BOSTON CONSULTING GROUP
The well-behaved never make history as the cliché goes. Let’s just say those who play it safe don’t make great consultants either.
That’s why the Boston Consultant seeks team members with a little something different. Like their peers, BCG loves brainpower — and a client-centric mindset too. When it comes to problem-solving, they aren’t looking to hit singles or grab long-hanging fruit. They bet big, looking for fresh takes that push the envelope. Here, every situation is unique, every option is nuanced, and every solution is custom. And you won’t find BCG consultants lounging around the c-suite. They roll up their sleeves and head out to the rank-and-file to see for themselves what the end users experience.
No company, issue, or approach is ever the same at BCG. They’re not re-inventing the wheel. Instead, they understand that every organization features a unique operational structure, history, value system, client base, and brand expectations. Expanding their capabilities and mitigating their limits often requires out-of-the-box solutions in fast-moving and ever-shifting environments.
“BCG does some of the most cutting-edge work in the industry,” notes one Vault survey respondent. “We’re able to do that because we are committed to developing custom solutions for each of our clients by putting incredibly smart teams together to solve those challenges together. The supportive learning environment fuels all of this.”
Yes, BCGers view themselves as pioneers out to disrupt the status quo. Rather than filling frames, they look to decorate a canvas. For that, they are the highest-paid consultants according to the Vault survey. Here, they posted a 9.664 average. To put that number in context, the numbers for Bain and McKinsey came out to 9.150 and 9.161 respectively. At the same time, BCG’s 9.852 score for Benefits bested the rest of the industry too. One survey-taker observes that the industry has followed BCG’s lead in increasing compensation over the past five years.
“BCG’s package is among the best anywhere,” adds another respondent. “The firm recognizes the value of its people and compensates us accordingly. Medical coverage is not just premium-free for employees, it’s extremely comprehensive. My physicians and their office support staff are often floored by what it covers.”
They aren’t alone, adds Brian Myerholtz, a managing director and partner at the firm. “BCG, in general, has a philosophy of taking care of the people who work here,” Myerholtz told P&Q in 2021. “It comes through in compensation and benefits. The one thing I tell recruits that no one seems to fully appreciate is that the healthcare benefits are amazing. I’ll say that to an MBA coming out of school and they’ll say, “Yeah, whatever.” Two years later, they’re having their first child and they’ll email me and say, “This is amazing. I was fully supported and it cost very little. It’s world class healthcare.”
A “GROWTH MINDSET”
Overall, BCG racked up six first-place finishes in the Vault Consulting 50 study. Aside from Compensation, the firm also ranked #1 for Promotion Policies. Some of this stems from what BCGers call a “growth mindset” — an embrace of fast learning curves and high expectations that can sometimes be painful.
“BCG has unlocked a comfort with discomfort,” explains Varun Hippalgaonkar, who joined the firm in 2020. “As BCG consultants, we often get to work on a variety of the most complex and challenging problems facing our clients across industries, topic areas, and geographies. This means that we are often solving problems where don’t have a playbook. Admittedly, it can be nerve-racking to ramp up on what feel like completely foreign topics and be tasked with developing high quality solutions. However, BCG has helped me realize that, with a supportive team, this discomfort and anxiety can transform into excitement and fun.”
This is coupled with a transparency, where there is a “clear understanding of what is required” for promotion in the words of one Vault respondent.
A COACHING CULTURE
Another survey respondent ticked off several other benefits to BCG’s system: “Very structured performance review process, clear intentions of making it objective, and always tied to clear actions to take for any areas for development. Promotions every 18-24 months can be highly rewarding.”
Like Bain and McKinsey, BCG can be called a coaching culture where even senior leaders like Brian Myerholtz have their own coach. “BCG launched an ‘embedded coaching’ program where they pair new hires with tenured consultants,” notes another survey respondent. “[It] was like having a personal tutor and has been a game-changer! Really helped the transition from school to work when I first started.”
Beyond upward mobility, the firm beat its peers in Health and Wellness. According to one survey taker, the firm flags consultants who have a high average number of hours worked, along with mental health programs and structured leaves. In addition, BCG staff ranked Firm Leadership as the best in the industry, while also holding the best outlook for the future according to the survey.
“[We are a] “leader in innovation,” writes an additional survey respondent. “When nobody was thinking about Climate Change, for us it was a core business area. When nobody thought Digital and Analytics had a future, we were already developing our Gamma team. It is in the firm’s DNA and in the way we operate. And innovation goes beyond creative ideas. We are committed to making innovation happen at our clients: we are always ranked #1 in Change Mgmt. because of that.”
Next Page: Vault Consulting 50 Ranking