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House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time Paperback – March 8, 2006
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Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top Customer Reviews
This book is especially useful for those who are trying to decide whether or not to go into consulting; many people become consultants just because that's what others do or because there is supposedly a lot of money to be made. Read this book before you make the decision to target consulting firms in your job hunt. If you read it and still are excited about consulting, then you will probably be a pretty good "fit' for consulting.
There are some good points in the book:
1. The consulting feedback and review process is a joke
2. All consulting firms are the same, except McKinsey which is just the same but better
3. Travel is probably the worst part of the job and points are mostly worthless
There are some things that made me think:
1. Why do I hate Sheratons but tolerate Marriott
2. Why am I obsessed with my luggage
3. Why do I get so excited at recruiting events
He also accurately describes a lot of the unspoken rules. Such as never eating in groups in the caffeteria.
There are a few funny bits as well.
I certanly wouldn't compare it to Liars Poker (not even in the same league) and the point about not having a point is well taken, its a bit rambling.
If you are a consultant you won't be able to put it down. Everyone else will just scratch their heads.
If you are thinking of becoming a management/ strategy or technology consultant read this book before making that decision.
Kihn lifts the lid on the self serving consulting firms, their inability to proffer little more than repackaged data and the clever use of a language and culture to protect their vested interests and hideous cultures.
Companies run by partners and VP's, whom a large proportion are sociopathic and driven by personal greed. Men and women prepared to sacrifice their home lives, health, relationships and quality of life (universal payback) for the Babylonian mirages of money, vanity, status and ego ..
This book is funny and dark too. .. Kihn (former MTV writer and Columbia MBA) joins Booz Allen Hamilton in New York and injects the book with a fresh ironic wit to make his points. His depth of insight is valuable as well as his ability to extract some of the more dysfunctional elements of an industry built on intellectual snobbery, stabbings and shamings. The book is thought provoking and although not written in a moralizing style it contains Kihn's values that are good. He empathises with those would may lose their jobs in the companies the consultants work with. He explains the truth of the devaluation of humanity within this sphere as people are fired and the game is to survive, and not look over your shoulder and consider those whom you have trampled on to do so.
Two other core truths Martin Kihn exposes are
1. Consultants actually don't know much.Read more ›
The other key question is whether the book accurately portrays management consulting (mc), whether mc is really a 'house of lies'. I have no firsthand experience in that regard, but I certainly want to know, so I read every prior review to help me judge that. My conclusion? The negatives of mc are somewhat exaggerated, and the positives are downplayed (I'm inclined to think that if mc always has zero to negative value, never being able to add positive value, it wouldn't have survived and grown over the course of decades). But, sadly, a somewhat negative overall assessment may not be off the mark.
So I give the book 4 stars for writing and 4 stars for accuracy of content, thus 4 stars overall. Recommended if you have an interest in mc or business in general.
PS - A TV series of the same title was created based on this book, and is worth watching, but note that the series takes many liberties relative to the book.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Although it's probably not true, I occasionally got the sense while reading the book that the author had the germ of the idea for it while employed at a job with which he was no... Read morePublished 7 months ago by Jeff Richardson
I liked Martin's book. I bought it because, as a consultant, I wanted to get that insider view of how big consulting firms work. How they get their clients. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Jason K.
Entertaining quick read for the management consultants out there. Some parts where actually very relatable, so much so that I laughed out loud a few times.Published 14 months ago by Adrian West
House of Lies is the story of Marty who joins a bit management consulting firm and a criticism of management consulting firms mixed in one. Read morePublished 15 months ago by Bas Vodde
Quoted this book many times in essays etc actually has some gems of advise to use in organisational management. Written fictionally of course.Published 18 months ago by Michael O
Fantastic book. Martin takes you all the way through management consulting with his take and experience. Hilarious and well written.Published 21 months ago by Jim Gibson