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Developing Professional The BCG Way ( A )

Profile
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management
consulting firm and the world's leading advisor on business strategy. BCG
was founded in 1963 and is a private firm comprised of 10,500 total staf
working in 85 offices in 48 countries, with 2015 revenues of $5.00 billion.
BCG partners with clients in all sectors, industries and regions to identify
their highest-value opportunities, address their most critical challenges
and transform their businesses. BCG's expertise includes functional
practices

such

as

corporate

development,

global

advantage

(globalization), information technology, marketing & sales, organization,


operations, strategy, social impact; and industry practices such as
consumer & retail, energy, financial institutions, health care, industrial
goods,

insurance,

public

sector

and

technology,

media

&

telecommunications
BCG's Business Services Team is an integral part of a successful
global firm and is composed of talented professionals in the areas of
Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Legal, Marketing,
Operations, and Risk.
BCG's Knowledge Organization works in close collaboration with
consultant case teams and other groups within our firm to help create,
retrieve, organize, and analyze the knowledge that enables BCG to deliver
superior business value for clients.
Specialties
Consumer insight, corporate development, corporate finance, digital
economy, globalization, growth, information technology, innovation,
marketing & sales, operations, people & organization, postmerger
integration, risk management, strategy, sustainability, transformation

BCGs people processes comprised


-

Talented Candidates
Performance reviews and development
Promoting

Consultants Career Development at BCG


BCG consultants go deeper to solve our clients biggest challenges
and make a positive, lasting impact on their businesses and the world.
The biggest characteristic of BCG's career development is the practical
use of top-level resource. Employees could accumulate their knowledges
through the projects and discussions with experts inside or outside the
company.
Promotion
Career progression for BCG was as follow associates to consultants
to project leaders to manager and at the end as officers ( include vice
presidents and senior vice presidents ). All the professional were always
considered for promotion not strictly by tenure but within a time window.
But not only in that situation, when their superiors felt that they had the
ability to perform at the next level and had the potential to continue
developing skill can be promoted to the next level.
Kris Holland, as the head of global apprenticeship said that it need
to be at least two years of gaining experience to be able to make the
market more open up.

Consultant feedback and Performance Reviews


They try to help our consultants develop the competencies to
conduct and deliver high-quality research and also enjoy the process. Its
a win-win situation for the firm if the consultant succeed, and if there is no

succeed they still help them trasition to more productive and enjoyable
settings for the firm.

Background ( conted )
Professional development :
-

Staffing
The mentor believed this give the opportunity for the
consultant that have to be proactive to build skills. And the best
way to develop the abilities and insights is on the spot - in case
teams. In real case, someone needs to know their strength and
weakness in their department. And let the staffing department
knows if someone need to develop more at some point of their
weakness or to get better at their strength.
Some people like to be a specialist and another wants to be a
generalist. People who is specialist in their department means they
work hard and they were actually good at it. They are so committed
that they get respect immediately. But some people believe
business judgement develops faster if your are a generalist.

Training
Besides CDC advisor, incoming consultant were assigned
mentors, BCG officers who acted as informal counsellors to the
consultants. Formal training helps the professionals in picking up
skills, socializing, building a network and developing a sense of BCG
as a firm.
Training was not limited only to entry level consultants. Formal
training sessions were ofered throughout professionals tenure at
BCG.( FIGURE C ) Down below describes schematically how
professional were expected to develop on each of BCGs six core
capabilities throughout their careers.

