Top company by employee – 4 – Boston Consulting Group – Massachusetts US
Industry: Professional Services – Consulting – Management
Previous rank: 2
2011 revenue ($ millions): $3,550
What makes it so great?
The elite management consulting firm maintains work-life balance by issuing a “red zone report” to flag when individuals are working too many long weeks. New consultants can delay their start date by six months and receive $10,000 to volunteer at a nonprofit.
Boston, Massachusetts, United States
78 offices in 43 countries
|Key people||Rich Lesser, President & CEO|
|Products||Management consulting services|
|Revenue||US$ 3,700 Million (2012) |
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) is a global management consulting firm with 78 offices in 43 countries. It is one of the largest private companies in the United States. The firm serves as an advisor to clients in the private, public, and not-for-profit sectors across the globe.
The company was founded by Bruce D. Henderson, a Vanderbilt University and Harvard Business School alumnus. After many years in the purchasing department of Westinghousein Pittsburgh (where pricing behavior gave him the idea of the experience curve), he joined Arthur D. Little in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He was then recruited by The Boston Company, where he founded a one-man, one-telephone consulting unit he named Boston Consulting Group.
In January 2013, Rich Lesser became the sixth president and chief executive officer of BCG.
BCG serves as an adviser to many businesses, governments, and institutions. Some recent BCG clients include Google, IBM, Aetna, Pfizer, American Airlines, Ford Motor Company, Tata Group, Harvard School of Public Health, Japan Pharmaceutical Manufacturers Association, Russian Ministry of Energy, Government of Canada, United States Agency for International Development, and European Union Phare Programme, according to the 2009 publication by Wetfeet on the company.
Awards and Recognitions[edit source]
Fortune Magazine ranked BCG second in its 2011 and 2012 list of the “top 100 best companies to work for”. The 2013 rankings by Fortune listed BCG as the fourth “best company to work for.” BCG has also been listed in Consulting Magazine‘s “Best Firms to Work For” list every year since 2001, received a perfect score on the Corporate Equality Index formulated by the Human Rights Campaign for the past six years, and been rated by Working Mother magazine as one of the “best companies” for working mothers for the past six years.
Human Resources[edit source]
BCG is a top employer of recent graduates from MIT, Harvard Business School, Cambridge University, Oxford University, Stanford Business School, London Business School, and Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. The firm also attracts a number of Rhodes Scholars and Marshall Scholars. In 2012, newly recruited undergraduate and graduate BCG hires earned a total compensation (salary plus all bonuses) of up to $100,000 and $195,000, respectively.
BCG typically hires for Associate or Consultant positions, with occasional so-called “lateral hires” opportunities as Project Leader, Principal or Partner. In the United States, BCG recruits undergraduates to join as Associates. Top-performing Associates receive sponsorship to pursue an MBA, returning to BCG upon completion. Some Associates advance to Consultant and beyond without obtaining an MBA, but the vast majority of Associates attend business school. A few complete JDs, MD and other graduate degrees at various institutions (called ADCs for Advanced Degree Candidates/Consultants). BCG also makes large efforts to hire advanced non-business degree holders. Graduates holding J.D.s, M.D.s and Ph.D.s in disciplines like engineering, science, and liberal arts receive training in business fundamentals and then typically join the firm as Consultants although this varies between different geographies. There is also an opportunity to join as a Summer Associate or Summer Consultant (internship) position for 10 weeks, which for many interns will result in an offer of a full-time position.
BCG’s recruiting process is notoriously demanding, typically taking candidates through computer-based problem solving tests followed by multiple rounds of case- and experience- based interviews.
Developed Concepts[edit source]
“Growth-share matrix”[edit source]
In 1968, BCG created the “growth-share matrix”, a simple chart to assist large corporations in deciding how to allocate cash among their business units. The corporation would categorize its business units as “Stars”, “Cash Cows”, “Question Marks”, and “Dogs” (originally “Pets”), and then allocate cash accordingly, moving money from “cash cows” toward “stars” and “question marks” that had higher market growth rates, and hence higher upside potential.
Experience curve[edit source]
The experience curve illustrates that the more often a task is performed the lower will be the cost of doing it. The task can be the production of any good or service. Each time cumulative volume doubles, value-added costs (including administration, marketing, distribution, and manufacturing) fall by a constant and predictable percentage.
