A simple but very informative book giving you the overview of the core techniques used by consultants.
This book is written by Ethan M. Rasiel, a former Associate at McKinsey & Company. He worked at the New York office from 1989 until 1992. Afterwards he has worked as an investment banker and independent consultant.
The McKinsey Way: Using the Techniques of the World’s Top Strategic Consultants to Help You and Your Business is one of two book he has written based on his time there. The other one is called The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World’s Top Strategic Consulting Firm. He also interviewed other employees of the firm to ensure he didn’t leave out anything important.
The McKinsey Way is a quickly read book where you get a glimpse into what consulting is all about at entry level positions. The book could be of some interest if you are fascinated by consulting and consider joining a consultancy, or if you want to learn their techniques and implement them at your work. The latter is not something you come by easily – it will take a lot of practice – especially if you are not surrounded by former consultants already mastering the toolbox. I which case I guess you wouldn’t need to read the book.
Throughout the book you are guided through all the very simple, yet effective techniques McKinsey consultants apply in their daily work. But you are not shown exactly how to apply them specifically. Rather, you will get a brief intro and hopefully get inspired to study the subject in more detail to learn the skill for yourself. The book is best applicable to consultancy work, however it is also very usable in other companies. Many consultants continue their career outside consulting very successfully by simply using the techniques learned as consultants. It’s a very general toolbox.
The book is divided into five parts:
Part one: The McKinsey way of thinking about business problems. Here you’ll get introduced to some of the most fundamental techniques, e.g. the 80/20 rule.
Part two: The McKinsey wat of working to solve business problems. This part takes you through the complete problem solving process from assembling a team to concrete techniques such as brainstorming.
Part three: The McKinsey way of selling solutions. This is about how to communicate what you have learned during the problem solving phase. Say it with charts and presentations touch upon the same subjects.
Part four: Surviving at McKinsey. Includes a few tips about the best ways to be able to stay at the firm without having a burnout.
Part five: Life after McKinsey. He reflects on the most important lessons he learned while at the firm.
All in all a must-read book if you want to understand what makes management consultants so effective in their work. The book will surely provide you with a few things you can continue to work on in 2016.