PracticeConsultingLeader – There must be stars in their eyes.

Leader - There must be stars in their eyes.

The consultancy profession isn't usually accused of being exhibitionist when dealing with the media. However, the big players recently dry-cleaned their Sunday best and paraded in front of the cameras for Channel Four's Masters of the Universe series, which was billed as an expose of the faceless organisations that really run Britain.

After such a probing investigation, one would have expected a frenzy of publicity surrounding the series’ findings, and, sure enough, the Management Consultancy office fielded a number of calls from the national press. Unfortunately for them, they failed to hunt down a scandal. Masters of the Universe was a primer. It’s first segment dealt with the history of consultancy and was by far the most successful. The following episodes were a mish-mash of fly-on-the-wall documentary, analysis, embittered ex-consultants and starry-eyed new recruits. The McKinsey ‘expose’, which purported to offer a fascinating glimpse into one of the world’s most tight-lipped organisations, turned out to be as stilted and stage-managed as one might have feared. We didn’t expect the series to delve into the minutae of the profession, but we did expect the questions to be tougher and the approach a little more hard-nosed. Screening a couple of role-playing sessions does not a series make. If nothing else, the series wrongly gave the impression that management consultants are purely employees within monolith organisations, and that they’re all the same. Only the episode devoted to the globalisation of business, which warranted a series to itself, had the potential to offer a real insight into the way they work. Meanwhile sole traders and niche consultants weren’t given a look in. What sort of impression would the layman have received after watching this ‘investigation’?

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