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Rethinking McKinsey - Schumpeter
Nov 21st 2019

Six years ago, Clayton Christensen of Harvard Business School warned that it was an industry “on the cusp of disruption”. Now that disruption is in full swing. According to Tom Rodenhauser of alm Intelligence, which analyses the industry, clients no longer just want to hire legions of people, however brainy they are. They want consultants to provide and install products, including new technologies, that transform them from top to bottom and keep disrupters at bay. Advice on strategy, which used to be meat and potatoes for firms like McKinsey and its peers, Bain and the Boston Consulting Group (bcg), is now a side dish; it accounts for about a tenth of revenues.

Mr Sneader could keep things ticking over as they are, at least for a while. Clients have shrugged off the media attention. McKinsey’s revenue has grown in recent years, to roughly $10bn. And the firm still attracts armies of aspiring candidates—last year 800,000 applied for 8,000 jobs. But he is making changes. McKinsey says it is “addressing the changing panorama both internally and externally”. Partly in response to the South Africa debacle, its standards and processes for selecting clients have been beefed up. Partners are discouraged from doing work for undemocratic governments.

McKinsey has also made advising on technology more integral to its business. It worked with 1,200 companies on digital and analytics issues last year. It creates and sells tools for companies to use in their businesses, which generates new sources of recurring revenues. And it has bought a dozen companies since 2011, including QuantumBlack, a British startup that developed advanced data analytics for Formula One. Nonetheless, industry-watchers say McKinsey is often outspent by the technology offerings of the Big Four, as well as by firms like Accenture.

Downsizing consultants
Mr Sneader should go further: that means getting leaner by ditching activities, clients and teams that bring in more headaches than cash, and investing in technology.
analytics  Bain  BCG  Clayton_Christensen  digital_strategies  disruption  Formula_One  management_consulting  McKinsey  scandals  strategy  tools 
12 weeks ago by jerryking
After 20 Years of Financial Turmoil, a Columnist’s Last Shot - The New York Times

For the past 20 years or so, as a business columnist for The New York Times, I’ve had a front-row seat for bull and bear markets, scandals, crises and management mischief.

But I am leaving The Times, and this is my last shot at Fair Game. So it seems a fitting moment to look back at what’s changed and what hasn’t in the financial world, for better or worse.

In addition to a string of garden-variety banking and business scandals, four seismic financial events occurred during my time as a columnist: the collapse of the Long-Term Capital Management hedge fund in 1998, the bursting of the dot-com bubble in 2000, the accounting scandals of Enron in 2001 and WorldCom in 2002, and the mother of them all — the mortgage debacle — in 2008. That one brought world economies to the precipice and wiped out Lehman Brothers and a raft of troubled banks.

......“Sarbanes-Oxley came into effect 15 years ago, and there have been fewer accounting scandals and more accountability,”...It’s too bad that the mortgage crisis six years later didn’t result in heightened accountability.

Here’s another sign of progress: Believe it or not, corporate directors are more active in their oversight than they used to be. Egregious board practices and chummy appointments are less common......Something else that hasn’t changed over the decades is analyst and investor reliance on companies’ creative earnings calculations. These figures, which do not conform to generally accepted accounting practices, typically exclude costs that companies incur in their operations.....Inventive earnings calculations, while more prevalent today, were very popular in the lead-up to the dot-com crash. Back then, analysts valued companies based on imaginative, nonfinancial metrics like the number of page views a retail website received or the percentage of “engaged shoppers” visiting a site. ....My search for truths on Wall Street and elsewhere over the years has sometimes raised hackles. That’s to the good. It wasn’t my job to be part of a company’s spin machine.
financial_communications  farewells  NYT  women  retrospectives  Wall_Street  seismic_shifts  LTCM  bubbles  scandals  SOX  truth-telling  boards_&_directors_&_governance 
november 2017 by jerryking
Celebrity mishaps drive rise of ‘disgrace insurance' | Evernote Web
March 12, 2016| Financial Times | DAVID OAKLEY AND OLIVER RALPH.

