consultant communication

The McKinsey Kiss of Death

The #1 reason new McKinsey consultants get fired is what I call the firm’s “kiss of death.” What offense could be so egregious to warrant being fired? It occurs when it’s been determined that you’re… “Uncoachable.” Huh? The McKinsey culture involves others giving you a lot of feedback on how to improve your performance. It [...]

How to Tell Someone They're Totally Wrong

In a recent article, I wrote about an interesting application of the 80/20 rule as it applies to musical songwriting. I had no idea it would generate so much backlash. There are so many lessons to be learned and taught from the response. I thought it would be instructive to go through it all. As [...]

The Uncertainty Arbitrage

There is a simple principle the underlies the relationship between client and consulting firm. It is something I call the Uncertainty Arbitrage. While uncertainty is self explanatory, if you’re not from a finance background, the concept of arbitrage may be new to you. In its usual context, arbitrage is a financial trading strategy design to exploit goods that are [...]

Being Influential Through Word Choice

Over the last 5 years, I have taken an unusual interest in linguistics. My interest was prompted by the book Words That Work: It’s Not What You Say, It’s What They Hear, by Frank Lunz. Lunz is a political pollster. His job is to take a politician’s idea and test it through market research to find the best way [...]