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The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm Hardcover

ISBN-13: 063-9785329039 ISBN-10: 0071374299 Edition: 1st

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The McKinsey Mind: Understanding and Implementing the Problem-Solving Tools and Management Techniques of the World's Top Strategic Consulting Firm + The McKinsey Way + The McKinsey Engagement: A Powerful Toolkit For More Efficient and Effective Team Problem Solving
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: McGraw-Hill; 1st edition (September 26, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0071374299
  • ISBN-13: 978-0071374293
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #26,082 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The First Step-by-Step Manual for Achieving McKinsey-Style Solutions­­and Success

International bestseller The McKinsey Way provided a through-the-keyhole look at McKinsey & Co., history's most prestigious consulting firm. Now, the follow-up implementation manual, The McKinsey Mind, reveals the hands-on secrets behind the powerhouse firm's success­­and discusses how executives from any field or industry can use those tactics to be more proactive and successful in their day-to-day decision-making.

Structured around interviews and frontline anecdotes from former McKinsey consultants­­as well as the authors, themselves McKinsey alumni­­The McKinsey Mind explores how McKinsey tools and techniques can be applied to virtually any business problem in any setting. Immensely valuable in today's crisis-a-minute workplace, it discusses:

  • Techniques for framing problems and designing analyses
  • Methods for interpreting results and presenting solutions
  • Keys for managing teams, managing clients, and managing yourself

The ability to think in a rigorous, structured manner­­a McKinsey manner­­is not a birthright. It can, however, be a learned behavior. Let The McKinsey Mind show you how to approach and solve problems with the skill of a McKinsey consultant and obtain the positive results that have been delivered to McKinsey clients for over a century.

McKinsey & Co. is renowned throughout the world for its ability to arrive at sharp, insightful analyses of its clients' situations then provide solutions that are as ingenious as they are effective. McKinsey succeeds almost as well as shielding its revolutionary methods from competitors' scrutiny.

Now, The McKinsey Mind pulls back the curtain to reveal the ways in which McKinsey consultants consistently deliver their magic and how those methods can be used to achieve exceptional results in companies from 10 employees to 10,000. Packed with insights and brainstorming exercises for establishing the McKinsey mind-set, this book is an in-depth guidebook for applying McKinsey methods in any industry and organizational environment.

Taking a step-by-step approach, The McKinsey Mind looks at the McKinsey mystique from every angle. Owners, executives, consultants, and team leaders can look to this comprehensive treatment for ways to:

  • Follow McKinsey's MECE (mutually exclusive, collectively exhaustive) line of attack
  • Frame business problems to make them susceptible to rigorous fact-based analysis
  • Use the same fact-based analysis­­in conjunction with gut instinct­­to make strategic decisions
  • Conduct meaningful interviews and effectively summarize the content of those interviews
  • Analyze the data to find out the "so what"
  • Clearly communicate fact-based solutions to all pertinent decision makers
  • Capture and manage the knowledge in any organization to maximize its value

Because organizational problems rarely exist in a vacuum, The McKinsey Mind discusses these approaches and more to help you arrive at usable and sensible solutions. It goes straight to the source­­former McKinsey consultants now in leadership positions in organizations throughout the world­­to give you today's only implementation-based, solution-driven look at the celebrated McKinsey problem-solving method.

"The McKinsey Mind provides a fascinating peek at the tools, practices, and philosophies that have helped this much-admired firm develop generations of bright young MBAs into trusted corporate advisors. But the book's practical, down-to-earth advice is not just for consultants. The disciplined way in which McKinsey consultants frame issues, analyze problems, and present solutions offers valuable lessons for any practicing or aspiring manager."
­­Christopher A. Bartlett, Daewoo Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

"McKinsey and Co. rescues the biggest companies from disaster by addressing every problem with its own mixture of logic-driven, hypothesis-tested analysis. The McKinsey Mind helps everyone learn how to think with the same discipline and devotion to creating business success. According to the maxim, giving a man a fish may feed him for a day, but teaching him to fish will feed him for a lifetime. Paying McKinsey to solve your problem may help you for a day, but learning how they do it should help you for a lifetime."
­­Peter Wayner, Author of Free For All: How Linux and the Free Software Movement Undercut The High-Tech Titans

"The McKinsey Mind unlocks the techniques of the world's preeminent consulting firm and presents them in a format that is easy to understand and even easier to implement."
­­Dan Nagy, Associate Dean, The Fuqua School of Business, Duke University

About the Author

Ethan M. Rasiel was a consultant in McKinsey & Co.'s New York office. His clients included major companies in finance, telecommunications, computing, and consumer goods sectors. Prior to joining McKinsey, Rasiel, who earned an MBA from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, was an equity fund manager at Mercury Asset Management in London, as well as an investment banker.