"When celebrities are linked with products, you'd expect a [positive] impact on sales," argues Tom Hoad, head of innovation at insurance group Toko marine Kiln. " So when a brand ambassador goes wrong, you can expect a negative impact ons ales. We can insure the lose of profit arising from a celebrity disgrace-type incident"
brands  celebrities  insurance  reputation  endorsements  damage_control  scandals  reputational_risk 
april 2016 by jerryking
Trying to Separate Bill Cosby From Cliff Huxtable - The New York Times

When an artist is disgraced, what happens to his art? What in the world will become of Dr. Huxtable?
Many people are deeply flawed and everyone has to wrestle with their relationship to them. What they create is one thing, who they are is another - for me the two can co-exist, as they must.....Great people are flawed, and evil people have unexpected qualities. It is only in our desire to fit everyone into a nice one-dimensional box that we struggle. ...Very few half hour TV sitcoms show complex characters. When the weekly showing of a beloved one dimensional character must co-exist with with the real life actor whose private behaviour crosses so many lines of good manners, morality or criminality, viewers rarely are able to look at the "art" without seeing the "artist". Reconciling any perfect image with "tarnished" reality is difficult whether examining the work and lives of sports heroes, elected officials, rock stars, bishops or authors.
role_models  compartmentalization  actors  Bill_Cosby  grieving  African-Americans  scandals  trailblazers  sexual_misconduct 
february 2016 by jerryking
Is Solomon scandal the latest sign of a CBC celebrity culture? - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Jun. 10, 2015

Like so many other journalists in the tiny Ottawa bubble, Mr. Solomon seems to have confused what is ultimately a transactional relationship with friendship. But only a naive or egotistical reporter could think “people of great power” want to be their friend for their intellect or sense of humour.
celebrities  scandals  CBC  Konrad_Yakabuski  Evan_Solomon  politics  journalism  journalists 
june 2015 by jerryking
Marion Barry, Former Mayor of Washington, Dies at 78 -
NOV. 23, 2014| NYT | By DAVID STOUT.

Mr. Barry, 78, was a flamboyant and polarizing mayor of the nation’s capital who went to prison on cocaine charges, then recaptured City Hall in one of the most improbable comebacks in the history of American urban politics.
mayoral  obituaries  Washington_D.C.  scandals  African-Americans  corruption  Improbables 
november 2014 by jerryking
Behind the CBC’s decision to fire Jian Ghomeshi - The Globe and Mail
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Oct. 31 2014
Jian_Ghomeshi  CBC  scandals  sexuality  sexual_assault  firings  Q  sexual_consent 
november 2014 by jerryking
Buyers and Brands Beware in China - WSJ
July 24, 2014 | WSJ | Editorials.

...Husi's behavior is a classic case of "quality fade," a term coined in the mid-2000s by China manufacturing expert Paul Midler. Companies often start out supplying high-quality products, and Husi enjoyed a top hygiene rating. But they start to cut corners in alarming ways, such as the 2007 scandal of cheap lead-based paint in children's toys.

This is especially likely to happen when customers demand lower prices but don't take an interest in how those savings are achieved. ...Lack of trust is the hallmark of life in China today, which is one reason many rich Chinese choose to move abroad....New supreme leader Xi Jinping's anticorruption campaign may bring some temporary improvement. But if he doesn't build government institutions with integrity, the cheating will resume as soon as the campaign is over.....The lesson for managers is that they must always distrust and verify what their suppliers tell them. Regularly scheduled inspections are useless as the factory will be spruced up for their visit. Surprise visits and spot checks are the only defense against fraud and fakery. In the wild west of the China market, caveat emptor is the only reliable law.
brands  caveat_emptor  China  food_safety  KFC  McDonald's  scandals  trustworthiness  lessons_learned  editorials  product_recalls  skepticism  cost-cutting  quality  high-quality 
august 2014 by jerryking
WHAT READERS THINK Nov. 26: Deeply skeptical, and other letters to the editor
I don’t want to condone Nigel Wright’s actions, but I do believe he felt what he was doing was right (it didn’t cost the taxpayers anything) and expedient.

