Tuesday, November 26, 2013

What It Means to be "Down In the Weeds" at McKinsey

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If you've worked in the food service industry - or watched Top Chef - you're probably familiar with the term "in the weeds".  But that means something very different than the term "down in the weeds" which not a McKinsey-specific term, but one I heard used frequently at the Firm.  In this post I'll explain the difference and what you should do if your McKinsey boss asks you to not be so down in the weeds...

It's also worth nothing that McKinsey interviewers also view being down in the weeds negatively, so aspiring consultants should also be mindful of not getting down in the weeds during interviews, especially when breaking down the case.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Top-Down vs. Bottom-Up Problem Solving Approaches at McKinsey

There are typically two primary ways to approach problem-solving - "top-down" and "bottom-up".  In this post I'll explain the differences as well as why the top-down approach is preferred by McKinsey bosses and interviewers...

Saturday, November 23, 2013

What Is the "Obligation to Dissent" at McKinsey?

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If your McKinsey boss knows that you disagree with something, you will be reminded of your "obligation to dissent".  In this post, I'll explain what that means...

Friday, November 22, 2013

Top 5 Internal McKinsey Resources for Consultants

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McKinsey consultants are focused on delivering impact to clients.  The Firm doesn't want things like research, making PowerPoint pages, and debugging Excel models distracting from that goal.  So, McKinsey provides many valuable resources to its consultants.  These are also among the top things former McKinsey consultants miss most about the Firm.  In this post I'll cover the Top 5 McKinsey resources...

Sunday, November 17, 2013

4 Ways to "Streamline" a PowerPoint Page or Deck at McKinsey

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Your McKinsey boss might give you feedback that your work needs to be "streamlined".  In this post I'll explain what that means and provide four common ways to accomplish it...

Saturday, November 16, 2013

"Laundry Lists" at McKinsey and 3 Ways to Fix Them

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Your McKinsey boss might give you feedback that your work reads too much like a "laundry list".  This is also a common error during consulting case interviews.  In this post I'll explain what "laundry lists" are and how you can fix them in 3 easy steps...

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

"Levers" and What It Means to "Pull" Them at McKinsey

Your McKinsey boss might ask you what "levers" you're pursuing or seem most promising on a project or workstream.  In this post, I'll explain what "levers" are at McKinsey...

Sunday, November 10, 2013

What it means to "get smart" on topics at McKinsey and 5 Key Things to Learn

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Has your McKinsey boss asked you to "get smart" on a topic?  In this post I'll explain what that means and highlight five subjects to focus on...

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Focus on the "Critical Few" or "Vital Few" - Application of the 80/20 Rule

Your McKinsey boss might give you feedback to focus more of your effort on the "critical few" or "vital few". This is so you can achieve maximum impact for a given amount of work - it's another way of saying that your McKinsey boss wants you to apply the 80/20 rule to your work.  In this post I'll explain those terms...

Friday, November 8, 2013

What it means to "Boil the Ocean" and why it's important to avoid doing it

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The term "boiling the ocean" is used to describe any task that's impossible because it has been incorrectly scoped.  In this post I'll explain what that might look like on a McKinsey engagement - or a project for a McKinsey boss - and what to do about it...

Sunday, November 3, 2013

What it means to "Sanitize" a document at McKinsey

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You might hear your McKinsey boss or colleague refer to a document as "sanitized".  Or, you might be asked to "sanitize" a document.  This has nothing to do with hygiene or disinfectant.  It has everything to do with confidentiality.  In this post I'll explain what it means for a document to be sanitized....

Saturday, November 2, 2013

McKinsey Presentations - Anatomy of a McKiney PowerPoint Deck Page

McKinsey consultants use PowerPoint pages and presentations (aka "decks") to communicate with clients and each other.  In this post, I'll explain the three elements of a typical McKinsey page so you can put together your own McKinsey-style deck.  This should be helpful for new McKinsey consultants and anyone working for a former McKinsey consultant...