In this system their professionals learn primarily through


apprenticeship and provides recruits with a support system at BCG
but then still explain that experience is the best teacher after all.
The Mentorship
In large offices, mentors were formally assigned to consultants
based on interest and experiences. In smaller offices, the assignment
process was informal, with consultants choosing to confide in senior
colleagues with whom they felt comfortable. The diferent between
mentor and CDC advisor are informal and formal and from mentors have a
non-evaluative role. There is no time limit with mentor sharing. And the
role of mentor keep evolved as the consultants growing to progressed.
At the first six month meeting the consultant joining the BCG,
mentors explore just a formal first expression question. At the 12 month
progressed, mentor started to ask more detail developmental strengths
questions. Its like the how we can help you to develop your strength
and overcome your weakness question. At the 18 month point

the

question are about how was their progressed based of their strength
reviews and is it helpful for them. And they should be promoted by the
month 24 and if not they need more frequent conversations with their
mentors.
The four BCG consultants are Josh Coopersmith, Eric Wong, Michael
Nelson, and Madeleine Lagarde.
A. Josh Coopersmith
Mentor : Matthew Glassman
At age 28 Josh Coopersmith received his bachelors degree in history
from Harvard College in 1995 and continued to Business School at
Harvard in the fall of 1998. And he committed to return to BCG firm after
three years as an associate. And Josh re-joining at BCG in June 2000.

Under a senior vice president in BCGs Chicago offices, Matthew


Glassman as a mentor, Josh got his first case that is a post-merger
integration project for a financial service client. Josh got the first
impression from his mentor with only a three point of performance review,
and started to ask a question about what happened actually.
And for the next project he choose not too be to picky and said that
any project for him to make would be fine. And from January to April 2001,
Josh was stafed on a project that involved the redesign of an agribusiness
in Iowa, the case that Josh no nothing about. By the end of it, Josh felt that
he learn and know a lot about the industry. And the manager he was work
with like him and ask him a favour to work over the weekend with an
impending deadline. As this project was coming to close, Coopersmith
received a one at his second CDC review in April 200, and his got a great
performance review from his advisor. If he keep up the work methods like
he did in the last case if should got promoted to a project leader by April
2002.
As the CDC suggested Josh to applying to the ambassador program just
to experience a global networks knowledge and to enhance the personal
and professional.
The performance review about Josh Coopersmith :
a. Need to make more efort with the team members and become
more transparent
b. Have problems with the training and development program, thinks
its wasted of time.
c. Too arrogant to ask the manager or the mentor, too confident about
his skill
d. Facing the ambassador program opportunities dilemma, need his
mentor to guide him about this dilemma
Mentors Perspective ( about Josh Coopersmith ) : Matthew
Glassman
Matthew Glassman, who had mentored 8 consultants over his 11 years
with the firm, joined BCGs Chicago office in 1992 as a senior vice
president.

a. At first he felt a little pessimistic about how Josh maybe will not seek
for help or not to bother to ask the manager to solve a problem.
b. Well-known about Josh personality, and always encourage him
c. By the time past, for next project Matt can see the diference with
Josh behaviour and started to seek help and advice.
d. Thinks Josh taking the program for a wrong purpose
e. Even though Matt thinks Josh is smart and hard working, he hope
Josh will learn to with the team.
B. Eric Wong
Mentor : Michael Lao
Eric Wong joined the research and development department of a large
manufacturing organization in Cleveland, Ohio, upon his graduation at
Massachusetts Institute of Technology ( MIT ). Eric started an Internet
start-up that is designed to collect, collate, and provide information on the
lasts in automation engineering. In June 2000 Eric joined BCG to learn
something diferent other than manufacturing engineering and moved to
Hong Kong.
Michael Lao as his mentor was slightly cold and rigid make him
believed that its not going to be a good help for him to manage. At his
first project, an automobile manufacturer that ended in January 2001, Eric
received his evaluation of four from CDC review. The reason were :
a. Lack of presentation and client skills in just business basic training.
b. He need to be open to receiving feedback from the mentor.
c. Refuse to talk to mentor and choose to develop and work on his
weakness by himself
The second stafed for Eric was in March 2001 , on a fast-moving postmerger integration project in manufacturing. At August 2001, Eric got his
second CDC review a performance evaluation of two. Because of his hard
work and dedication with the team members. But then other problems
that bother Eric is that about how people make him a specialist at
manufacturing case manufacturing. He still need to develop more
outside the manufacturing case and his wife think that what he been
doing will simply unsustainable for their marriage. Eric Wong reveals that
he is not comfortable working in the manufacturing sector, and his seniors
try to get him a position outside of it but cannot.