His business background was likely ...
Nigel_Wright  letters_to_the_editor  organizational_culture  scandals  political_expediency 
november 2013 by jerryking
Toronto’s business community gives Ford a thumbs-down - The Globe and Mail

The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Nov. 15 2013
Rob_Ford  scandals  Toronto  reputation 
november 2013 by jerryking
Rob Ford rages against the fading of his political light - The Globe and Mail
Rob Ford rages against the fading of his political light Add to ...
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The Globe and Mail

Published Tuesday, Nov. 19 2013
Marcus_Gee  Toronto  Rob_Ford  scandals  mayoral 
november 2013 by jerryking
Toronto’s problem has grown beyond its mayor
Nov. 08 2013 | The Globe and Mail |Richard Florida

Toronto must deal with an even larger schism, the one that divides its booming 21st-century economy from its outmoded growth model and system of governance. It is this – not Mr. Ford – that poses the most serious threat to Toronto’s continued prosperity....Toronto has reached a true inflection point, and the problem is not high taxes or fiscal profligacy, as many have framed it....Toronto’s biggest problem is its growth model, which has far outlived its shelf life.

When a city region like Toronto – or Atlanta, Washington, Dallas or Miami – hits the 5.5 to six million mark in population, it can no longer grow based on cars and sprawl. It has to grow upward as well as outward and has to become much more oriented to transit. Most cities fail to make the required investments and their growth stalls and falters. The truly great cities are able to invest in ways that change their growth trajectory. This is what New York did more than a century ago when it built its rail and subway lines. That’s what Toronto needs to do now if it wants to achieve its ambition to become a truly global city....To do so requires not just massive investments in transit, but more flexible building and zoning regimes that promote greater density at the core and in the suburbs alike. The dysfunction in the mayor’s office means that all this is being put on the back burner....then there is the deep and fundamental problem of the growing geographic inequality that produced Mr. Ford in the first place. ....Inequality has frustrated even the most effective mayors...[Toronto} needs a new governance system that is adequate to the new challenges it faces....Toronto can lead the world by devising a modern system that’s up to the task of investing in governing and investing in a large economically integrated city. ...the basic idea would be to create a new kind of federalism, which extends from the provincial government through the city and all the way down to the varied communities and neighbourhoods that make it up.
21st._century  building_codes  cities  communities  densification  federalism  land_uses  mayoral  neighbourhoods  NYC  Queen’s_Park  regulation  Richard_Florida  Rob_Ford  scandals  schisms  transit  Toronto  zoning  inflection_points 
november 2013 by jerryking
Stop enabling Rob Ford
Nov. 06 2013 | The Globe and Mail |

Toronto has a mayor who has smoked crack, lied about smoking crack, claims to not remember it because he was in a “drunken stupor” at the time, has “gotten hammered” in public on numerous occasions, has exchanged hundreds of phone calls with a suspected drug dealer and extortionist, has been observed accepting mysterious packages from the same man, and has numerous associations with other people on the fringes of the law as detailed in, among other places, a 474-page police document. Rob Ford has also refused to answer questions about nearly all of the above. And he still shows no signs of planning on stepping aside, or stepping down.
Rob_Ford  scandals  Toronto  editorials 
november 2013 by jerryking
Amid Senate scandal, Nigel Wright's Bay Street friends stay on his side - The Globe and Mail

OTTAWA and TORONTO — The Globe and Mail

Published Friday, Nov. 01 2013
Nigel_Wright  Bay_Street  Onex  Stephen_Harper  scandals 
november 2013 by jerryking
Lessons I learned from SNC-Lavalin’s woes
Jul. 26 2013 | - The Globe and Mail | by GWYN MORGAN.

