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The McKinsey Way

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"If more business books were as useful, concise, and just plain fun to read as THE MCKINSEY WAY, the business world would be a better place." --Julie Bick, best-selling author of ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW IN BUSINESS I LEARNED AT MICROSOFT. "Enlivened by witty anecdotes, THE MCKINSEY WAY contains valuable lessons on widely diverse topics such as marketing, interviewing, team-building, and brainstorming." --Paul H. Zipkin, Vice-Dean, The Fuqua School of Business

It's been called "a breeding ground for gurus." McKinsey & Company is the gold-standard consulting firm whose alumni include titans such as "In Search of Excellence" author Tom Peters, Harvey Golub of American Express, and Japan's Kenichi Ohmae.

When Fortune 100 corporations are stymied, it's the "McKinsey-ites" whom they call for help. In THE MCKINSEY WAY, former McKinsey associate Ethan Rasiel lifts the veil to show you how the secretive McKinsey works its magic, and helps you emulate the firm's well-honed practices in problem solving, communication, and management.

He shows you how McKinsey-ites think about business problems and how they work at solving them, explaining the way McKinsey approaches every aspect of a task:
How McKinsey recruits and molds its elite consultants;
How to "sell without selling";
How to use facts, not fear them;
Techniques to jump-start research and make brainstorming more productive;
How to build and keep a team at the top its game;
Powerful presentation methods, including the famous waterfall chart, rarely seen outside McKinsey;
How to get ultimate "buy-in" to your findings;
Survival tips for working in high-pressure organizations.

Both a behind-the-scenes look at one of the most admired and secretive companies in the business world and a toolkit of problem-solving techniques without peer, THE MCKINSEY WAY is fascinating reading that empowers every business decision maker to become a better strategic player in any organization.

208 pages, Hardcover

First published February 1, 1999

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About the author

Ethan M. Rasiel

5 books37 followers
Ethan M. Rasiel was a consultant in McKinsey & Co. s New York office. His clients included major companies in finance, telecommunications, computing, and consumer goods sectors. Prior to joining McKinsey, Rasiel, who earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, was an equity fund manager at Mercury Asset Management in London, as well as an investment banker.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 327 reviews
October 18, 2019
A very good book. Though, the best way to characterise it would be to requote from it:

I think anything I say would be too cynical.
—Former associate in the London office

Here goes a bit of tongue-in-the-cheek vocab for it:

1. “What’s the so-what?”

Translation: How is this analysis useful?

Real meaning: You’re one up on me because you’ve done a ton of complex analysis and I haven’t. Allow me to reassert my authority by challenging you to explain the purpose, and implying that while you are living inside a spreadsheet, I’m actually living in the real world.

Example: “OK, so you’ve found that the client sells more beer in Australia than in New Zealand. But what’s the so-what?”

2. “MECE”
Translation: Mutually Exclusive and Completely Exhaustive.

Real meaning: Tell me you haven’t missed something big in your analysis that is going to bite us in the heiny.

Example: “Have you checked your analysis for MECE-ness?”

3. “Quick wins”

Translation: Easy cost savings we can show the client as soon as possible to justify our fees.

Real meaning: Lay-offs.

Example: “The entire Cleveland operation is a quick win.”

4. “Low-hanging fruit.”

Translation: Really quick wins.

Real meaning: Completely useless client operations and staff that even a child could lay off.

Example: “Boy, that guy Bob in accounts is low-hanging fruit.”

5. “Directionally correct.”

Translation: The analysis is correct in its broad conclusions.

Real meaning: The analysis is incorrect in some of its numbers.

Example: “Let’s not get hung up too much on the details. The analysis is directionally correct.”

6. “The right road, but the wrong direction.”

Translation: The analysis is asking the right questions.

Real meaning: The analysis is wrong, and one of the consultants is going to be fired.

Example: “We found the right road, but we took the wrong direction.”

7. “At least we now have a better idea of the questions.”

Translation: The next stage of analysis is going to add value.

Real meaning: The analysis just finished is so completely wrong that we can’t even claim it is directionally correct, or even that we found the right road.

