Monday, August 19, 2019

BookMarks #60: The McKinsey Way

Title: The McKinsey Way 
Author: Ethan Rasiel 
Genre: Non-fiction, Management 
Published: 1999 


The title seemed promising - providing a glimpse of the way McKinsey or “The Firm” (as it is referred to) operates and maybe even its history. But all we get is a glimpse and no real insights. Also reading the book about 20 years after its original publication makes it really outdated. The book would certainly need a major overhaul to stay relevant in today’s times. 

The good things about the book - 
(a) It is a short volume. And at times feels like a presentation version of a book rather than the real thing. 
(b) Talks about the importance of having/collecting facts and data over gut feelings and using the data to validate hypothesis. 
(c) The use of MECE structure – Mutually Exclusive Collective Exhaustive. 
(d) The importance of having a life beyond work. 

The not so good things about the book – 
(a) Sounds too pompous and full of itself at times. Especially in the light of the fact that the author was in the “Firm” only for a relatively short tenure! 
(b) Nothing about McKinsey’s history – how it became a global consulting giant so that business would come knocking to them rather than the company having to ever seek work. 
(c) The Waterfall Chart – It is a good representation for analyzing changes (plan vs actual or periodic), but it certainly is not a McKinsey exclusive as the author tries to make it up. 
(d) Working late nights and taking pride in it – Why do we glorify this culture? An emergency is only when someone's health is at stake, but we have glorified a working culture where even making organization charts becomes a matter of grave urgency! 
(e) And the numerous references to Mr. Hamish McDermott and his work at McKinsey. It almost felt like a pseudonym of the author himself. 

Overall, a decent read but dated and full of hyperbole. Can be easily skipped. 

Previously on BookMarks: The Perfect Murder

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