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Turquoise Eyes: A Novel about Problem Solving & Critical Thinking
Our brand new book, Turquoise Eyes: A Novel about Problem Solving & Critical Thinking, is available on Amazon.
To celebrate the launch week of Turquoise Eyes: A Novel about Problem Solving & Critical Thinking, we offer a purchase gift to customers as our way of showing that we’re truly thankful you chose FIRMSconsulting.
To claim Your complimentary 1 month access to the accompanying video program please see the details below
Available until midnight EST 28 May 2020 only.
But there is more. The first episode of the accompanying program is temporarily released, at no charge, to the broader FIRMSconsulting community and can be accessed on YouTube or below.
ADVANCED PREDICTIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING. Turquoise Eyes accompanying video program. 1st episode:
Turquoise Eyes started off the groundbreaking new genre developed by FIRMSconsulting that combines compelling narrative while teaching problem solving and critical thinking skills. Set after a bank begins implementing a new retail banking strategy, we follow Teresa García Ramírez de Arroyo, a director-general in the Mexican government, who has received some disturbing news.
A whistleblower has emailed Teresa with troubling news about a mistake in the loan default calculations and reserve ratios. The numbers do not add up.
Most people learn business because they are forced to, for their careers or to earn a larger salary. Most business books are, consequently, boring and dense. They have little incentive to be interesting because they have a captive market. Many avoid a business career because the books are presented as a hurdle to be overcome. We wondered what would happen if we made business books interesting, so people chose to read them? Would we draw more people into business? Would we generate more enthusiasm and excitement for business at a younger age?
This book teaches advanced business concepts through a compelling storyline. This new genre of our books is written not only for people already interested in business but also for people who may not realize they have an interest or talent for business. Clients often request gift ideas for their children, spouses, friends, and families to get them interested in business and critical thinking. In part, this is our response to those requests.
We want you to learn advanced critical thinking without realizing you are learning. We hope you will enjoy it, too.
We believe the more people who find business interesting and choose to learn business, the better it is for everyone. Businesses will have a larger pool of employees from whom to select and more of the right people will be choosing the discipline to improve humanity versus simply to make more money.
Imagine the advantage your children will have if they learned critical thinking in high school, or even before high school? Imagine if you had that advantage? Imagine if you had learned strategy alongside science and math in high school? The possibilities would be endless. It all starts with the right books. And it’s never too late to start.
If learning is engaging, it will stop being a chore.
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3) Sit back and wait for your FREE 1-month access to Turquoise Eyes: A Novel about Problem Solving & Critical Thinking program, which will be sent to qualifying participants in July 2020.
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P.P.S. Below are some reviews. You can read more reviews and buy the book here.
Succeeding as a Management Consultant
When people think about the business strategy we often think about the field of strategy consulting/management consulting and firms like McKinsey, BCG, et al. If you are interested in learning how to conduct a management consulting engagement, you will likely enjoy this book. Succeeding as a Management Consultant is a book set in the Brazilian interior. This book follows an engagement team as they assist Goldy, a large Brazilian gold miner, in diagnosing and fixing deep and persistent organizational issues. This book follows an engagement team over an 8-week assignment and explains how they successfully navigate a challenging client environment, develop hypotheses, build the analyses, and provide the final recommendations. It is written so the reader may understand, follow, and replicate the process. It is the only book laying out a consulting assignment step-by-step. (Published by FIRMSconsulting.) One of the best business books if you are interested in management consulting and strategy. This book will be very useful as well if you are a small business consultant. If you were searching for answers to questions about consulting, this book is a gold mine, according to many readers.
Marketing Saves the World, Bill Matassoni’s Memoir
Bill Matassoni’s (Ex-McKinsey and Ex-BCG Senior Partner)Marketing Saves The Worldis a truly unique book. Never before has a McKinsey partner published his memoir publicly. This book is a rare opportunity – a true exclusive – to see what shapes the thought process of a partner and learn about marketing and strategy.The memoir essentially lays out McKinsey’s competitive advantage and explains how it can be neutralized. (Published by FIRMSconsulting.) One of the best business books if you are interested in marketing, strategy, how McKinsey and BCG operate, and overall in management consulting.
Turquoise Eyes: A Novel about Problem Solving & Critical Thinking
Turquoise Eyes started off the groundbreaking new genre developed by FIRMSconsulting that combines compelling narrative while teaching problem solving and critical thinking skills. Set after a bank begins implementing a new retail banking strategy, we follow Teresa García Ramírez de Arroyo, a director-general in the Mexican government, who has received some disturbing news. A whistleblower has emailed Teresa with troubling news about a mistake in the loan default calculations and reserve ratios. The numbers do not add up. The book loosely uses the logic and financial analyses in A Typical McKinsey Engagement, >270 videos.