Example: “OK, so’re going to have to go back and do this again. But at least now we have a better idea of the questions.”

8. “We’ve left that open.”

Translation: We haven’t answered that question yet.
Real meaning: We don’t know. In fact until you asked we hadn’t even thought about it.

Example: “How will this impact the new product launch? We’ve left that open.”

9. “Boiling the ocean.”

Translation: Doing a lot of analysis.

Real meaning: We’re so busy in meetings we really want to economize on the amount of actual analysis have to do.

Example: “You don’t need to look at the cost structure of each of the operations. Don’t boil the ocean.”

10. “Delta”

Translation: Change.

Real meaning: The consultant is so insecure he is afraid of using a simple word like “change.”

Example: “It’s going to be hotter tomorrow than today? What’s the delta?”

11. “On the beach.”

Translation: Between projects. (Has nothing to do with any actual beach)

Real meaning: No other consultant wants me on their project.

Example: “I’ve just spent a couple of weeks on the beach.”

12. “Peeling the onion.”

Translation: Doing deeper and deeper analysis.

Real meaning: We’re still trying to understand the client.

Example: “We’ll get a better idea of that once we peel the onion a bit more.”

13. “Granularity.”

Translation: Details.

Real meaning: The consultant is so insecure he is afraid of the simple word “details.”

Example: “Let’s see if we can get a little more granularity on that.”

14. “Version 2.0.”

Translation: A new version.

Real meaning: The first version didn’t work.

Example: “We want version 2.0 of this.”

15. “IPM.”

Translation: In Production Mode.

Real meaning: It’s not finished yet.

Example: “That latest analysis? Don’t worry, it’s IPM.”

16. On the runway

Translation: Still taking off

Real meaning: Hasn’t gone anywhere; still domestic.

Example: “We haven’t really tested or launched yet but we’re on the runway”

17. “A robust conversation”

Translation: we need to shop this idea around more.

Real meaning: everyone we’ve spoken to so far hates it.

Example: “We need to initiate a robust conversation with our stakeholders and gatekeepers that’s structured to fine tune our approach.”

(c) Disclaimer: this hilariousity not mine, found on the web, immencely liked... ;)

And some more scary cons stuff (Russian version only)

/Accenture/ Работа в консалтинге. Дневник стажера-консалтера. (Disclaimer: all from Google)

День 1.
- Слово business видимо произошло от busyness.
- Почти правила стройки. Кто не курит, тот работает. Попробую заменить на кофе.

День 2.
- Консультант это человек с воображением ребенка и IQ не ниже, чем у Эйзенхауэра.

День 3.
- Пришел в офис первый, хотя опоздал минут на 30.
- Задание, которое я делал часа полтора, аналитик сделал за минут 15. Кажется, с помощью Excel он может захватить весь мир.
- Девятичасовой день меня напрочь убивает, плюс - хоть ночью крепко спится. И это далеко не предел, надо привыкать.

День 4.
- Опаздывать, но приходить первым входит в привычку.
- Всё ещё не привык к графику, свои девять часов нужно реально отработать, а думать приходится на каждом шаге. Мозги закипают.
- Ещё никогда так не ждал выходных, а всего четыре дня прошло.

День 5.
- Понял, что обожаю пятницы. Это праздник с 18 часов. Полезные тренинги в офисе под горячий шоколад проходят на ура!

День 6.
- Впервые консультант обратился ко мне за помощью в каком-то вопросе. (Примеч.: кажется, от безысходности).
- Сегодня учили общаться с коллегами из смежного проекта. Почувствовал себя коллектором долгов, пока смотрел, как требова��ия собирают с них.

День 7.
- Оказалось, что консультанты очень любят конфетки. Принес пачку барбарисок - радовались, как дети.

День 8.
- Впервые был час свободного времени вне обеда, когда можно было не работать головой. Почитал проектный материал.
- Команду все еще удивляет, когда я ухожу в половину восьмого вечера, но потом они вспоминают про мою стажировку.

