Where Are The McKinsey Blogs?

24 Feb

Just a moment ago, I had one hand on my credit card ready to buy up the domain names for www.McKinseyBlog.com, www.BainBlog.com, www.BCGBlog.com, www. AccentureBlog.com, www.DeloitteBlog.com, www.PRTMBlog.com, www.BearingPointBlog.com, and www.EYblog.com.

They are all available. Are the traditional management consulting firms a bunch of laggards when it comes to blogging even though the rest of the industry is starting to show signs of life for corporate blogs?

Well, blogs succeed because of individuals so don't go making a run on those corporate-oriented blog domain names.

Now I did find a reference here that talks about how Microsoft and McKinsey are encouraging employees to blog. But I have been unable to find a mass of individual management consultant bloggers out there. Now Tom Peters has an McKinsey alumni badge. One would think that the thought leadership of these firms (whether strategy- or implementation-focused firms) would lead them down this path. History has shown that traditional management consulting firms produce this type of work. Thought leadership includes areas like M&A as it relates to shareholder value, farm animal-growth share frameworks for marketing, pricing methodologies, IT alignment  … the list goes on and on.

So far, I have reconciled this in my mind as follows: The use of corporate blogs is not yet widespread enough to justify pressing this too hard in the consultancy firms. There are many other reasons that come to mind too (such as management consultants tend to tackle problems from the top down, i.e., flowing from strategy & conceptual through implementation so blogging may appear at lower-levels), but slow dispersion of corporate blogging to date seems to be the most natural explanation to me.

That said, there are CEO and senior executives forming blogs. And blogging is supposed to be one of the fastest growing things on the Internet as reported by a number of analysts. As management consultants frequently work at the CEO levels, hopefully they are at least getting a chance to learn about the blogging medium that their clients are starting to use. Tom has at least.

Steve Shu
Managing Director, S4 Management Group

Update (5/23/05): Due to continued traffic to this post, I thought it would be good to forward point to an update I had …

Update (1/4/07): After close to two years, here's a new post on more consulting blogs.

Update (3/19/07): McKinsey alum Paola Bonomo commented here (thanks, Paola) and points us to a wiki of McKinseyite and McKinsey alum blogs.

Update (4/16/09): McKinsey blog here?

12 thoughts on “Where Are The McKinsey Blogs?

  1. I will not hold my breath waiting for McKinsey blogs. This is the company that does not allow its name to be printed on t-shirts because they are afraid that a homeless person may end up wearing one. And if you Google “blog McKinsey”, this page on your blog shows up as a whopping second.
    In my opinion there are a couple of reasons why you don’t see too many management consultants, M&A bankers or corporate attorneys blogging away. First, they all deal with very confidential information, and the risk of letting something slip in a blog entry is too high. Second, they are so time-pressured that they would need a very clear value proposition to invest any of it on blogging.

  2. Luca,
    I’ve thought a lot about what you said in the past. I won’t speak directly to the comment about McKinsey, but I think I have to disagree with you on the aspect of confidential information and amount of workload as being the primary cause (it surely does contribute to it though as I personally have to pause about what I say about companies to balance transparency, confidentiality, and being fair). While it is true that consultants have to abide by confidentiality clauses and in many cases have access to inside information, the regulation on management consultants and the workload does not seem out of line with the other professions to explain the difference. It is true that management consultants have been known to work so hard that they feel like they are going to throw up (70-90 hr weeks), but they are not subject to conditions that seem out of line enough to explain the difference.
    Although it is hard to do very scientific analyses of this stuff, I would say that there are more attorney blogs and CEO blogs out there relative to management consultant blogs. Both of these have access to a lot of confidential information as well. They are also heavily pressed for time.
    Additionally, management consultants do spend a good amount of time (outside of billable work that can range from 60% to 98% billability) working on developing studies and publishing these as formal, polished publications or articles. I see no reason why this type of information could not be made more accessible to managers in general to build the brand.
    As I think about this more, I am wondering whether the partnership structure and higher turnover in the managment consulting industry has an effect. That said, I keep coming back to the fact the use of corporate blogs is still small (but posed to grow).
    As for your comment about this blog coming up high on the list – I guess it’s ok to be McKinsey for a day. But this mystery of searching for McKinsey (again just pulling a name out of the air) is more difficult than the search for Waldo!

  3. The Economist on corporate blogging: “it is probably ‘only a matter of time’ before a serious blogging embarrassment leads to litigation, says Joseph Grundfest, a professor at Stanford Law School and a former commissioner at the Securities and Exchange Commission”.

  4. I’m actually leafing through a copy of the Harvard Business Review from September 2003 which has a blogging case study in it with commentary from four different perspectives. Pamela Samuelson, a professor of law and information management at UC Berkeley hints that the blogger in question in the case can be viewed as much more of an asset than a liability.
    There are clearly risks to blogging in corporations. Combinations of policy, education, and getting people coordinated in an independent yet interdependent fashion is required to make this stuff work in larger corporations. As I noted in another post (via Jeff Nolan), there may also be technology support coming to the rescue.

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  8. My early blog entries chronicled my adventures at McKinsey. Not for those seeking confirmation that consulting is the place for them.
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