Episodes
Being a young business analyst or associate on the receiving end of blunt and harsh feedback from a partner is a very jarring experience. However, it is also somewhat of a compliment. I never understand this very, very important point until my mentor, a senior partner, pointed this out to me when the managing partner gave me a very time about an initiative I was running. In hindsight, this was one of the most profound lessons I had in my consulting career, and the managing partner became a...
Published 04/17/24
Storytelling is a very powerful technique to ensure someone remembers you after an interview. In fact, even when we screen people at Firmsconsulting today, we use this technique I applied as a partner. The rule is simple: if I can remember your key messages from the interview the next day, I would make you an offer. That, of course, assumes you had passed all the other hurdles well enough. One way to be remembered is to be your answers around compelling stories using the New York Times rule...
Published 04/15/24
Welcome to an interview with the coauthor of Fusion Strategy: How Real-Time Data and AI Will Power the Industrial Future, Venkat Venkatraman. In Fusion Strategy, digital strategy expert Venkat Venkatraman and world-renowned innovation guru Vijay Govindarajan offer a first-of-its-kind playbook that will help industrial companies combine what they do best—create physical products—with what digitals do best—use algorithms and AI to parse expansive, interconnected datasets—to make strategic...
Published 04/10/24
Communication and image in a case interview is governed by both what you say and how you say. It is true that how you say something tends to carry more weight. However, in some case, certain phrases should definitely be avoided because they cause much damage it is very hard to recover from them. We discuss them in this podcast.   Here are some free gifts for you: Overall Approach Used in Well-Managed Strategy Studies free download: www.firmsconsulting.com/OverallApproach   McKinsey...
Published 04/08/24
Welcome to an interview with the coauthor of Fusion Strategy: How Real-Time Data and AI Will Power the Industrial Future. In Fusion Strategy, world-renowned innovation guru Vijay Govindarajan and digital strategy expert Venkat Venkatraman offer a first-of-its-kind playbook that will help industrial companies combine what they do best—create physical products—with what digitals do best—use algorithms and AI to parse expansive, interconnected datasets—to make strategic connections that would...
Published 04/03/24
This is a mistake common to most case interview candidates. They start with the McKinsey approach. This is a very, very bad idea. McKinsey cases are those were the interviewer leads the case. If you are only trained to do cases in this format, you will never learn how to lead a case. This is no small matter. The prompts and guides provided by a McKinsey interviewer play a significant role in helping you through the case and you will struggle without them. It is best to first learn to do cases...
Published 04/01/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of Think Remarkable: 9 Paths to Transform Your Life and Make a Difference, Guy Kawasaki. In Think Remarkable, tech titan Guy Kawasaki teams up with Madisun Nuismer, producer of the Remarkable People podcast, to share invaluable knowledge from more than 40 years of working with game-changing organizations such as Apple, Canva, Google, Mercedes Benz, and Wikipedia, and delivers insights from a collection of amazing interviews that'll kick you into high...
Published 03/27/24
Welcome to an interview with Paul Stonick, the Vice President of SCADpro—Savannah College of Art and Design’s in-house design, research, and innovation studio—which is generating innovative designs and products for the world's most influential brands, including Google, Amazon, and Apple.   From sketches to on-screen visuals, SCADpro students conceptualized and created augmented reality graphics ahead of Super Bowl LVIII. Their game-changing use of Augmented Reality was an epic viewing...
Published 03/25/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of Survive, Reset, Thrive: Leading Breakthrough Growth Strategy in Volatile Times, Dr. Rebecca Homkes. Survive, Reset, Thrive is a playbook for leaders derived from the author's first-hand experience working with executive teams across industries from software, technology, retail, fashion, and construction through to manufacturing. Drawing from over a decade of rich real-world experience, the author illustrates how to navigate the most complex strategic...
Published 03/20/24
We use the terms junior consultants to loosely refer to anyone at the engagement manager level and below: senior associates, associates, consultants and analysts. Our history of working with so many clients indicates that the best results occur when networking directly with partners. There is no dispute on this point given the difference in our client base between those who networked with partners and those who did not. In this podcast we explain why it is better to network with partners and...
Published 03/18/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of Why We Remember: Unlocking Memory's Power to Hold on to What Matters, Dr. Charan Ranganath. In the book, Dr. Charan radically reframes the way we think about the everyday act of remembering. Combining accessible language with cutting-edge research, he reveals the surprising ways our brains record the past and how we use that information to understand who we are in the present, and to imagine and plan for the future. Why We Remember is a captivating...
Published 03/13/24
Networking with a partner is counter-intuitive. It is much easier to network with a McKinsey / BCG partner for at least four reasons. First, partners always return emails. Second, partners are generally willing to take a call just to explore your profile. Third, partners are less hung up on things like degrees etc. since they look deeper at a profile. Fourth, partners are accessible with easy to find details. That said, the trick to networking with partners is to treat them as a peer. As soon...