День 9.
- Сделал свой первый легкий овертайм до десяти вечера. После 19:00 открывается второе дыхание, хотя я бы назвал это смирением.
- Начал использовать оптимальные решения. Они здорово экономят время.
- Есть коллеги, которые работают так каждый день. В ночные смены можно разгружать вагоны, а можно загружать базы данных, каждому своё.
- Теперь мне снятся таблицы и схемы, а во сне я генерю и бормочу рандомные названия для них. В работе даже ночью.
July 21, 2013


- Simple language, very accessible and follows a logical flow of topics

- Short. You can read it in a short/mid flight (not that I did:)

- Structured approach for many commonsensical things business professionals naturally do (some may see this as a con)

- Some useful tips here and there (e.g. interviewing tips)


- Not much insight as one would expect from the book title.. no mind blowing/eye opening revelations about McKinsey’s inner workings

- Too generalist (though I believe one should not expect secret recipes or detailed problem-solving algorithms from such a book.. I was still very eager for some level of detail or specificity)

- Outdated techniques in some areas (e.g. Research). It could benefit from an updated version for the era of massive internet use

- Certain topics/tips make the book look too shallow at times (e.g. list of items needed in travel!)

Overall, the author offers some useful general tips throughout the book, but I have to say I was disappointed that the book did not provide in-depth explanation of the philosophy, original thought, breakthroughs, or novel methodologies developed at McKinsey (compare this to The Toyota Way and the point gets clearer). Also, despite the author’s repeated attempts to assert the contrary, the book depicts McKinsey as an average/ordinary business organization..with a little more structure.. and a lot more self-proclaimed prestige! So, either McKinsey is actually that way (which is implausible) or, as it may seem, the book falls short to deliver what its title promises.

15 reviews2 followers
February 15, 2010
This is the most worthless book ever written. Some of the McKinsey wisdom:

Put charts in you presentations to display data. Really!?

A good assistant is priceless. I was thinking of someday getting an awful one.

Don't become a work-a-holic? hmmmm.....

Every problem has 3 causes and 3 solutions. That would make solving problems easier. If only it were true! That's not how you solve problems, that's how you sell solutions to clients! Consultants suck.

I hope for nobody else to waste their money on this book.
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8 reviews1 follower
October 12, 2019
I was deterred from reading this book for a good two years because of the polarised reviews it has received. Readers have deemed it to be too generic, not up to date, and inadequate in providing actual insight into the firm’s operations and culture.

After having read the book, I think it’s safe to say that the disappointment of the readers is due to their highly unrealistic expectations. Most look to this book to provide a formula to doing better in their own jobs, reveal never-before-seen critical thinking techniques, unleash their potential and become a professional of McKinsey calbire. As much as I hate to say it, the professionalism, work ethic, and wealth of knowledge that a McKinsey consultant possesses cannot be gained by reading one book. There’s a reason why consultants from MBB firms have stellar academic and professional backgrounds: they’ve doggedly been in pursuit of excellence and personal improvement for the better part of their lives. It’s unrealistic to expect a book to achieve the same in 180 pages, or divulge trade secrets for that matter.

That being said, the book is a must read for the following reasons:

1. It provides a glimpse into how structured the thought process of a McKinsey consultant is:
Structure is the most important ingredient in consulting. It frees the mind to think in a logical manner, allows clarity of thought and clear communication of ideas. This is represented perfectly by how well the book has been organised. With each ‘part’ and chapter starting off with an introduction and executive summary. Each section beginning with an assertion, followed by reasons and facts. The book flows seamlessly, with each topic logically and effortlessly transitioning to the next.

2. Actionable information:
Topics including ‘developing an approach’, ‘interviewing for information’, ‘brainstorming’ and ‘selling the idea’ have actionable recommendations which we can benefit from by putting them into use in our own jobs.

3. Attitude:
The book illustrates the attitude and traits that a McKinsey consultant possesses: one of curiosity, professional skepticism, clarity of thought and hunger for persistent personal growth. These are fundamental to being successful in any career. We must strive to inculcate these in our personalities. However this raises the question, to what extent can these be developed? Are they innate, or a matter of practice and habit? Being a recent believer in the growth mindset, I sincerely hope that it’s the latter of the two.

