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»The Next Big Thing
Consultants are always looking for the next big thing, the innovation that will see clients storming through their gates, bypassing pesky procurement departments, and writing blank checks for the magic mousetrap that whitens and brightens and cleans windows, too.
»JP Morgan and The Whale: A Parable
After a tumultuous period of banking hyper-regulation after 2008, no one would have suspected in 2012 that JP Morgan, the world’s largest bank, had ineffective controls in place that left the company flat-footed when its “rogue” trader had taken untenable, long-term positions on Credit Default Swaps.
»Optimizing Manufacturing Strategy
Bloomberg News recently reported that GE intends to use 3D printers to produce 85,000 fuel nozzles for its newest jet engine, a significant leap for a technology that until now has largely been confined to prototyping tasks.
We may be witnessing the start of a new wave of privatizations, which will see governments throughout Europe significantly increasing their sales of assets across a wide range of economic sectors.
»The Jetsons and Cyber Security Measures
As a child watching the animated TV show The Jetsons I was convinced they lived the ideal life. The Jetson family had technologies and gadgets used in everyday life that seemed unfathomable as I watched in the 1980s.
»U.S. Healthcare Reform and Integration
While each week in the U.S. different reports come out about key aspects of the US healthcare reform being adopted, implemented or delayed, fewer elements of the Affordable Care Act’s (ACA) impact are clear.
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»Marriott Goes Big in NYC
Marriott International, Inc. and G Holdings opened what they’re calling an “iconic addition” to the New York skyline, a combined 378-room Courtyard hotel and 261-suite Residence Inn hotel in midtown Manhattan. The $320 million, 68-story property is the tallest single-use hotel in North America.
»FAA: ‘Staffing Challenges’ Causing Delays
In case you haven’t noticed, non-weather related delays at U.S. airports are on the rise. (And I know you’ve noticed that weather-related delays are definitely on the rise.)
»Hilton’s Building Boom
Coming off a whirlwind 2012, Hilton Worldwide is the fastest growing global hospitality company by number of rooms.
»Extended Stay America Serves Up Free Breakfasts With ‘Grab and Go’
Extended Stay America launched a new Grab and Go Breakfast program, which is available seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. at all of its more than 600 locations.
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»The Three Rules
Earlier this year, Deloitte Consulting’s Mumtaz Ahmed and Michael Raynor published The Three Rules: How Exceptional Companies Think. The authors set out to answer what was, in their mind, the ultimate business question—how do some companies achieve exceptional performance over the long haul?
»Thinking in New Boxes
Creativity is key if you are to thrive in a time of accelerating change, according to The Boston Consulting Group’s Luc De Brabandere and Alan Iny.
»The Effortless Experience
We live in a golden age of customer service, when many executives say their goal is to ‘delight the customer.’ It’s a worthy goal, for sure, but what if it’s wrong?
»The Solution Revolution
What drives the social economy? What opportunities does it present for business? William D. Eggers and Paul MacMillan set out to answer these questions and more.
»Author Q&A: PwC's Ted Shelton
PwC’s Ted Shelton’s book Business Models for the Social Mobile Cloud: Transform Your Business Using Social Media, Mobile Internet, and Cloud Computing, examines how the three technologies are coming together to transform businesses.
»Review: The Three Rules
Why do some companies achieve exceptional performance while so many others struggle to survive? That’s the question Deloitte’s Michael Raynor and Mumtaz Ahmed—along with an international team of dozens of researchers at Deloitte—set out to answer with their book The Three Rules.
Best Firms To Work For
»Consider Yourself Warned... What Consultants Aren’t Sharing in Internal Surveys
Here is a sample of warnings consultants say they would share with a friend considering joining their firm:Firm Culture Dissatisfaction
Firm Culture: Lack of Diversity
- “The firm uses you to generate profits, you use the firm to gain experience and earn a living. When the balance isn't right, it's time to go.”
- “The culture of the organization is brutal and advancement can be very difficult. But I wouldn’t discourage someone from joining the firm. Just keep in mind that the best career path involves taking full advantage of the opportunities to learn a lot and then get out.”
- “I often feel that my firm thinks of me as nothing more than a warm body that helps to generate revenue.”
- “Culture on a day-to-day basis is deteriorating. There is lack of trust. Team members are not treated with respect, their opinions are not considered; managers just give orders and expect obedience, and often call for work even on Saturdays and Sundays.”
- “There are no leaders of color here. We are a very white firm.”
- “There’s little help to make it to partner, even for top performers−you will be continuously underpaid throughout your career until you make partner. If you are a woman and want to have children, making partner will be especially difficult.”
