMG has offices in New York, Los Angeles, Manila, Paris and Munich.

MMG’s work combines global perspectives and economic insight with deep expertise ranging from corporate and business unit strategy to cost optimization.

34. FTI Consulting

Website: www.fticonsulting.com

Founded in 1982, FTI has offices in North America, South America, Europe, the Middle East, and the Asia Pacific. In America FTI has offices in Annapolis, Atlanta, Bethesda, Boston, Brentwood, Cambridge, Charlotte, Chicago, Cleveland, Dallas, Denver, Detroit, Houston, Indianapolis, Los Angeles, Miami, Nashville, New York, Orlando, Philadelphia, Phoenix, Pittsburgh, Rockville, Saddle Brook, Salt Lake City, San Francisco, Seattle, Tucson, and Washington D.C.

FTI is in the business of assisting organizations with important legal, financial and reputational matters. FTI offers highly specialized expertise in the areas of compliance, risk, reputation, liability, performance, finance and information.

McKinsey 7 S Framework

The 7 S Framework can help executives and consultants to understand the inner workings of an organisation, and it provides a guide for organisational change

McKinsey 7 S Framework(Source: Flickr)

1. Background

DEVELOPED around 1978, the 7 S framework first appeared in a book called The Art of Japanese Management by Richard Pascale and Anthony Athos, and also featured in In Search of Excellence by Thomas Peters and Robert Waterman.

McKinsey has adopted the 7 S model as one of its basic analysis tools.

2. Benefits of the 7 S Framework

The 7 S framework is a useful diagnostic tool for understanding the inner workings of an organisation. It can be used to identify an organisations strengths and sources of competitive advantage, or to identify the reasons why an organisation is not operating effectively. As such, the 7 S framework is an important analysis framework for mangers, consultants, business analysts and potential investors to understand.

The 7 S framework provides a guide for organisational change. The framework maps a group of interrelated factors, all of which influence an organisation’s ability to change. The interconnectedness among each of the seven factors suggest that significant progress in one area will be difficult without working on the others. The implication of this is that, if management wants to successfully establish change within an organisation, they must work on all of the factors, and not just one or two.

3. McKinsey’s 7 S framwork explained

The 7 S framework describes seven factors which together determine the way in which an organisation operates. The seven factors are interrelated and, as such, form a system that might be thought to preserve an organisation’s competitive advantage. The logic is that competitors may be able to copy any one of the factors, but will find it very difficult to copy the complex web of interrelationships between them.

McKinsey 7 S model

  1. Shared values (also called Superordinate Goals) refer to what an organisation stands for and believes in. This includes things like the long term vision of the organisations, its charitable ideals, or its core guiding principles. For example, the core guiding principle at McKinsey is professionalism.
  2. Staff refers to the number and type of people employed by the organisation.
  3. Skills refers to the learned capabilities of staff within the organisation.
  4. Style refers to the way things are done within the organisation, that is, the work culture.
  5. Strategy refers to the plans an organisation has for the allocation of its resources to achieve specific goals.
  6. Structure refers to the way in which an organisation’s business units relate to each other. For example, a company may use a centralised system where all key decisions are made at the head office.
  7. Systems are the practices and procedures that an organisation uses to get things done, e.g. financial systems, information systems, recruitment and performance review systems, etc.

As a consultant, you will need to ask targeted questions to identify an organisation’s strengths and weaknesses for each of the above factors.

[For more information on consulting concepts and frameworks, please download “The Little Blue Consulting Handbook“.]

List of consulting firms in Australia

AN IMPORTANT step towards obtaining a job in a consulting firm is to create a target list of firms that you would like to work for. This can be a very time consuming process.

With the view to saving you a couple of hours, I have prepared a list of consulting firms operating in Australia. This is not an exhaustive list, so if I have overlooked any good consulting firms (I have), let me know.

To make it easier to find the consulting firm you are looking for, consulting firms have been grouped in one of four categories: Strategy and general business, Human resources, Information technology, and Sustainability. Where a consultancy could have been placed under more than one heading, I have placed under the heading I thought was most relevant.

Although some of the consulting firms listed below operate internationally, I have created this list specifically for Australia, but don’t despair! I intend to create specific lists for other countries, for example, India, the UK, USA, Singapore, and China. I plan to do this over the next few months.