Perhaps the book is a bit outdated with respect to minor technical details (brainstorming, charts, etc.). However, the purpose of the book was to help the reader understand the attitude, level of professionalism and intelligence that an individual requires to be a Mckinsey consultant, and it achieves that objective perfectly. Hence, I recommend this book to people of all ages, especially to college students or those starting off their careers.

Side note: I’m slightly sceptical of the idea that an initial hypothesis must be constructed in order to arrive at the solution. The author asserts that through fact-finding either this initial hypothesis will hold true or it won’t, in which case you have enough information to arrive at the correct answer. What if the initial hypothesis takes you along a wrong path? Yes, intermittent course correction is carried out as new information comes to light. That’s why Im of the opinion that fact-finding, brainstorming and constructing the initial hypothesis go hand in hand, rather than one after the other.
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382 reviews50 followers
September 26, 2014
This book has:

1. lots of trivial advice (be organized, use charts...)
2. tiny bits of interesting (but not world-shattering) concepts (e.g. MECE) described in a shallow enough detail so that it won't help you all that much
3. McKinsey-ites work long hours*. You'll hear that on every second page.
4. mixture of boring business stories with occasional glances of the borderline sociopathic business power-player archetype.

There are also bits that are clearly incorrect, mostly when he tries to branch out a bit into the scientific method and complexity theory ("branch out" is too generous, he just wants you to know he read (and obviously half-understood) a book).

Business book at it its tripest.

* I'm sure they work 70% more hours than you... they also get ~400% more pay. Who knew that your marginal productivity just booms after 10 hours of work? The wonders of human brain!
Profile Image for TarasProkopyuk.
686 reviews94 followers
May 10, 2015
Книги от действующих и бывших партнёров McKinsey подобны огню принесённых Прометеем для людей из Олимпа, и эта не исключение.

McKinsey это одна из колыбелей где рождаются и задаются стандарты ведения и управления бизнес процессов и бизнеса в целом.

Эта книга будет очень полезна не только для людей и компаний, которые работают в консалтинговом бизнесе. Знания, принципы, ценности и методы роботы одной из самых известных консалтинговых компаний можно и обязательно нужно перенести в свой бизнес.
Profile Image for Kyle C..
9 reviews1 follower
April 16, 2020
This book has been hopelessly ravaged by the passage of time. It does offer insight into a nebulous industry and, although the methods are not revealed, the state of mind is. The sections that are not outdated and rendered completely useless by the use of the internet have some decent bits of information. I understand that a non-disclosure agreement limits what can be published, but I wish the author threw me a bone. I would have appreciated more insight into how they achieve their goals. This is not a book to learn about consultant's methods/tools (read McKinsey's Valuation textbook instead), but how a consultant thinks, uses obfuscating language, drinks coffee, fires people without remorse, and works 100 hours a week. The bastardization of the scientific method was asinine (e.g. "come up with a hypothesis"); this trend unfortunately emanates from consulting firms and trickles down into other companies, where business people try to solve business problems with scientific logic. It doesn't work.

All in all, a decent read.


Should have had more waterfall charts.
11 reviews
February 19, 2021
Another business book that gives occasional business advice, but mostly platitudes and anecdotes.

I went into this book expecting more than it had to offer. My thought was that McKinsey was the top consulting company and there must be something unique to that competitive advantage. The advantage mostly seems to stem from a little hard work and mostly existing personal connections.

Advisor such as, “Analysis must be fact based”, and, “consider searching the internet for information on a client before beginning an engagement” range from common sense to opinion.

The writing style is good, not distracting from the content. It provides the writing in an accessible manner. The drawback is it comes from an employee. The author was a two year analyst for the company. This results in the feel of someone who has drunk the kool aid while mainly just being star struck at the brand of McKinsey.