Eric believed that he need to work on his personal by him self and
didnt want to ask for advice from Lao.
Mentors Perspective ( about Eric Wong ) : Michael Lao
With the same manufacturing background that he had with Eric in
University of New South Wales, Michael Lao joined as a vice president with
BCGs Hong Kong for five years. Prior to attending the university, Lao
completed his mandatory military service in China, serving as an
operations specialist for five years.
a. He respect his protge hard work and dont want to interfere when
his protg ask for none
b. He cant help Eric efectively if keep his personal proud individual
too long.
C. Michael Nelson
Mentor : Larisa Odgen
At age 29 Nelson chose BCG to try management consulting based of
how he loved the people, culture and intellectual history of the firm that
may fit him well.
His first project, a strategy case for manufacturing client, made him felt
that he was unable to do a proper analysis on a client due the time
sharing. His training program ended in September 2000 with a three on
his performance review. He was afraid if he took to much work in analysis
for a consumer good client would lead the team to think that he might be
arrogant and aggressive. Nelson then received a four for his next project
review because of his lack of presence in client situations, slide writing,
communication and knowing how deep to go in analysing problems.
But then Nelson was surprised of how helpful his mentor, Larisa, for her
suggestions for what he need to improve and how direct she was. Due the
next big project Nelson was surprised for a two of his performance review
and got invited from the team manager to do follow-on work for the same
client. But the moment when Nelson thinks he do the great job for the
project he received a performance ranking of four. CDC advisor explain
Nelson that he need to find some way to stand out and reaching out for

help. When his project ended in December 2001, Nelson feel that he need
to consul about his up and down performance to his CDC advisor, Larisa.
Larisa said frankly that he need to work hard to improve his weakness so
that he can be promoted for the next period.
The review about Nelson :
a.
b.
c.
d.
e.

Uncomfortable Job
Afraid of being missed interpreted as arrogant and aggressive
Not confident
Weak in presentation skills and business knowledge
Weak in analytical skills

Mentors Perspective ( about Michael Nelson ) : Larisa Odgen


After nine years joined at BCG New York office she had received awards for
her skill and dedication in mentoring BCGs consultants and was
frequently assigned three new professionals to mentor at a time.
a. She think about Nelson lack of confidence and polish needed will
make him struggle at BCG
b. She is trying to help Nelson to develop as efectively as possible and
shes helping him to boost his confident.
D. Madeline Lagarde
Mentor : Eric Peret
Graduated from INSEAD MBA, Lagarde began working as a consultant in
BCGs Paris office in July 2000. She hope that she can learn quickly skill for
her own entrepreneurial ventures. Eric Peret as her mentor.
Her first project and second she got a performance review a one and a
two on her dedication to the work, drive to succeed, team spirit, and
humility. She keeps doing the great job performance even after the third
project make her an expert. At work her colleagues always expected her
to be awesome, this all attention make her enjoyment less fun than
before.
The review :
a. She felt difficult to confide with Eric for a consul
b. Good at work but didnt enjoy it
Mentors Perspective ( about Madeline Lagarde ) : Eric Peret

Eric Peret joined BCG in 1998 as a vice president. After successfully


managing the offices largest telecom account for more than five years, he
becamed the head of BCG Pariss technology practice.
He felt that madeleine seems unhappy and doesnt talk much about
herself. So, Eric just tried to ofer her about his experience and simple
advice. Madeleine Lagarde told Eric that she felt out of place in a
consulting environment. Then Eric helped her think this through and
consider taking a position at another BCG office or a short sabbatical.

Problem definition
BCG just focus on the corporate performance and profit. At some point
it lose its human touch, especially to the employee. In the long term
those thing will efect the retaining function, then it will become hard
to achieved.
Solution
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Mentor at the BCG need to be trained as well

How they choose the mentor for the company should be based by

the interpersonal and technical skill from the mentor


There need to be a group mentoring program
Objective measurement is the key of the mentoring system