Tuesday, June 5, 2007

The McKinsey Mind by Ethan M Rasiel

Everyone needs a systematic sketch out for solving problems, then delivering and executing solutions.

If you read this book you will come to know the following broader strategy:

  • The problem-solving and management techniques employed by the consultants at McKinsey & Co.
  • Tips for improving communications and presentation skills.
  • How to adopt these methods to improve performance within your own organization.

The authors segue nicely from their former book, The McKinsey Way. The McKinsey Mind has the same chapters as the former, and with those chapters delves deeper in how employees of "the firm" actually go about getting the job of consulting done, at one of the most highly respected firms in the world.

The McKinsey Mind provided a wealth of resources which can be applied apply immediately after skimming through the book. Here are a few things what you can learn from this book:

The hypothesis is the base of all findings hence let your hypothesis determine your analysis - for every problem, you need an angle to approach from. This can be considered your hypothesis, which also goes to defining scope. Once you have this, you can decide what work needs to be done to reach resolution

Gathering the data - This wasn't so much a new discipline, especially for those of you that do a lot of research already, but I mention it because they have an impressive appendix called "Data-Gathering Resources" which lists nearly every business-related database and website that you could possibly need to do the due diligence on whatever problem you're working on.

Interviewing - To me, this was the most important, especially because I'm now in a company where there are a lot of veterans that know more than I, and I need to know as much from them about the business as possible. I've never had more productive meet & greets with leadership as I have since I started applying some of the McKinsey interview techniques.

"What's the So What?" - Ask yourself, in every analysis, "What's the So What?" This essentially means asking yourself what value have you generated for your client/stakeholders through your findings. Is there a nugget there that's worth your time? Do you need to adjust your hypothesis because the facts tell otherwise?

Managing Your Team, Client, and Self - Great advice, but nothing you haven't read before. It's interesting to see though how consultants that routinely work 80 hour weeks recommend your reclaiming some of your personal time. I found one quote "If the place isn't falling apart, go home at 5, enjoy the time and reenergize." I find myself using that every day. We could all stay well into the evening, but then what would we be?

The book adds additional value in that it summarizes the 'lessons' in appendices at the end, along with the data-gathering appendix I already mentioned. This alone was worth the price of the book because it gives me a reference that I can turn to until I get some of the better ideas committed to memory.

1 comment:

Funda-mentor said...

Khatriiiii... baawaa jhakaas Fundae from the book yaar... Ekdum juice nikaal diyaa tune toh book ka! hahaha... sahi hai.. lagey reh.. looking for more Khatri reviews!