CAREER ADVANCEMENT / JUN. 20, 2014
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Top 10 Management Consulting Terms You Need To Start Using

Management consultants use terms that are unique to their professional lifestyle.

If you want to pursue a career in the field of consultancy, you should start familiarizing yourself with the phrases, words and abbreviations consultants use on a daily basis. This can help ease your transition into the industry and keep you up to speed during fast paced conversations with seniors. This also affects clients out with the industry; the terms below are practical business phrases that you can use alongside co-workers and clients. Each phrase comes with an example sentence that highlights the proper and technical usage.

1. Blue-sky Thinking

When you look at the sky, it seems limitless; it has no boundaries. Accordingly, blue-sky thinking means thinking outside the box or with an open mind. It connotes a creative and unconventional mental exercise.

“Consultants don’t use the same solutions for their clients. They make use of blue-sky thinking to generate effective and customized recommendations.”

2. Boil the Ocean

Boiling the ocean is impossible. Even if you use an intense level of heat, you will never achieve the desired result. In management consulting, boiling the ocean means you are undertaking a task that is too difficult to accomplish with the available resources. Despite the time and effort you exert, you will never be able to reach the target outcome.

“Making a valid report about the main causes of the bankruptcy based only on these financial records is like boiling the ocean. You’ve got to have additional resources.”

3. Close the Loop

Commonly used during meetings, closing the loop means ending a topic or an issue with everyone in agreement. It is utilized to confirm a solution or an idea that has been thoroughly explored.

“Shall we close the loop on this marketing strategy?”

4. MBB

MBB is an acronym for the world’s most prestigious management consulting firms— McKinsey, Bain, and BCG. These firms are also referred to as the “Big 3”.

“Only competent candidates land a job at MBB.”

5. MECE

MECE is short for Mutually Exclusive, Collectively Exhaustive. It is a grouping principle that originated at McKinsey and refers to creating subsets of items to ensure all relevant information is covered. This is typically utilized when conducting research or designing presentations.

“I think we can apply MECE in analyzing this case.”

6. On the Beach

When management consultants are on the beach, it implies they have plenty of time for recreation, which is a rare occurrence in an industry known for its long work hours. When this phrase is used to describe a consultant, it means he or she is not receiving projects from clients.

“In 2009, many consultants were on the beach. It was a ripple effect of the Lehman Brothers’ bankruptcy.”

7. Ping

Ping is defined as a high-pitched sound or to make such a sound. However, in the computer and Internet world, to ping someone means to get in touch with a person about a particular matter. It is generally done via email, but the term can also be applied to instant messengers, mobile phones, or other media channels.

“I’ll ping you once I’m done with the presentation for our client.”

8. Scope Creep

Also known as “function creep”; this term refers to subtle and uncontrolled changes in the requirements of the project, often leading to longer project duration - this negative occurrence usually happens when the project is improperly documented.

“The project is clearly described so I expect there won’t be any scope creep this time.”

9. Takeaway

In the normal sense of the word, the term takeaway refers to food that’s bought for eating elsewhere. In management consulting, it refers to a summary of key points that the audience can take away with them after the presentation or meeting.

“She seems to be beating around the bush. What’s the takeaway of her presentation?”

10. View from 30,000 Feet

When you view something from a distance, you see the bigger picture. To view a case, factor or an issue from 30,000 feet means to consider all relevant perspectives and to think more strategically.

“Before we go into the details of this product development case, let’s view it from 30,000 feet.”

To conclude, using these phrases sparingly can add more meaning to your work conversations. If you’re unsure about how to use the terms above, research more or better yet ask your workmate about how the term applies to your industry.

What are some phrases you like to use at work? Let us know what you think in the comments below.

Sourced Image: Meeting

Article sourced: www.consultingfact.com

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