The 2015 Best Firms to Work For: A.T. Kearney


6. A.T. Kearney 

Headquarters: Chicago
Billable Consultants: 2,800
Client Industries Served: Consumer Products & Retail; Financial Institutions; Health; Industrial Goods & Services; Metals & Mining; Oil & Gas; Private Equity; Public Sector; Transportation, Travel & Infrastructure; Utilities
Consulting Service Lines: Strategy 

After six consecutive years on the Best Firms to Work For list, A.T. Kearney dropped off the list in 2014. Perhaps that served as some sort of wake-up call for the Chicago-based Strategy firm, because this year A.T. Kearney is back in a big way at No. 6—its highest-ever ranking position.

Johan Aurik, Managing Partner & Chairman of the Board, says morale across A.T. Kearney is exceptionally high. In the firm’s most recent global people survey, A.T. Kearney saw extraordinary alignment across key topics. For instance, more than 90 percent of respondents indicate that they believe the firm delivers high-impact, quality work to clients, that they would recommend A.T. Kearney as a great place to work, and that they agree that the current vision is the right direction for the firm.

“While we know that there is still much to accomplish to meet our ambitions, there is an unmistakable sense that we are all on the same journey together,” Aurik says. “Vision 2020 is our shared ambition to become the most admired firm among our peers, distinguished by our culture and how we work. We bring this to life by developing and advancing strategies across a range of pillars, from client impact and personal growth to culture and innovation.”

Ask Aurik what makes A.T. Kearney so unique and without hesitation he’ll say: “Hands down, it’s our culture.”

The firm’s founder, Tom Kearney, put the foundation in place nearly 90 years ago, “and we continue to hold true to it, even as we evolve to meet the changing needs of our clients and people,” Aurik says. “It’s how we work together and with our clients; it’s the values and principles that we share.”

Management consulting is a noble profession, Aurik says. “We are proud to have been part of its inception nearly 90 years ago and to be among the firms thriving today. Most of all, we are proud of the impact that management consulting and our firm has had on the clients we serve and communities where we live.  Our founder, Tom Kearney, called it ‘essential rightness,’ by which he meant doing the right thing for its own sake and delivering lasting results that grows over time.”

Looking ahead, Aurik says the market for consulting globally is strong, and the firm has made great progress in launching and embedding new initiatives to enhance the impact and advantage for clients and people.

“For us, this is an incredibly exciting is empowering time, as it allows us to fully draw on the talent, dedication, and passion of our people to deliver on the needs of clients—and, in doing so, improving the world around us,” he says. “Our double-digit growth rates reflect that. We need to keep up the same energy that’s helped us achieve this and accelerate our progress. We need to continue to build on our momentum.”

Q&A: What impact do you think being a Best Firm to Work For has on the firm?  

Johan Aurik, Managing Partner & Chairman of the Board, says: “Being a Best Firm to Work for is an affirmation of our continued success and the progress we are making toward our ambitions to become the most admired firm among our peers. It’s certainly a point of pride for our people and our leadership team. For our clients, it’s also another proof point that we are committed to delivering excellence in all that we do.”

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