Published 03/11/24
Welcome to an interview with the authors of Career Forward: Strategies from Women Who've Made It, Christiana Smith Shi and Grace Puma. In this book, the authors challenge negative stereotypes about female ambition, and urge women to be bold, follow their dreams, and seize the chance to lead “big” lives. The secret is to focus on career first, job second. Instead of chasing a better job title or a salary bump, the goal should be a long-range career path that leads to success. “Career forward”...
Published 03/06/24
Welcome to an interview with the Chief Executive Officer for Churchome, David Kroll. In this episode, David shares his career journey and transition from investment banking to becoming a pastor, highlighting his exposure to extreme success and the realization that money doesn't equate to happiness. David found personal freedom and alignment by pursuing work that aligns with his values. He discusses how he leveraged technology to enhance faith practices and reach a wider audience.  David...
Published 02/28/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of Winning with Data Science: A Handbook for Business Leaders. This book is a compelling and comprehensive guide to data science, emphasizing its real-world business applications and focusing on how to collaborate productively with data science teams. The book follows the stories of Kamala and Steve, two professionals who need to collaborate with data science teams to achieve their business goals.  Akshay Swaminathan is a data scientist who works on...
Published 02/26/24
Taking resume feedback is one of the most fundamental steps as you begin your application process and case interview preparation. If done badly, no matter how well you practice for cases, you will not get the interview. Feedback refers to two parts. First, is the philosophy around how you collect the feedback. Second, is the physical steps you take as you are collecting the feedback. Both are equally important. Here are some free gifts for you: Overall Approach Used in Well-Managed Strategy...
Published 02/19/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of The Purposeful Growth Revolution: 4 Ways to Grow from Leader to Legacy Builder. In this book, you will learn to apply 4 holistic and revolutionary processes found in nature to help individuals, teams, and organizations find purpose, fulfill their true growth potential, and leave a living legacy—what Mears calls paying it backward. All designed to fulfill Purposeful Growth, Purposeful Self, Purposeful Work, and a Purposeful Life. Mark A. Mears is a...
Published 02/14/24
This podcast examines the typical tell-tale signs candidates show when placed under stress in a case interview and offers suggestions on how to manage these situations. The key to managing this problem is not to reduce the stress, which may be impossible to do, but to change the way you show your stress. We also provide anecdotes on how our own clients manage, or struggle to manage, stress in their practice cases and interviews. Here are some free gifts for you: Overall Approach Used in...
Published 02/12/24
There are three phrases which create trouble in an interview: “I think that…” and “In my opinion…” and “But, if I look at my friends…” Not only are they defensive, and arrogant, they are also clear indicators where you are struggling in a case interview. When you use them in the wrong context, as explained in this podcast, they will make it difficult to pass the case. Here are some free gifts for you: Overall Approach Used in Well-Managed Strategy Studies free...
Published 02/07/24
Solving a case while talking an interviewer through your thinking (written or otherwise) is, for the interviewer, a little like trying to understand a presentation without seeing the slides. Or at the very least seeing untidy slides – that is, assuming your working sheets are messy. Here we talk through the anatomy of a case dialogue pointing out key mistakes candidates make and a very simple technique they can use when communicating in case interviews. Here are some free gifts for you: ...
Published 02/05/24
This podcast is about the impact of confidence on cases and the importance of avoiding the content trap. We use simple ratios to explain why you need to be confident and how the content-trap sinks many candidates. The content trap occurs when a candidate tends to have poor knowledge of the first principles of cases and rather relies on completing as many cases as possible in the hopes of memorizing all possible frameworks. This is a losing strategy since they are not learning how to solve...
Published 01/31/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of Fluke: Chance, Chaos, and Why Everything We Do Matters, Brian Klaas. In Fluke, myth-shattering social scientist Brian Klaas deep-dives into the phenomenon of randomness, unpicking our neat and tidy storybook version of events to reveal a reality far wilder and more fascinating than we have dared to consider. The bewildering truth is that but for a few incidental changes, our lives - and our societies - would be radically different. Offering an...
Published 01/29/24
At least 90% of aspiring management consultants assume that all McKinsey et al cases MUST be solved with frameworks. That is a dangerous myth. At least 60% of all McKinsey full cases (we are not referring to brainstorming, estimates, etc) cannot be solved with structures and you will fail if you used structures to solve them. In this podcast, we use the experiences of a client, Felix, to explain how to identify this second group of cases and what you can do to solve them. We particularly look...
Published 01/24/24
Welcome to an interview with the author of Venture Meets Mission: Aligning People, Purpose, and Profit to Innovate and Transform Society, Arun Gupta. The book argues that if Business, Government, and Society come together, rebuild trust, and collaborate, we have a generational opportunity to address societal challenges―climate change, cybersecurity, disease outbreaks, food insecurity, and education. The book explains, with hope and passion, how our existing entrepreneurial ecosystem, with the...
Published 01/22/24