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There are some very common misconceptions and myths about analytical problem solving. Most candidates simply skim over this phrase on consulting profiles without thinking about the meaning. This post will tell you what management consulting firms like McKinsey, Bain and BCG mean by analytical problem solving.
You would be surprised at how many people believe that analytical thinking is something that comes instinctively, letting you do data analysis and pinpoint relevant information to get the key takeaways from complex problems. The truth is, these analytical skills are, more often than not, hard skills that you acquire through years of problem solving and critical thinking. They’re problem-solving skills that help you go from coming up with easy solutions to coming up with creative solutions that go the extra mile.
This is important advice so it is worth reading carefully – we’ll also go over some analytical and problem solving skills examples to help you understand better.
What is analytical problem solving
To be an analytical thinker does not mean you must have a degree in science, engineering, finance, economics or any other quantitative subject. While some subjects, like those listed, imply you could be analytical in your thinking, not having quantitative background does not mean you cannot think analytically. Thousands of candidates with quantitative backgrounds fail to get offers from McKinsey, Bain and BCG every year. Therefore, having a quantitative background can be an advantage, but it does not guarantee analytical problem solving ability.
Being analytical refers to the way you think and not to the problem you solve. This is a very important statement. Lawyers, social scientists, linguists and historians can all be extremely analytical in their thinking. Yet, they are not solving quantitative problems. So the problem is not what determines if you are analytical, it is the way you solve the problem.
Good analyses are grounded in hypotheses. Can you develop hypotheses? It always surprises us how many people do not know what is a hypothesis. A hypothesis is not the problem. It is not a fact. It is not an opinion. It is a statement which captures the observed phenomenon as well as the likely cause of the phenomenon. Both must be present for it to be a hypothesis. A surprising number of candidates do not understand this.
Are you able to reason using only the facts provided? Analytical thinkers are not unemotional. No one is unemotional. However, analytical thinkers are able to separate their emotion from the situation and use the data provided to arrive at a conclusion. Analytical problem solving means reasoning using facts and logic. Past experience or opinions which cannot be substantiated are ignored.
Can you assemble data and facts to develop an argument or line of reasoning? Analytical thinkers can take pieces of information, compare them and decide what the information is saying. They can assemble the information to produce new insight into the problem rather than simply restating the information.
Analytical thinkers do not blurt out answers. Assuming your answer is even correct, the fact that you knew the answer means you did not need to analyse the facts. Therefore, your analytical problem solving skill could not be tested.
Logic has nothing to do with numbers. There is a misconception that if your reasoning lacks numbers then it must be incorrect. That is ridiculous. In many consulting case interviews, you will need to reason based on logical arguments and with very little numbers. Your line of reasoning is more important than your final answer.
Analytical thinkers can show you how they arrived at the answer. This should be obvious, right? After all, it is the foundation of the case interview method. If you followed a path of reasoning to arrive at an answer, you should be able to explain that path to someone. That is why the method is used. The interviewer is more interested in how you arrived at the answer than the answer you developed. How you arrived at the answer shows the strength of your analytical problem solving skill.
Logical thinkers apply MECE, even if they do not know it. I have some impressive friends in the legal profession. Watching them reason and debate is worth doing so. When you ask them how they arrived at an answer or why they eliminated an option, you realize they are applying the rules of MECE perfectly. Yet, they never heard of MECE. Reason and logic is not exclusive to management consulting but is it essential to management consulting.
You do not need to know anything about an income statement, balance sheet or cash-flow statement to develop analytical skills. I should not need to say this but I will say it anyway. The thought process is more important than the topic. You can learn accounting and financial concepts when you need them. It is not very difficult to do so.
Analytical and problem solving skills examples
Below we share with you some examples of analytical and problem solving skills and how analytical skills are being tested during consulting case interviews.
Structured case interview analytical and problem solving skills development is needed
If you would like to get help with developing your analytical and problem solving skills, and fast track your case interview preparation, we welcome you to enroll into Premium membership.
There is nowhere else in the world where you can see real candidates trained by former partners from major consulting firms to help them develop analytical and problem solving skills. You will see the candidate’s progression through each step of the case interview preparation process, and how their analytical and problem solving skills are being developed. And you will see candidates receiving real offers from major firms such as Deloitte, McKinsey, or BCG.
Are you working hard to develop the skills of consulting partners but need some tips and motivation to help you make the most of FC programs? Do you struggle to relate to Kevin P. Coyne, Bill Matassoni, Michael etc. as their achievement level seems to be unreachable and wish you could also learn from role models who are your fellow FC Insiders? If yes, the Meet FC Insiders series was made for you.
You will find FC Insiders everywhere. From McKinsey partners to banks, governments, industry, non-profits, startups to accounting firms. Even executive committee members of the largest consulting firms.
