The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI

Authors: Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje, Rodney Zemmel

I’ve heard a lot of strange things about McKinsey, starting with this parody commercial:

Then few more facts, but still provided in an amusing way by the John Oliver:

It’s not just jokes than worry me, but also some news I’ve read:

  • they had no issues to consult both companies and their regulators at the same time1,
  • they work with tobbaco companies and health industry suggesting ways to profit companies, that might be bad for their clients2,
  • they’re behind OxyContin (opioid) sales turbocharge, which resulted in hundreds of people dead of overdose3,
  • having relationships with authoritarian regimes and more.

Anyway, I decided to read it with open mind.

My impression is that they fill the nitche of high level executives (or polititians) seeking for “a trusted advice”. Anything, so they could say loud: “we performed a deep analysis, supported by world best experts to ensure that… bla bla”. Because it costs millions, it have to be true - right?

My first impression - this book is not yet for me. I work on different level, more with the people (at the bottom) and not that much on the company’s strategy. It’s all about the strategy. Find an initiative big enough to generate 20~30% rise in the revenue (or EBIT) within next 18 months. You need 3~5 such initiatives. They require that much of the budget… etc. Step by step, what to do, what should work and what might not. It’s like a “Leading through company’s technology reorganisation for dummies” 🤣

If you accidentally became a CEO, CFO or CTO - then should read it. It seriously might help you.

The book is interesting, but I’m not yet ready to read it. It was enlightning experience to see how company works from this perspective. I might get back to it in a while.