Client (Dis)Engagement: Quantity over Quality
- “There are limited opportunities to get promoted to Managing Director, which removes the long term financial incentives to be gained by working at the firm.”
- “Don't believe what they tell you about the bonuses. When it comes to compensation everything said should be treated as bogus.”
- “The company does not have any moral values. My suggestion would be to get everything in writing or they will cheat you.”
- “Whether you earn your bonus is beyond your control. Extra compensation is dependent on the amount of work you do, and the amount of work you do is dependent on what projects you get put on.”
- “The number of billable hours you generate determines your success, far more than great client work.”
- “If you are an experienced high-level senior subject matter expert, you may not like working for this company as your freedom to do what's best for the client may be at odds with what the company wants from you.”
Career Development: Training vs. Train Wreck
- “Working with a bad partner/bad manager on a project for an extended period of time will kill your morale, social life, and work-life balance and turn you into a shell of your former self.”
- “Managing directors look out for themselves first before staff.”
- “The senior managers have poor people-managing skills.”
- “Manager/Senior Managers need more training on people management and leadership skills.”
- “We have dead weight at the top.”
- “Some of the directors and VPs are not good people managers. Some are unprofessional and rely on fear, intimidation and micro management, which limits their effectiveness. The company has no formal mechanisms for 360 feedback so bad management behaviors remain hidden.”
- “The firm’s focus is on making money for the partners. There is little investment in staff.”
- “My firm prides itself on being a people-focused organization. However, during the year-end process the sharks/vultures attack and degrade other employees to ensuring their counselee's get the best rankings/ratings. The process is extremely political and most objectivity gets thrown out the window. It is a disgusting process and clearly not best practice. The firm is seriously lacking in creating an effective and objective year-end review process.”
- “Training isn't neutral [to your utilization rates]. The firm doesn't provide you with free training as indicated, you have to make those hours up.”
- “There is no training support for senior resources who want outside education.”
- “This is a firm that sends you out on your own to do whatever the client wants you to do. There is no training. There is no concern for your career growth or desired areas of work. They throw resumes at any opportunity.”
- “My firm provides poor training, which means professional development is on your own dime and time.”
Career Development: Lack of Project Choice
- “The company talks a lot and has official policies that sound great, but in the real world they don't apply. For instance, career mobility is officially allowed, but managers strongly discourage you actually switching groups. Likewise, policies say you should charge all your time, but the reality is you are really pushed to only charge client time; marketing and investment are on your time.”
- “It's tough to escape a bad project. Sometimes bodies are thrown at projects as opposed to looking at previous skill sets and putting people in projects that they would enjoy and/or build on their skill sets. And projects often last far longer than your managers will tell you. Instead of lasting three to nine months, some projects will last for years and no movement is allowed by the people on the engagement.
- “There is an overall trend to placing you on projects without much consideration as to the fit for both the client and you.”
Utilization Rate Pressure
- “Give up any hope of a personal life.”
- “Forget about home life. You are expected to give your life to the firm.”
- “There is a lot of pressure to work late nights and weekends−and if you don't, you get an automated email demanding that you explain yourself.”
- “Work life balance is something the firm says it has, but in reality management expects you to do whatever it takes to get the job done. Even if you take advantage of their programs, you are often targeted for either going back to a normal routine or are quietly shown out. The difference between the perception of the firm (as a very flexible place), and the reality of the client demands, are not on par with one another.”
- “The firm says that community involvement and work/life balance are important but does not support this through programs. Rather, employees are expected to participate with a select few community groups on personal time or risk falling below utilization levels.”
Effect of the Economy: It was the worst of times, it was the worst of times…
- “At year-end review, the firm will penalize you for not getting involved in internal projects even when you are working 60-80 hours per week on a client project for 90% of the year.”
- “Taking any time off from client engagements−even for professional eminence building or professional development−will cost you dearly.”
- “Expectations for utilization are unrealistic and affect personal life. All holiday and PTO hours must be made up in order to meet utilization goals.”
- “If you take advantage of the work/life benefits (e.g., "dialing down" or sabbatical programs), you do risk negatively impacting your career progression in this up or out environment. Although you get substantial vacation, if you are progressing quickly in your career, you cannot take the vacation without negatively impacting your year-end performance rating because you will likely not hit your utilization, sales, and managed revenue metrics.”
- “Poor decisions made in response to the economic downturn have been further aggravated by poor communication and execution of those decisions.”
- “The company has gotten worse to work for over the past 3 years.”
- “The firm is growing day by day and some of the [firm’s] culture is being lost.”
- “The firm continues to grow at an unprecedented pace and as a result the firm's culture is facing dilution. It is a period of shift and it shows.”