We are thrilled to introduce more role models for the FC community who are fellow FC Insiders. Meet Nerses Nersisyan, one of our closest clients, a big 4 country head of tax and legal (previously PwC, currently KPMG), an amazing father and husband, and an FC Insider.
Nerses talks about how he used FC training over the last 4-5 years to develop skills that helped him raise the bar 10 times higher and significantly accelerate his career progression. You can watch the documentary or read the transcript, whichever you prefer. Let us know if you find the Meet FC Insiders series helpful and what questions we should cover in the upcoming documentaries.
Meet Nerses Nersisyan
I was born in Armenia, Yerevan in 1982. I had one brother and have one sister. Actually, my young years coincided with quite a difficult situation for Armenia. It was the collapse of the Soviet Union. The early 90s. Basically, we had a major earthquake in Armenia and the Soviet economy collapsed, and everything that seemed to work before, didn’t work at that time.
My parents were engineers in one of the biggest Research Institute teams in the Soviet Union. But then because the whole value chain collapsed they lost their jobs and it was quite difficult to find your way out.
I finished school when I was 15 years old. Normally you do that when you are 18 or 20. That was partly because I went to school when I was five. Again quite an unusual thing. So I finished the Yerevan State Economy Institute at the age of 20, with a summa cum laude diploma, and then went to serve military services, two years.
But before that, I want to talk about why I choose my major as economics because that was kind of a little bit unusual for me, and for my family as well. I grew up in a family of engineers and for them, and considering from the Soviet point of view, an economist did not sound like a profession at all.
So I overcame quite a few challenges selecting that as a profession. But I didn’t know at the end of the day what I’m was going do and where I was going to end up.
So when I was back from the Army I was 22 years old, having no idea what I’m gonna do and where I’m going to end up. I started working in a small boutique consulting firm offering accounting and tax services to various local companies.
It was owned by the brother of my good friend. Started to work there, basically from scratch. Taking a paper from the office to the tax authorities, bringing it back, sending letters, doing photocopying, etc.
After three years PwC has opened an office in Armenia and I decided to send my application.
Surprisingly, they called me.
I did pass the interview but the feedback was like, look we like you but we want to hold your CV because that was for the auditor position and you do not seem to be an auditor. I didn’t realize at that time that it was a compliment. So and I thought it’s a decline.
After six months I got a call saying, “Hey, do you mind still coming to us and work with us in a tax and legal department?” And I said, “Why not.” Eventually, that appeared to be a great decision. So I joined a team of one expert senior manager and another consultant.
And to cut a long story short worked my way to becoming head of tax and legal of PwC in Armenia. And by the way, recently I changed my job I now work with KPMG, again heading their tax and legal services.
Skills I don’t want my competitors to have
I would definitely suggest and advise anyone to use FIRMSconsulting materials. When I think to myself whether I would recommend it to someone I can take this question from two different angles.
Firstly, it’s a great resource and I would definitely recommend it to anyone who wants to achieve success in their career to work through the materials that they have.
On another side, and take this as an anecdote, I would not recommend FIRMSconsulting to a competitor who competes with me because, I mean, it provides an enormous competitive advantage.
So to describe FIRMSconsulting it’s a good analogy is to use Fight Club. So the first rule of the Fight Club is not to tell anyone about Fight Club.
Four reasons FIRMSconsulting is different
In the middle of my career, I was seconded to Moscow to work in a bigger office in a different environment with larger and larger clients and I’m a kind of person that always worked on myself, trying to find things. So one day I was surfing the internet and came across the FC.
One thing that immediately catches my mind and my eye that the level the quality of the content is very, very different from what you normally have. It was deep, it was very structured.
So at least three important things drive the fact that I think FIRMSconsulting is different.
So firstly, all the content is prepared and delivered by former consulting partners. It’s hardly possible you find anywhere a partner teaching you the skills that could make someone become successful in their careers.
This is true regardless of whether you try to become a generalist partner as in I own the client relationship and I bring in specialists or a specialist partner in that I’m an expert on operations, on purchasing, on whatever and people bring me in and I do that work and then I move on.
So normally the level of exposure is quite low. I mean, that was different with FIRMSconsulting. Partners were delivering the materials.
Secondly, the huge difference is that FIRMSconsulting teaches you the core skills. So it’s not providing you ten tips on how to become successful or five ways of finding yourself somewhere or teaching you a couple of frameworks that you can take and apply somewhere. FIRMSconsulting is teaching you the core skills.
How to solve problems, how to think critically, how to communicate well.
And thirdly, it’s fun. Every podcast is delivered with anecdotes, with funny stories, so you really enjoy listening to those podcasts, watching videos.
