One of the great privileges of our unique network is that we have access to some of the most eminent former partners like Kevin Coyne and Bill Matassoni. We adopt their insights when designing our case training and strategy training programs. Our goal at Firmsconsulting is to allow our members access to the partners from whom we seek advise.
This is an exclusive interview that Bill Matassoni recently had with Firmsconsulting where he shared some counter-intuitive concepts you will not hear anywhere else.
Bill Matassoni was the partner who was involved in developing and implementing the McKinsey philosophy that helped the firm pull ahead of BCG in the 1980s and 1990s. He was thereafter the partner who led BCG’s efforts to overtake McKinsey.
Why are we releasing this on the first day of 2015? We want you to take an aggressive hold of your career in 2015 and begin investing in your future from the first day of the year. This insightful, inspiring and counter intuitive podcast explains the steps McKinsey took in the 1980s to reposition the firm.
Planning is meaningless unless you know what to plan. You need a point of differentiation and you need to consistently drive that difference.
Competitive advantage is wrong to pursue. You need to look for comparative advantage.
See if you can extract those lessons from this podcast.
Bill Matassoni started his career in management consulting in 1980 when he joined McKinsey & Company. He was a partner there for almost 20 years, focusing on the branding of professional services. He was responsible for building McKinsey’s reputation and protecting its brand, which included publishing the McKinsey Quarterly. In doing so he worked closely with many of his colleagues worldwide including Tom Peters, Jon Katzenbach, Kenichi Ohmai, John Sawhill, John Stucky, and John Hagel. He was also responsible for much of McKinsey’s internal communications. This included the creation of McKinsey’s systems to manage and disseminate its practice knowledge. These efforts are described in an HBR case study.
He left McKinsey to join Mitchell Madison Group, a strategy consulting firm he helped to take public through its sale to USWeb/CKS in 1999. He then joined The Boston Consulting Group, where he headed for over five years a group responsible for innovation, marketing and communications. As at McKinsey, Bill Matassoni worked closely with several of BCG’s thought leaders — George Stalk, Michael Silverstein, Philip Evans, Yves Morieux, Hal Sirkin and others — to develop their ideas and turn them into consulting assignments. Bill Matassoni retired from BCG a few years ago and founded The Glass House Group, a consulting firm that helps professional service firms with branding and marketing issues. At one of his clients, Tapestry Networks, Bill has become a senior advisor.
Bill Matassoni is a graduate of Phillips Andover (1964), Harvard College (B.A. Literature, 1968) and Harvard Business School (M.B.A., 1975).
For many years Bill Matassoni was on the board of trustees of United Way of America and United Way International. He is now on the board of trustees of First Book and a senior advisor to Ashoka, an organization that invests in social entrepreneurs. He is also on the Board of Advisors of The Demand Institute, a non-profit funded by The Conference Board and Nielsen. He remains interested in the management and marketing of professional services firms, social marketing and healthcare reform.
You can read Bill’s full biography here. His excellent pieces on managing professional services brands are here and here. If you have never had the opportunity to meet Marvin Bower, and that would apply to most of McKinsey’s current partners, Bill’s thinking is the second best thing to have access to.
In this wide ranging interview, Bill Matassoni and I discuss the following about the strategy, culture, values, mistakes and problems of McKinsey and BCG:
McKinsey & Co.
And much, much more.
If you found this piece interesting, please post comments and questions below. We will be interviewing other very senior ex-partners of McKinsey and BCG, and will use these comments as an input for future interviews.
We also use comments and social shares to determine if a series should be pursued. If you would like us to interview another BCG or McKinsey ex-partner, corporate executive or renowned athlete please let us know in the comments section.
Hope you enjoyed it.