Information is key

Because directors get most of their information from people within the company, they need to do everything they can to build and diversify their sources. There should be a robust whistle-blower system, independent of management, so employees can pass on information to directors without fear of reprisal.

Financial reporting structures matter. Internal auditors should report directly – and only – to the chair of the audit committee, not to management. The chief financial officer should have a direct reporting relationship to the audit committee chair. Operating division comptrollers should report to the CFO, not to the division leader or the business-unit head.

Focus on leadership

It’s important to have strong financial controls and ethical codes, but they will fail unless all people in leadership roles, from the CEO on down, follow them diligently and consistently.

Culture, culture, culture

It is said that corporate culture is defined by how people act when no one is looking. But it is also defined by how employees react when they see behaviour that is inconsistent with the values of the organization. When their reaction is, “We’re not going to let this happen in our company,” the organization is built upon a solid ethical foundation.
Gwyn_Morgan  boards_&_directors_&_governance  lessons_learned  SNC-Lavalin  scandals  engineering  information  information_flows  financial_reporting  financial_controls  auditors  CFOs  leadership  organizational_culture  whistleblowing  ethics  information_sources  reprisals 
july 2013 by jerryking
Rob Ford, Charbonneau and the dark side of social media - The Globe and Mail

Special to The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, May. 22 2013
Rob_Ford  social_media  scandals  dark_side 
may 2013 by jerryking
Watergate? No, this is something uniquely Obama - The Globe and Mail

Special to The Globe and Mail

Wednesday, May. 22 2013
Obama  Watergate  scandals  IRS 
may 2013 by jerryking
Book Review: Saving Justice -
April 9, 2013 | WSJ | By STEVEN G. CALABRESI.

Saving Justice

By Robert H. Bork
(Encounter, 136 pages, $23.99)
book_reviews  law  scandals  Watergate  Richard_Nixon 
may 2013 by jerryking
Paula Broadwell switched her PhD bid from Harvard to British college - News -
By Callum Borchers, Tracy Jan and Bryan Bender
Globe Correspondent, Globe Staff / November 14, 2012
Harvard  KSG  Paula_Broadwell  scandals  PhDs 
november 2012 by jerryking
The Broadwell Recognition | Daniel W. Drezner

the David Petraeus/Paula Broadwell story is the ultimate pundit Rorschach Test. Whatever axe one had to grind against the foreign policy community prior to the story breaking, Petraeus and Broadwell merely sharpens it. It’s evidence about the sexism and double-standards at play in Washington! It shows the insularity and kiss-assedness of the foreign policy community!! It shows that COIN doesn’t work, or that Petraeus was a big phony!!

....a lesson that can be drawn from this for those young, impressionistic aspirants to positions of foreign policy not, under any circumstances, think of a Ph.D. as merely a box to be checked on the way to power and influence in Washington....... Petraeus both benefited from and propagated the desire to develop "officer-intellectuals" within the military........West Point’s social science department, where Petraeus had taught in the mid-1980s. The department, known as “Sosh,” was founded just after World War II by a visionary ex-cadet and Rhodes Scholar named George A. “Abe” Lincoln. Toward the end of the war, as the senior planning aide to Army Chief of Staff Gen. George Marshall, Lincoln realized that the Army needed to breed a new type of officer to help the nation meet its new global responsibilities in the postwar era. This new officer, he wrote to a colleague, should have “at least three heads—one political, one economic, and one military.” He took a demotion, from brigadier general to colonel, so he could return to West Point and create a curriculum “to improve the so-called Army mind” in just this way: a social science department, encouraging critical thinking, even occasionally dissent.