BCG founder, Bruce Henderson, expounded the implications of the experience curve for strategy. BCG research concluded that because relatively low cost of operations is a very powerful strategic advantage, firms should capitalize on these learning and experience effects.
Advantage matrix[edit source]
- Luc de Brabandere and Alan Iny: Thinking in New Boxes: A New Paradigm for Business Creativity, 2013. ISBN 0812992954
- Michael Deimler, Richard Lesser, David Rhodes, and Janmejaya Sinha: Own the Future: 50 Ways to Win from The Boston Consulting Group, 2013. ISBN 9781118591703
- Michael J. Silverstein, Abheek Singhi, Carol Liao, and David Michael: The $10 Trillion Dollar Prize – Captivating the Newly Affluent in China and India, 2012. ISBN 1422187055
- David Rhodes and Daniel Stelter: Accelerating Out of the Great Recession, 2010. ISBN 0071718141
- Michael J. Silverstein and Kate Sayre. Women Want More: How to Capture Your Share of the World’s Largest, Fast-Growing Market, 2009. ISBN 0061776416
- Harold L. Sirkin, James W. Hemerling and Arindam K. Bhattacharya. Globality: Competing with Everyone from Everywhere for Everything, 2008. ISBN 0446178292
- Carl W. Stern and Michael S. Deimler: The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy, 2006. A collection of articles on strategy and management. ISBN 0471757225
- James P. Andrew and Harold L. Sirkin: Payback – Reaping the Rewards of Innovation Harvard Business School Press, 2006. ISBN 1422103137
- Michael J. Silverstein with John Butman: Treasure Hunt – Inside the Mind of the New Consumer, 2006. ISBN 1591841232
- Luc de Brabandere: The Forgotten Half of Change – Achieving Greater Creativity through Changes in Perception, 2005. ISBN 1419502751
- Colin B. Carter and Jay W. Lorsch: Back to the Drawing Board – Designing Corporate Boards for a Complex World, 2004. ISBN 1578517761
- Rob Lachenauer and George Stalk: Hardball – Are You Playing to Play or Playing to Win, 2004. ISBN 1591391679
- Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske: Trading Up – Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods and How Companies Create Them, 2003. ISBN 1591840708
- Jeanie Daniel Duck: The Change Monster – The Human Forces that Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change, 2002. ISBN 0609808818
- Arun Maira: Shaping the Future – Leadership through Communities of Aspiration in India and Beyond, 2002. ISBN 0471479195
- David C. Michael and Greg Sutherland: Asia’s Digital Dividends – How Asia-Pacific’s Corporations Can Create Value from E-Business, 2002. ISBN 0471479179
- Tiha von Ghyczy, Bolko von Oetinger, and Christopher Bassford: Clausewitz on Strategy, Wiley 2001. ISBN 0471415138
- Bolko Von Oetinger: A Passion for Ideas – How Innovators Create the New and Shape Our World, 2001. ISBN 1557532095
- Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster: Blown to Bits – How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy, 1999. ISBN 087584877X
- Carl W. Stern and George Stalk Jr. (eds.): Perspectives on Strategy from The Boston Consulting Group, 1998. ISBN 0471248339
- George Stalk Jr. and Thomas M. Hout: Competing Against Time, 1990. ISBN 0743253418
- James Abegglen and George Stalk: Kaisha, the Japanese Corporation, 1985. ISBN 0465037119
- Bruce D. Henderson: The Logic of Business Strategy, 1984. ISBN 0890115265
- Ira Magaziner and Tom Hout: Japanese Industrial Policy, 1980. ISBN 0877255156
- Bruce D. Henderson: Henderson on Corporate Strategy, 1979. ISBN 0890115265
In 1964 BCG began mailing concise essays designed to stimulate senior management thinking on a range of business issues. The pieces would be called Perspectives. Considered provocative ideas on business, BCG founder Bruce D. Henderson referred to them as “a punch between the eyes.”
Example Perspectives are:
- “The Product Portfolio”, 1970.
- “The Pricing Paradox”, 1970.
- “The Rule of Three and Four”, 1976.
- “Sustained Success”, 1984.
- “Time-Based Results”, 1993.