Paul N. Friga worked for McKinsey & Co. in the Pittsburgh office after receiving his MBA from the Kenan-Flagler Business School at the University of North Carolina. He has conducted consulting projects relating to international expansion, acquisition and strategic planning, education, water, and other industries. He has also consulted for Price Waterhouse. He is currently pursuing his Ph.D. in Strategy at Kenan-Flagler and is Acting Director of the North Carolina Knowledge Management Center.

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Customer Reviews

A must read for consultants and leaders!
Joel D. Worthington
Rasiel also tried to stay very high-level and common sensical which basically made most of the book useless.
S. S. Yao
Would appreciate a deeper evaluation and more robust case studies.
J. M Schwartz

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

243 of 258 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 2001
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This book is more talk and no walk. The book itself does not detail anything new and is very similar to their previous book (The McKinsey Way). Infact the authors themselves (in the introductory section of the first chapter) mention that they cannot delve into McKinsey methodologies, but have gone on to describe methodologies that are _like_ the ones used at McKinsey.
If you have read the contents page, you have read the book (this may sound harsh, but its true). Also the book is brand leveraged and does not even talk about the McKinsey ways. All the authors do, is interview some ex McKinsey consultants and get high level opinions from them. Extremely superficial read.
Do yourself a favor - go get a quantitative business analysis book like:
1. Quantitative Business Analysis: Text and Cases by Bodily, et al
2. Quantitative Analysis for Management by Bonini, et al
- and you will have learnt much more than this book can offer. You can then realize what you learnt into daily decision making.
Not recommended. Save your money.
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98 of 101 people found the following review helpful By S. S. Yao on December 14, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For MBAs or others interested in getting a peek inside McKinsey & Company, just read Rasiels previous book, the McKinsey Way. With some experience working as an Associate (consultant) in New York office, he is eloquent in pointing out the basic consulting skills and some nice-to-have insights into how McKinseyites work. Actually I would recommend Pyramid Principles by Barbara Minto for any MBA student trying to understand how McKinsey consultants think and reason (it will help you in job interviews too), though it is not very reader-friendly and may take you quite some work to understand it.
I agree with a previous reviewer that there are no additional insights on how McKinsey works. I would say Rasiel tried but failed miserably. Like a two-year GE manager trying to describe how Welsh ran GE, Rasiel bit off more than he could chew by trying fathom how McKinsey partners or senior people work and run the firm. 60% of his comments are totally wrong and the worst thing is it would be difficult for outsiders to tell which is right from wrong. Rasiel also tried to stay very high-level and common sensical which basically made most of the book useless.
Skip this one. Dont waste your time and money.
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51 of 53 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
In the introduction the authors cite three McKinsey alums (those that left McKinsey to pursue other careers) who became famous in the biz world: one of them is Jeff Skilling, the ex-CEO of Enron who lied without blinking at Congress hearings!
I work as a member of the CSS at the McKinsey NYO and find that the book won't help you a bit whether you are looking to find a job at McKinsey, looking to enhance your position at the firm (and thus to avoid getting "counseled out"), or just wanting to learn how "the Firm" discovers magic pills for corporate diseases. The book follows the same hollow structure as Rasiel's first book and is half a rip-off of McKinsey's BCR training program (plus the ILW and some from the ELW) and half useless interviews with McKinsey alumni who boast after they received the latter end of the "up-or-out" policy they were able to show how inferior their new employers were on the management IQ scale. If you want concrete case studies -- which is why I picked up the book -- it contains none. It does contain more words than the "McKinsey Way" book, but nothing that will set fire to your imagination or career or profits.
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20 of 20 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 19, 2001
Format: Hardcover
First the good stuff about this book:
1. It provides good advice on high-level strategic principles to keep in mind when operating in a business environment. You really can't argue with the advice they lay because it makes a lot of sense.
2. It's easy to read. Great for airpots, easy to pick up again months later and get a fast tip.
3. The (little) advice it provides to help implement the suggestions is helpful: use logic trees, use issue trees, drill down logically by branching out, and make the analysis cover everything without duplicating.
Now the bad stuff:
1. It's got good high-level advice because the advice is so high level as to be almost without value. If this were a book on picking stocks, the equivalent would be "buy low. sell high. And the key to buying low is finding a stock thats priced lower than it's worth. Good luck!"
2. They provide very little advice on how to actually implement any of their ideas. A typical chapter has about 6 pages in big type: pages 1-2 say what the principles are and explain a very little about them (ie. 'structure your analysis before you start' and, 'use lots of facts' because your audience likes this).
Pages 3,4,5,6 are support for why these principles are a good idea. They have quotes from ex-employees saying, 'McKinsey really helped me learn how to do this. People i meet outside of McK can't do this. But I can! When i just did this, people thought i was so cool'.
Then the last sentence gives a tiny bit of explaining how to implement this. Literally no more than, 'Use a logic tree to structure your analyses by brainstorming everything important and make sure you get it all, but don't double count anything'.

3. It's easy to read because they don't give a lot of new, unique information.
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