Lincoln also set up a program allowing cadets with high scores in Sosh classes to go study at a civilian graduate school, with West Point paying the tuition. In exchange, the cadets, after earning their doctorates, would come back and teach for at least three years. Once they fulfilled that obligation, Lincoln would use his still-considerable connections in Washington to get them choice assignments in the Pentagon, the State Department, the White House, a foreign embassy, or a prestigious command post......some scholar-officers rate as being among the best that the military has to offer, and offer a necessary bridge between the scholarly and martial worlds. On the other hand, some of them are there precisely because they see the Ph.D. as a ticket to be punched on the way to something greater. And these are the ones who will usually flail about miserably.......Here's the thing about sub-par doctoral students: 95% of them will not earn a Ph.D. — and most of the rest who do get it will only have done so by finding the most pliant dissertation committee alive. Ambition and intelligence can get someone through college and a professional degree. It can even get someone through Ph.D.-level coursework. What it can’t do is produce an above-the-bar dissertation......For people who have succeeded at pretty much everything in life to that point, a Ph.D. seems like just another barrier to transcend. It’s not. Unless you are able to simultaneously love and critically dissect your subject matter, unless you thrive in an environment where people are looking forward to picking apart your most cherished ideas, you won’t finish......As someone who has advised readers on the relative merits of getting a Ph.D., it’s worth pointing out — repeatedly — that getting a Ph.D. is not for everyone. If there isn’t an idea or a question that truly animates you, if you think of a Ph.D. as merely a ticket to be punched, then know the following: you are looking at a half-decade of misery with nothing to show for it in the end except a terminal masters degree.
academia  Colleges_&_Universities  David_Petraeus  fast_track  high-achieving  invitation-only  KSG  leadership  leadership_development  lessons_learned  overambitious  Paula_Broadwell  PhDs  scandals  scholars  scholar-officers  West_Point 
november 2012 by jerryking
Due Diligence Gets Tougher: A loose term now means a whole lot more work
Aug 5. 2002 | The Investment Dealers’ Digest | by Barbara Etzel.

What constitutes enough due diligence anyway? It may be vague enough for attorneys to argue about, but there is no doubt that the bar has just been raised due to the steady diet of scandals and investors' mistrust of Wall Street. Attorneys say that the level of due diligence will continue to increase. That is because it will be up to advisers on all types of deals, stock and bond offerings as well as mergers and acquisitions, to make certain the company is complying with all the new laws that are being instituted. Corporations will need a policy for setting up internal controls and to have an independent audit committee. Their top officers will be required to certify the accuracy of their financial results, and those who falsely do so will face jail time and million-dollar fines. Companies will also be taking a closer look at their internal disclosure policies. That means that underwriters and their attorneys must understand what the company's policies are and make certain they are following them.
due_diligence  scandals  Wall_Street  investors  mistrust  financial_advisors  internal_controls  audits  disclosure 
september 2012 by jerryking
Three Questions From China's Bo Xilai Fiasco
April 17, 2012 | WSJ | By MINXIN PEI.
Three Questions From China's Bo Xilai Fiasco
Six of nine Politburo members paid homage to Chongqing, implicitly endorsing the now-discredited 'Chongqing Model.'
(1) How was an individual with such known flaws entrusted with so much power with so little constraint?
(2)How can it better manage competition for power at the top during succession?
(3)How can it better manage political crisis in the age of the Internet and microblogs?
Bo_Xilai  China  leadership  succession  Politburo_Standing_Committee  scandals  Chinese_Communist_Party 
may 2012 by jerryking
Henninger: The Age of Indiscretion -
April 25, 2012, 6:48 p.m. ET

The Age of Indiscretion
GSA partiers in Vegas and Secret Service revelers in Cartagena make it clear that discretion is dead.

Daniel_Henninger  scandals  discretion  humility  etiquette  public_decorum  popular_culture  personal_responsibility 
april 2012 by jerryking
Crovitz: Before 'Watergate' Could be Googled -
April 17, 2012 | WSJ | By L. GORDON CROVITZ.
Before 'Watergate' Could be Googled
The Internet is no substitute for hands-on reporting.

"Watergate 4.0: How Would the Story Unfold in the Digital Age?" Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein gave their assessment at the annual American Society of News Editors conference this month by referring to how Yale students answer a similar question assigned in an advanced journalism class.