And most importantly, they explain that in a logical manner. So it’s not that they use the partner authority to say, “hey this is the right thing to do.” They explain to you why this skill is important why this advice should be used in this way and I think that provides for exclusivity of the program.
How to use FIRMSconsulting resources to develop your skills
My personal experience with FIRMSconsulting, I think it did change my life, basically. I feel that in the last four or five years, from the moment I started to use the resources, my career progression accelerated enormously. You can use FIRMSconsulting in a couple of different ways.
You can use it as a general framework to develop yourself or you can use it to find specific answers to specific questions.
For example, if you want to provide feedback to an associate, you go to the LAB study and there you can find what framework to use, what are key criteria to assess someone, how to assess that and how to do that in a proper way.
One piece of advice I will give to someone who will be working himself through the FIRMSconsulting material is to be very methodical. Understand where to start, where to move next and what to do. Don’t think that you can watch a video one time and learn the skill. You have to be very methodical.
You have to do that two or three times. You need to understand where to start and where to move on.
For example, if you are working through TCO, be sure you first watch the preparatory videos, then you move to TCO I, then you move to TCO II and only then you work through the material to in TCO III.
Because the level of difficulty is building up and you need to be able to learn the ground skills. So put the basics in place, then move on.
There are fascinating shows out there, like The Bill Matassoni Show, where a guy who led the McKinsey’s and BCG’s marketing efforts teaches you in the first place what marketing is. But you have to be ready to grasp that material.
So you need to start from the basics. One may think why it’s important? If someone is talking about marketing why do you need to understand the problem solving and the critical thinking skills? I will say, no, that’s important.
You need to understand how consultants think, how consultants solve problems, how they approach the problem to be able to grasp the material provided by Bill Matassoni.
The decades of experience
For me, FIRMSconsulting could be described in one word and that word is trust. You may think why it’s important? I will say it’s very important. You have to be able to trust them that the skills they teach you are absolutely important and critical for you to become successful.
I trusted them four years ago when I started to watch the materials. And sometimes the advice they provide is controversial and you think, “Okay, maybe I shouldn’t apply it or I should apply it in a different way.”
No, believe me, and trust them. Whatever they teach is coming from decades of experience and it works.
Raising the bar 10x higher
Working with FIRMSconsulting has changed the way I’m setting goals for myself. I was always thinking of myself as being a very ambitious guy. Believe me, the FIRMSconsulting resources helped me to increase the bar ten times higher.
At the end of the day, one important thing they teach you is that there are no limits. You can achieve everything. If you learn the right skills if you apply them in the right manner and in the right place.
Communications skills development – Johnny Depp story
I want to bring an example of one of the memorable parts of working through the FC. I was trying to work on my communication skills and one advice I found there is go to YouTube and try to find a video of Johnny Depp and his wife making an apology.
That was fun. I mean, a likable person like Johnny and his wife they were looking so bad, so rude, so confused. So you understand why communication is that important.
Making time at night to develop skills with FC programs
My work is quite demanding and I am usually coming back home quite late. And one may think in a family why would you spend a couple of hours watching some videos?
My wife realized that those videos are changing the way, actually changing myself. She sees how energized I am. She sees how those videos changed me professionally and probably as a person as well.
Riveting the attention of senior clients
The biggest benefit of working through FC is that first, you change the skills that are for life. For example, if you understand how to solve problems you may be able to do that in any situation. I want to bring an example of how the skills taught by FIRMSconsulting online programs can benefit you and help you in any situation.
I had a client meeting a few weeks ago where the client asked me about something I had no clue about it. It was a question about the tourism industry etc. I started to use the brainstorming technique taught by FIRMSconsulting, broke the question down, explained the drivers, explained what you have to do to change the tourism industry of Armenia and that dialogue ended up being quite an interesting discussion.
And that person did not even understand that I have no idea about the sector.
Why should I choose FIRMSconsulting over other options?
If someone calls me and say why should I choose FIRMSconsulting training program and not the other one I will tell them two or three very important things.
Firstly, it’s consulting partners that teach you the skills and you won’t be able to find that exposure anywhere else.
Secondly, the quality and quantity of material is just unbeatable. You can find advice for a specific situation or you can find advice for a general situation. If you are in a tech sector you can go to the tech merger study and understand what are the drivers behind the tech company business.
If you are starting a startup you can go and watch a new program that is preparing right now about how to build a successful startup in a very short period of time. So to cut the long story short it’s a very useful resource.
Are you not concerned that it is an expensive service?
When you think about FIRMSconsulting one may be concerned as to whether it’s an expensive service or not. I would say I would take it in one way.
FIRMSconsulting is only about quality and price is not important there. If you want to become successful in your career you need to be ready to invest and at the end of the day that investment is worth it.
I’m sure it will come back multiplied by hundreds and thousands.
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