There is some good business advice nestled in this ad for McKinsey. But this book being out of time and out of insight ultimately make it just an ok book.
Profile Image for Tonya Sh.
327 reviews14 followers
July 9, 2012
This is the first book I started my digging into consulting industry with - and I think I made the right choice. A very fast and easy reading, I'd say even fascinating. Great for the starters, to give you a general insight into the industry and how it works. Actually, I guess anyone in business management/corporate world would find something useful to get out of it. Some really helpful advise and tips.
It helped me understand what I really want to do, and where to start. That being said, I'll probably get back to it, to review the highlights, before my first interview at one of the Top Consulting companies (secretly hope it's going to be McKinsey) :)
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34 reviews26 followers
January 11, 2021
I'm not sure this book worth money, few knowledge compared with the price. Anyway if you think it this way, in order for him to get in there and cristalyze the McKinsey-ites knowledge, it might worth it after all...
Profile Image for Shantanu.
14 reviews
October 1, 2017
Loved the book. Wonderful insights on the management skills needed for consultants, the do's and dont's. Definitely a must read for a beginner consultant.
Profile Image for Cakra.
29 reviews10 followers
June 22, 2018
Easy to read, but a lot of gimmick that praises McKinsey or author achievements too much. Some points are good and can be applied in general. Some others are specific to politics in workplace.

Key takeways:
- Make data-driven decision.
- Things at McKinsey come in threes. Three items in list, three hypothesis, three actionable items, etc.
- Structure everything: facts, framework of thinking.
- Think about the big picture: take a step back, figure out what to achieve, look at what we're doing, and ask 'Does this really matter?'.
- Documentation is helpful for future similar problems.
- Be practical. Only attempt feasible solutions.
- Make use of 80/20 rules. Don't boil the ocean: don't try to analyze everything. Focus on 20% effort that yields 80% result.
- Get your job done, don't try to do the work of the whole team. You will raise unrealistic expectations and it is hard to regain credibility once you fail to meet them.
- Tips on interviewing people: silence is powerful; response with filler like "yes,", "I see,", "uh-huh" to show that you're paying attention; talk just enough to keep the interview on track; paraphrase to confirm; prepare three things you most want to know by the end of the interview.
- On brainstorming: there are no bad ideas; no dumb questions; be prepared to kill your ideas; take notes.
- On making presentation: be structured; resist the temptation to tweak your presentation up to the last minute; keep it simple.
- On growing: find your own mentor, it makes difference.

McKinsey stuff:
- Many people work at McKinsey (McKinsey-ites) really value the smartness of the coworkers.
- McKinsey value meritocracy and welcome opposing point of view.
- Many McKinsey-ites work for crazy hours, some even don't have life.
- The client can mess up. Politics, rivalry, not willing to cooperate, feeling threatened by restructuring.
- Travel sometimes can feel tiring. Try to look it as an adventure.
- McKinsey hires the best, by their definition, it's having good grades from reputable universities.
Profile Image for Ngoc Anh Vy.
2 reviews3 followers
December 22, 2019
Mình thích The McKinsey Way (Phương Pháp Mckinsey) vì 2 lý do sau:

#2: Cuốn sách chỉ ra quá trời các vấn đề mà bấy lâu nay mình mắc phải kèm theo cách giải quyết
#1: Cuốn sách chỉ ra những vấn đề mà bấy lâu nay mình thậm chí không biết đó là vấn đề :)) (Và mình chắc chắn là nhiều ng trong các bạn cũng thấy thế)

Mình biết cuốn này là do 1 anh bạn giới thiệu. Lúc mình hỏi, "Theo anh đâu là kỹ năng quan trọng nhất, cần thiết nhất khi đi làm".

Anh ấy bảo "Kỹ năng giải quyết vấn đề" và bonus thêm "em phải đọc The McKinsey Way và mấy martrix/strategy của BCG"

Mình nhớ để đó thôi! Sau 1 năm đi làm full-time, mình mới thấm thía lời khuyên đó và lôi sách này ra đọc! Cuốn sách đề cập tới các vấn đề về tư duy, động não, phỏng vấn, trình bày ý tưởng, giữ nhiệt cho đội nhóm, cách làm 1 quản lý giỏi, cách trở thành 1 nhân viên thực thi thông minh, blah blah.

