An interview with Michael Forsythe, investigative reporter for The New York Times and co-author of When McKinsey Comes to Town
I have never had any dealings with McKinsey, but I have dealt with Consultants.
This is a whole industry that gets paid big bucks for advice but is never held accountable for that advice. They get to write a White Paper, get paid for the white paper, and then move on. They do not have to deal the results in 5 years, 10 years or 25 years as no one even remembers the white paper in 25 years.
However the people who's lives have been impacted by decisions made by those white papers do have to deal with the results.
Fundamentally this is about separating "actions" from "consequences". Decision makers have to be tied to the decisions they make both positive and negative. When decision makers only have to live with the Upsides of Decisions, and are able externalize the negatives, this is the result.
Look forward to listening Tara. Not sure if you discussed the recent closely related book by Mariana Mazzucato, she gave a talk on it a few weeks back, moderated by Forsythe:
I was at the talk (Mariana and I overlapped for a couple of years in grad school). She is a force of nature, might be an interesting guest for you at some point.
Glad you posted the McKinsey response, it's very much in keeping with the tenor of your podcast.
Once again proving that journalists provide incredibly valuable information when given free reign
That last breath of the podcast was interesting to me. Your question to your guest, Tara, is one you end with in the interviews of most guests that you have. It is an important question.
To re-establish trust in media, the guest said journalists must "write good stories and hold people in power accountable." We must bear in mind that the error, seen from the street and leading to much of the journalistic mess we are in presently, is the forgetfulness of the upper crust of the Media, that they also are powerful. We all know that "power tends to corrupt..." so where power is granted, there is a requirement for equally strong and completely visible accountability. The Mogul faces of the Media forgot they also are subject to the corruption, acting as if they are immune. You go write your good stories; the people will believe them when they see accountability spread a little further up the chain.
The decline in trust in media is undeserved? Come on, give me a break!
The characterization of McKinsey as an accelerant of trends is alarming esp in light of current trends, some of which they mention in their statement. They claim not to make policy - maybe so - but they are good at what they do and will continue to sparkle government and big corp eyes and drive trends set by ... who knows.
Thin gruel, Tara. Forsythe shoots fast and loose with accusations...many of which are wrong. For example, he references Canadian public sector workers leaving due to the "pay gap" between the public and private sectors. In fact, working for the government has an 8.5% premium over the private sector and is viewed by many as the utopian, high pay Canadian risk-free job.
Linking McKinsey with politics is a cheap shot. Are we to castigate Canadian farmers for selling grain to the "wrong"people? Canadian manufacturers for selling "the wrong things to the wrong people? Who decides on the OKness of customers? The authors clearly had their minds made up before putting fingers to keyboards.
The social adversions implied here (Tech/energy, Opiods, wages etc) are a "shoot the messenger" wish list of attempts to create responsibility where none exists. Irrespective of left wing claims, no business has the responsibility to assess the political stance of its customers.
Whether it sits well with readers or not, the objective of business is to produce profits and dividends for its owners...and, regardless of wild wishes, that's it.
I repeat: you are a valued journalist for me. Even this denigration of a valuable company tells its own story. It further supports the push-back to the "let's expand business's social responsibilities" climate of the past few years.