Mr. Woodward said he was shocked by how otherwise savvy students thought technology would have changed everything....Bob Woodward contrasted the reporting goal of "advancing the story and providing new information" with using the Web to find or distribute already-known facts.

He also doubted that "tweeting and blogging would have created an immediate avalanche of public opinion." It took more than two years between the Watergate break-in and Richard Nixon's resignation, including special prosecutors, Senate hearings and a Supreme Court order to the White House to turn over secret tapes.

Mr. Woodward concludes that the Internet is "not that magic and it doesn't always shine that bright." It's a great tool for research, including for linking data that before might have been public but was hard to put together.

Like this columnist
Watergate  scandals  scuttlebutt  due_diligence  journalists  hands-on  legwork  journalism  Bob_Woodward  Carl_Bernstein  digital_media  public_opinion  Yale  Colleges_&_Universities  investigative_journalism  students  technology  digital_savvy 
april 2012 by jerryking
Behind a Chinese City's Growth, Heavy Debt -
April 23, 2012 | WSJ | By TOM ORLIK in Beijing and LINGLING WEI in Chongqing

Behind a Chinese City's Growth, Heavy Debt
Borrowing Fueled Chongqing's Infrastructure Projects, Highlighting National Problem of Reliance on Government Spending

China  debt  scandals  Chongqing  Bo_Xilai 
april 2012 by jerryking
Immigrant-investor program in Maritimes collapses in scandal, lawsuits | News | National Post
Immigrant-investor program in Maritimes collapses in scandal, lawsuits

Tamsin McMahon Dec 17, 2011 – 2:00 AM ET | Last Updated: Dec 17, 2011
immigrants  investors  Canada  scandals 
december 2011 by jerryking
Telecom scandal shakes India’s most beloved industry - The Globe and Mail
iain marlow
NEW DELHI— From Thursday's Globe and Mail
Published Wednesday, Aug. 24, 2011
corruption  scandals  India  telecommunications  wireless 
november 2011 by jerryking
Who Is James Johnson? -
June 16, 2011 . Brooks' point is that some of the most serious scandals
are not salacious, occur slowly and receive little media attention. And
so it was with Fannie Mae, a quasi-govt. agency tasked with the effort
to expand home-ownership. Fannie's executives engaged in
self-aggrandizement and Fannie became a cancer that helped spread risky
behavior and low standards across the housing industry....Gretchen
Morgenson, a Times colleague, and the financial analyst Joshua Rosner
have written “Reckless Endangerment,” a brave book that exposes the
affair in clear and gripping form.
scandals  David_Brooks  books  self-aggrandizement  Fannie_Mae  inconspicuous  obscurity  latent  hidden 
june 2011 by jerryking
Pelosi Calls On Weiner to Resign -
Published: June 11, 2011
Anthony_Weiner  scandals  New_York_City  Democrats 
june 2011 by jerryking
Buffett's Ruthlessness Is Oddly Absent on Sokol -
April 4, 2011, 9:10 pm DealBook Column
Buffett’s Ruthlessness Is Oddly Absent on Sokol
Warren_Buffett  compliance  scandals  Andrew_Sorkin  David_Sokol  ruthlessness 
april 2011 by jerryking
Community-housing scandal a gift from the gods for Ford
March 1, 2011| G&M | MARCUS GEE. the Fords can now claim
that their simplistic answer to all the city’s problems – just “stop the
gravy train” – is correct after all.

It isn’t, of course. As awful as it is to see public officials squander
precious resources this way, pampering themselves as public-housing
tenants wait to get broken windows replaced or graffiti removed, most
don’t spend their days having their nails done.

The city’s money problems don’t come from luxury-loving bureaucrats and
lavish Christmas parties. The real sources – like strong unions,
arbitrated wage settlements, a strapped provincial government, a costly
big-city transit system – are more complicated and harder to change.
Marcus_Gee  Rob_Ford  scandals  social_housing  TCHC  public_housing 
march 2011 by jerryking
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