Chúng mình sẽ lần lượt đi từ điều mình nhớ nhất đến điều mình quên nhanh nhất nha :))

THỨ 1: MECE - Mutually exclusive & Collectively exhaustive
(Đại loại: Không trùng lặp, Không bỏ sót - cơ cấu tư duy rõ ràng giúp bạn tránh nhầm lẫn và chồng chéo)

Khi đưa ra 1 danh sách các vấn dề cần phải giải quyết, hãy cố gắng đưa ra những ý kiến xuất sắc nhất (lớn hơn 2, nhỏ hơn 5 ý kiến) và chúng phải bảo quát tường tận, thấu đáo vấn đề và tuyệt đối không được trùng lặp hay là tập con của nhau.


3 tiêu chí bạn cần tuân thủ khi giải quyế vấn đề:
- Bằng chứng/số liệu thực tế
- Kết cấu chặt chẽ
- Dựa trên khung lý thuyết

(1) Dựa trên thực tế (số liệu, bằng chứng thực tế)

Bằng chứng/số liệu thực tế giúp hạn chế những phản xạ theo bản năng. Không chỉ ở McKinsey, ngay ở phòng MKT của bọn mình thôi, cũng vất vả đi tìm số liệu/dẫn chứng để đưa ra quyết định và chúng mình phải tìm/học/đọc rất nhiều về cách đọc data và đưa ra kết luận, sau đó là hành động (next action) dựa trên những kết luận đó. Tầm này mà còn làm mkt theo kiểu ngồi bốc thuốc thì căng đó :))

Thứ hai, bằng chứng thực tế sẽ giúp tạo dựng niềm tin. Trong sách này, tác giả nói các khách hàng dạng Forune 500 sẽ không tin/rất khó tin các giải pháp đề xuất bởi 1 ng trong độ tuổi 27 (dù họ có bằng MBA, và tốt nghiệp hạng A của mấy trường top đầu). Sếp t cũng bảo "Điểm yếu lớn nhất của mình là còn trẻ. Nhiều khi trẻ quá sẽ không được tin tưởng"

Đó cũng là lý do vì sao khi trình bày, số liệu bạn luôn cần ghi nguồn. Và muốn tin 1 bảng số liệu, bạn phải biết rõ cách họ thu thập như nào, hay chỉ là copy, paste, edit rồi từ đó vẽ chart (ơ, lan man rồi)

(2) Kết cấu chặt chẽ:

Chính là MECE t mới viết bên trên

(3) Dựa trên giả thuyết

Thực hiện vòng lặp:
B1: Đưa ra giả thuyết
B2: Kiểm tra giả thuyết: Tìm dữ liệu/bằng chứng để phản bác/đồng ý với giả thuyết đó
B3: Nếu giải thuyết sai, quay lại B1

Để tránh 1 vòng lặp vô tận gây waste time, waste money, waste effort, thì việc quan trọng nhất là tìm và đưa ra giả thuyết mẫu mực nhất. Cách đưa ra giả thuyết mẫu mực đó chính là kết hợp thực tế (tiêu chí 1) cùng phương pháp tư duy chặt chẽ (tiêu chí 2)

- 1 phần là tư duy theo phương pháp Mece t mới kể bên trên
- Khi vẽ biểu đồ (chương cuối): keep everything simple với nguyên tắc "mỗi biểu đồ chỉ 1 thông điệp duy nhất"
- Cách báo cáo: ndung báo cáo/cập nhật công việc cần đáp ứng 3 tiêu chí "đầy đủ - có thứ tự ..."

Profile Image for Jacek Bartczak.
195 reviews58 followers
August 6, 2019
In last months I read a couple of books somehow connected with consulting (it includes pure consultants and VC funds founders as well). Mostly to gain business insights and check how people smarter than I think about solving problems. "The McKinsey Way" doesn't give a lot of business insights (examples are very general) rather focuses on how many aspects of consulting may be structured. The author covers many topics but no so deeply. I am aware he couldn't write everything that he knew but you won't learn from that book about business. I would even say that most of the mentioned tips at Casbeg were "discovered" in the first months of the company's existence.

