Consultants! The top 20 percent are a credit to their profession. The next 30 percent are adequate to their tasks. The bottom 50 percent are those who give consultants a bad name.
Two ex-McKinsey top dogs were arrested for insider trading offences recently – Anil Kumar, ex-partner and Rajat Gupta, ex-chief exec. They passed privileged information to Raj Rajaratnam, who’s now serving a 11-year sentence. Kumar reportedly fainted when he was arrested and had to be hospitalized.
McKinsey has 9000 consultants worldwide, all top graduates from top schools. The firm is known for its analyses and recommendations. The consulting firm does not get involved in the implementation of any of its recommendations. Yes, the approach is “here’s-what-we-found-here’s-what-you-should-do-here’s-our-bill-thanks-for-paying-it-good-bye-and-good-luck-you’re-on-your-own.” Many ex-McKinsey consultants have gone on to run corporations. Hmm, I wonder if this is the reason why some companies are in such a sorry mess.
Last year, Gupta delivered a speech in India. “Try to make other people successful,” he advised, “If you work on making other people successful, they would in turn make you successful beyond your dreams.”
He was speaking at a school he co-founded, a business school that is supposed to teach people all about ethics. The other co-founder was Kumar.
Gupta also advised the students to “have a set of values that guide you.”
“Don’t take the shortcut,” he said. “Have your sense of values, your compass, and follow that.”
Values? Compass? 23 seconds after a conference call with Goldman directors Gupta phone Rajaratnam and passed him the insider information that the investment bank was about to announce its first quarterly loss.