Of all the firms I looked at, I have only included the ones that appeared to be of good quality. If you have used any of these firms, please let everyone know what you thought of them – the good and the bad.

Since there are quite a few firms, I have broken the list down into four categories:

  1. Strategy and general business consulting
  2. HR (human resources) consulting
  3. IT (information technology) consulting
  4. Sustainability consulting

#1 McKinsey – an overview of the top four consulting firms 2008

APPLYING for a job as a consultant can be a difficult and daunting task. Consulting jobs are highly sought after and the competition is intense. The process of polishing your resume, writing applications and preparing for case interviews can be exhausting and time consuming. Over and above the time actually spent in interviews, each consulting firm you apply for will require hours of research and preparation. Before you set out along that long are arduous path, it is probably a good idea to know who the top consulting firms are and understand a little bit about them. This will help you to focus your effort.

In 2008, the Vault Guide ranked the top 50 most prestigious consulting firms in the world. I have provided an overview of the top four firms, ranked as follows

  1. McKinsey & Company
  2. Boston Consulting Group
  3. Bain & Company
  4. Booz Allen Hamilton

All of these firms have significant global operations and have a strong presence in Sydney. All the information here was obtained from the Vault Guide to the Top 50 Management and Strategy Consulting Firms, 2009 Edition (Vault Career Library), Wikipedia and the respective firm websites.

1. McKinsey & Company

Organisation type

Private company

Headquarters

New York, New York, USA

Key people

Ian Davis, Managing Director

Size

7,500 consultants (13,000 employees) in 90 offices across 51 countries

Revenue

$4.37 billion (2007, Forbes estimate).

Mission

To help clients make distinctive, lasting, and substantial improvements in their performance and to build a great firm that is able to attract, develop, excite, and retain exceptional people.

Operational structure

Although being a private company, McKinsey operates under a decentralised partnership structure.

McKinsey organises its business into six functional practices and 18 industry practices. Functional practices include business technology office, corporate finance, marketing and sales, operations, organisation and strategy.

Clients

McKinsey works internationally in a broad range of industries with large private sector institutions, governments and other non-profit institutions.

Culture

The core guiding principle at McKinsey & Company is professionalism.

Maintaining client confidence is very important. McKinsey does not trumpet the names of its clients or highlight its major engagements.

Career development is intensely feedback oriented.

McKinsey operates under a practice of “up or out,” in which consultants must advance in their consulting careers within a time frame, or else leave the company.

The firm has an endemic ‘long hours’ culture.

Consultants are often required to travel to work with a client in another city.

Publications

Periodicals: McKinsey Quarterly (published six times a year); McKinsey on IT; and McKinsey on Finance.

Books:
– The Alchemy of Growth: Practical Insights for Building the Enduring Enterprise
– Creative Destruction: Why Companies That Are Built to Last Underperform the Market–And How to Successfully Transform Them
– The War for Talent
– In Search of Excellence: Lessons from America’s Best-Run Companies (Collins Business Essentials)

Brief history

1926 Firm founded in Chicago by Prof. James McKinsey

1933 Marvin Bower joined the firm in 1933 and served as managing director from 1950 to 1967. He is widely credited with being the founder of professional management consulting. Bower established many of McKinsey’s guiding principles.

1959 London office opens

1990 McKinsey Global Institute established

2001 The McKinsey Institute on the Non-profit Sector launched

2003 Shanghai office opens

Nota bene

Vault consulting firm rankings:

· Ranked most prestigious consulting firm in the world in 2008 for the last five years running; and

· Ranked best energy consulting and financial consulting firm in 2007.

The firm serves three of the world’s five largest companies and two-thirds of the Fortune 1000.

Jeff Skilling, the now disgraced ex-CEO of Enron, was a former McKinsey consultant. Enron received strategy advice from McKinsey.

Careers information

Associates and analysts with at least one year of McKinsey experience can apply to the firm’s Community Fellows program, working exclusively on non-profit projects for 6 to 9 months.

McKinsey places heavy emphasis on the use of the case interview in order to assess your capabilities and potential in four main areas.

1. Problem solving,

2. Achievement,

3. personal impact, and

4. leadership.

Website

http://www.mckinsey.com/