If you think about doing consulting projects or already do them - it is worth to read that book. If you don't plan do any advisory projects - probably you will be disappointed.

I have to admit that a book is easy to read and many business authors should treat it as an example.
Profile Image for Tyler Wright.
6 reviews
March 30, 2019
This book is a must read for anyone working in government, private sector, corporate America, or just small business. It gives high level insight on solving some of the most complex problems businesses face. McKinsey is regarded as the most prestigious consulting firm on planet earth. This book will give the reader great ideas on presentations, interviewing, brainstorming, and planning. I give it 5 stars due to the level of detail that is provided and how easy it is to implement on your own life!
Profile Image for Mam Yanisa.
90 reviews4 followers
September 7, 2022
It gives me a glimpse of what does it look like in McKinsey and consulting world. The narration is easy to follow and full of framework and recommendations especially ones relating to solving business problems. I also especially like the part about how to conduct good interview. At the end, it is totally up to readers who need to practice such skills.
Profile Image for Pogger G..
13 reviews
January 13, 2023
A fine read. I think this would be a great introductory-type business book for a high school student who wants to learn a bit about consulting. In my opinion, there aren't going to be many groundbreaking insights if you're an experienced professional or business student.

Fave part of the book was the last section talking about takeaway from former McKinsey employees.
Profile Image for Frederik Jukema.
29 reviews
December 13, 2020
Great book if you’re into consulting, or want to know more about consulting. The author, Rasiel, describes perfectly how McKinsey thinks, what they do (from a day-to-day- basis) and explains why McKinsey is such a magnet for passionate people.
Profile Image for Avishek Saha.
3 reviews8 followers
April 17, 2017
Very well written, filled with interesting anecdotes and practical examples. A must-read for anyone who wishes to know more about the consulting industry
Profile Image for Dave Bolton.
192 reviews78 followers
May 8, 2018
Interesting enough but not super insightful. I gleaned a couple of points about how to structure thinking in a business setting, but overall it was mainly common sense. It's a quick read though so it was worth it just for the couple of takeaways.
Profile Image for Tung Do.
15 reviews
April 16, 2020
Great book to have a peak into how a career at McKinsey is like.
The book also showed very smart ways of tackling a problem - "The McKinsey Way"
Some methods were very eye-opening to me.
Profile Image for Jennifer.
101 reviews
May 2, 2021
Read for work. Some useful takeaways but a lot of filler.
Profile Image for Alex.
38 reviews
August 8, 2017
Despite my better judgement, I read this after someone rather sincerely recommended it to me. Am now weighing whether to 'restructure' that relationship after enduring this book's rapidly deteriorating prose for 2 hours.
Profile Image for Bruno Betancourt.
16 reviews2 followers
January 27, 2021
Lectura rápida y entretenida. Interesantes perspectivas alrededor del mundo de la consultoría, y un obligado para quien quiera conocer más de la industria.
February 20, 2021
Читал в переводе "Альпина"
Видишь 200 страниц в компактном формате и думаешь будет сжато и по делу. Нет, 75% текста вы будете читать как устроена работа внутри "Фирмы". Какие прекрасные там консультанты, секретари, руководители и проч.
Если это ваша первая книга по проектам и командной работе, то может почитать стоит.
Практических рекомендаций и примеров не так много. Не все заголовки раскрываются. Например, "Что делать если в команде появился "человек-помеха"". Ожидаешь чего угодно от такой книги, но не "оградите его минимум информации и долей участия в проекте". Блеск! Остальные 99% текста вода.
В общем есть несколько полезных выводов, но назвать их новыми я бы не осмелился.
Profile Image for Taylor.
27 reviews
January 7, 2022
It’s a bit dated, but there were some tips and tidbits in here that new consultants would likely find very helpful. It’s a quick read as well with some entertaining anecdotes that made my venture out of the fiction world a bit more enjoyable than I would have expected, if I had only judged it by its cover.
Profile Image for Prashant.
55 reviews2 followers
April 22, 2020
The McKinsey Way is a light and enjoyable read for those who want a brief overview of what management consulting is, for those who would love a better picture of what it’s like to work at McKinsey & Company, and for those who want to understand some principles of consulting which they can apply in their work.
Although the book is fun and well structured, the book skims the surface on a wide variety of topics and doesn’t go into great detail. Because of that, I feel some chapters are worth reading twice though few chapters should be just skimmed through, I will leave it to you to decide, which of the chapters you feel should be skipped.
The crux of the book is that Mckinsey is a fact-based, structured and hypothesis-driven organization & while I haven’t worked in the consulting world ever in my career yet I found a lot of advice which can be applied in my field as well i.e. Solving a problem, Working out with clients and selling your solution to them.
The McKinsey Way is divided into 5 parts:
1. McKinsey way of thinking about business problems. In this part of the book, the author shares about Mckinsey and how does it work. Ethan Rasiel then continues to give an overview of how to develop an approach for each unique business problem. He ends this section by sharing some basic business rules like the 80/20 rule, finding the key drivers, and so on.
2. McKinsey way of working to solve business problems. Here Ethan talks about McKinsey’s approach to selling a study – to sell without selling – and then goes on to describe the basics of assembling a team, managing hierarchy, conducting research, conducting interviews, and brainstorming.
3. The McKinsey way of selling solutions. Consultants recognize that even if they had the best solution in the world, they wouldn’t make an impact unless they could successfully sell the solution to the client. Rasiel gives advice on making presentations, working with clients, and getting buy-in from all necessary parts of an organization in this section.
4. Surviving at McKinsey. Consultants work long hours, travel a lot (especially at McKinsey due to their global staffing model), and put up with significant pressure to deliver in their jobs. In this section, Ethan Rasiel shares insights on how to survive (and possibly thrive) at McKinsey and he gives a couple of snippets about McKinsey’s recruiting style.
5. Life after McKinsey. Ethan states in the last part of this book, “Leaving McKinsey is never a question of whether—it’s a question of when”. In this brief section, the author shares significant lessons and memories from working at McKinsey.
Insights From The Book
1. Structure, structure, structure. The word “structure” comes often in this book. Learning how to structure life, problem-solving processes, solutions, emails, and so on is one of the first and most things an associate will learn at McKinsey.

