McKinsey's internal mythology compares management consultants to "the Marine Corps, the Roman Catholic Church, and the Jesuits"

Thanks for providing the actual quote, the article and especially the headline made a mess of this.

I agree that it’s still, as you point out, essentially bullshit.

So instead of hiring a McKinsey consultant, you could just give the manual to your own managers or even better - to the employees, provided that they are at least 23 years old. That would be much cheaper, and probably achieve better results.

Is that sacred manual available somewhere? I am in dire need of a laugh.

Edit: “sacred”, not “scared”


Don’t be silly. Extremely proprietary material! Even the graduates in nappies only get shown the pages they need, not the whole thing. You’ll be wanting the Bible printed in something other than Latin next! :wink:


Come on, there must be a 23-year-old Luther hidden somewhere at McKinsey.

There are two separate issues here: the first is that by definition, even an “experienced” 23 year old (that is, someone who did a bunch of things while in education before graduating and getting a fresh-out-of-college McKinsey job) is NOT experienced as a management consultant. To my knowledge, there’s no such thing as a “hire a student to do management consulting for you” tradition in any kind of business, nor is there any appreciable “independent high schooler management consulting” sector. So these junior staffers, hired out at $3m/year, are, by definition, trainees with no applicable experience that could possibly be argued as a justification for that pay-rate. Of all the brazen ways in which McKinsey rips off the government, charging $3m/year for someone who can’t possibly have any experience and whose major qualification is, “I can follow the recipes in the McKinsey 3-ring binder” is the most inarguable, since there’s no way to argue that McKinsey is able to promise someone with a proven track-record of saving its clients $3m+/year and thus can justify charging $3m/year.

The second question is whether other McKinsey consultants are not worth the money, to which I would say, yes, absolutely, those consultants are also not worth it. But this is an arguable point inasmuch as McKinsey might claim that the track record of its senior staff shows them saving more money than they’re billed out at (I think that any such showing would be based on juked stats and other frauds, but now we’re arguing methodologies and it’s harder to establish a clear winner in that argument).

To sum up: Junior staffers can’t have management consulting track-records because they are junior, so there’s no arguing that there is an evidence-based way to justify charging them out at $3m/year.


“Any organisation that believes its own press-releases is doomed.” That seems to be at least one factor here. Come to think, I feel that applies in one or two other significant areas just now.


Friends who have worked as management consultants say that the business model of most of the industry is to charge companies a lot of money to tell them what they already know.




And why can a consultant charge 'em to tell 'em what they already know? Because a consultant traveled more than 100 miles to tell 'em.
I’ve gotten to be a “consultant” twice in the last 20+ years. The client got pretty much the same thing I gave people in my locale, but I was truly given a much more awed gaze. I’d heard the definition of consultant, so I made sure to charge more! (I do, modestly, think they still got their money’s worth.)

Business-speak in all industries seems to trend towards military lingo. This is a bit more than is “normal” from what I’ve seen, but it’s grown from the same soil it feels like.


Careful. All that autofellatio is liable to give them a hernia


Some other notable McKinsey alumni:

Ajit Jain
Chelsea Clinton
Sheryl Sandberg
Sundar Pitchai

While it’s not strictly about McKinsey, I’ve always regarded Confessions of an Economic Hitman as the quintessential indictment of the ilk:


We already knew that McKinsey are The Business, right? :blush:


This topic was automatically closed after 5 days. New replies are no longer allowed.