Comments (16)

Jun 7, 2009

Complete crock of shit - the guy is obviously trying to justify his own boutique.

Jesus, what is with all these "Is X dying" threads? The reason for investment banking, management consulting, etc. are pretty long term and structural - these aren't things that change overnight just because we have a mortgage/credit crisis.

Jan 18, 2013

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Jan 18, 2013

Admittedly, I am not an expert on the field, but I wouldn't be surprised if you saw firms becoming more and more specialized. Just like the first firms broke into fragments, I think as the industry progresses, you will see more firms follow that route and lead to more firms being reduced to niche type consulting.

Just my, fairly uninformed, 2 cents.

(I felt compelled to respond due to the posters name. Clearly my fan club is alive and well.)

If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses - Henry Ford

Jun 7, 2009

I agree with that article but the problem won't play itself out over months or years but rather a decade or two.

The main problem for MC has been the open access to academic research into management techniques/frameworks.

Jan 18, 2013

Big pharma is investing into alot of biologics in their R&D pipeline. Life sciences in general might make a comback in the next few. I would imagine there will be increasing needs for clinical trial experts helping these start-ups charter through through the FDA regulatory process for said biologics. Capital is so dry for this space right now tho.

Baby you're the perfect shape, baby you're the perfect weight. Treat me like my birthday, I want it this way and I want it that way. It makes a man feel good baby.

Jan 18, 2013

I think people will always need advice/help on making processes better. They had it in the days of Andrew Carnegie and Cheaper By The Dozen with efficiency specialists, they were just internal consultants but the name had not been invented yet.

Perhaps in fifty years, we will be asking what the future is for Actuary firms or Quant Analysis firms and note that the industry did not really exist 50 years ago (because those people worked for insurance companies and banks.)

There's definitely a such thing as too much consulting. Management's job, IMHO, is to keep the employees focused on the firm's best interests and otherwise let them do their job. And to that end, there's really only a finite amount of work that needs to be done every couple of years.

Jun 13, 2009

Firms hire strategy consultants to (1) give credibility to something they already know or (2) solve a problem they can not solve themselves.

So, as long as CEOs and boards face (1) office politics and (2) limitations of their own time, mind and experience, strategy consulting will survive.

Hence, I'd say we see a temporary decline in consulting fees as it's less accepted in the current climate to hire strategy consultants. I don't think top management has more time, brain power and know how than it did before the crisis.

Regarding special topic boutiques, they can only gain a competitive advantage by giving more credibility than MBB to something the client wants them to say (1), because it's hard for them to solve high level issues (2) if they don't have in-house experts on most/all areas of business that could come up in the solution.

Jan 18, 2013

More implementation and operational work to accompany strategy, closer partnership with middle management. Internally, there will be greater focus on centralizing data and leveraging already acquired knowledge and experience.

Jan 18, 2013

The industry's much more than 30 years old - McKinsey and AT Kearney have been around for over 80 years - but the number of players has certainly grown. There are a lot of specialized boutique firms led by former big firm partners popping up, but I don't see MBB and their ilk breaking up or specializing. But expansion into operational work, though unsavory, is probably inevitable, and i agree with petergibbons that firms will have to pay more attention to building on previous work instead of starting from scratch.

Jan 18, 2013
2x2Matrix:

The industry's much more than 30 years old - McKinsey and AT Kearney have been around for over 80 years - but the number of players has certainly grown. There are a lot of specialized boutique firms led by former big firm partners popping up, but I don't see MBB and their ilk breaking up or specializing. But expansion into operational work, though unsavory, is probably inevitable, and i agree with petergibbons that firms will have to pay more attention to building on previous work instead of starting from scratch.

I actually meant to ask what everyone thought about the futre of strategy consulting. McKinsey and AT Kearny have been around for over 80 years (when it started, McKinsey was focused on "finance and budgeting services"), but McKinsey's strategy work didn't start until the 70s. Where does everything think this is headed?

Jan 18, 2013

>> First, I think that the "generalist consultant" model is no longer viable. Consulting firms that want to succeed must offer subject matter expertise, not just visions. . On the other hand, boutique firms with deep expertise seem to be doing well, especially if they partner with other firms that fill in the gaps.

He's right. Take a quick look at the "experienced hire" section of McKinsey - they are looking for a number of people with deep industry or subject matter expertise to pair with their generalist.

My firm's entire model is moving to the idea of exceptional subject matter depth, and building cross-competency teams to solve client issues. Clients want experts, but there is no reason a boutique is the only option. Many firms will hire sub-contractors who are world class specialists to help, or a strategy partnership with the right boutique. They want their experts (PM's / Directors) to have 15-20 years experience in their area, and ideally quite a few years doing it in their very industry.

As stated above, the industry is maturing - and in any maturing industry specialization becomes more prevalent. A more sophisticated client requires a more sophisticated organization, regardless of if they are a boutique, a great independent or a large firm. But don't think dying is the same as changing.

Jan 18, 2013

For as long as people need specialized knowledge, consulting will always be here. Forever ... mwahaha!
At least am hoping so ... for my own sake lol

Jan 18, 2013

I don't think the future of Strategy consulting is in any jeopardy. It will slowly return as we get further removed from the downturn. I do think that in the new stable market, strategy growth will pale in comparison to execution and project management growth. Maybe less so in MBB, but firms across the board are going to have to get their hands dirtier than before.

Jan 18, 2013
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