2. Keeping it simple / hit home runs. “It’s much better to get to first base consistently than to try to hit a home run—and strike out 9 times out of 10.” When working at a prestigious firm like McKinsey, it very tempting to try and come up with solutions that will “hit the ball out of the park”. There are several reasons that hitting single runs are more advantageous, though, one of them being that if you manage to hit the ball out of the park once-through “superhuman effort”, you will be expected to do the same every time you step up to bat.
3. Someone needs to step up to the plate. Implementation is tough and requires a great deal of work. After delivering the solution, it’s vitally important to put specific people (within the organization receiving the consulting services) in charge of implementing the solutions. If there isn’t a person responsible for the changes required, chances are the changes will not be implemented efficiently, if they are implemented at all.

The book is interesting. Very beautifully gives layman a glimpse of consulting. Anyone thinking of a career in one of the big 3 or trying to learn the practices of the consulting world should definitely read this book.
Drawback: since it was published in a pre-digital era, so for tech-savvy junta looking for insights that could help them cope with the tips and tricks used nowadays in the laptops and ipads of the world, this book could be a bit of disappointment from that angle.
Profile Image for محمد بن عبدالعزيز.
57 reviews22 followers
June 3, 2018
I believe it's one of the essential books for business development and entrepreneurs although it's all about McKinsey's management consulting experience.

Main Focuses:
- Structure Thinking for most common business situations
- Business and Data Storytelling
- Presentation skills development
- Communication skills

I saw in some points of the book that it explains trivial situations in a very boring context.

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