Leadership

Why BCG is the Undisputed Heavyweight Consulting Champion of the World

BCG

BCG is Floyd Mayweather and everyone else might as well throw in the towel.

In our recently released Top Consulting Firms of 2015, Boston Consulting Group took the title of the world’s best large consulting firm. With an overall ranking of 8.9/10, the firm took top spots in four out of five categories including Prestige, Leadership, Money, and Culture, with a decent buffer between second place firms.

The firm however was not able to knock two boutique firms off the list: Cornerstone Research, and Vynamic, who were able to displace BCG from the all around top spot with the exception of the Prestige ranking. But to fall short there is nothing to their fault, given that the size of the former combined doesn’t even equal more than a tenth of the latter.

With such high all around rankings, it is no surprise that it also holds the highest referral rating for a large company at 95%.

So what exactly contributes to its domination over competitors? An investment into, and an unparalleled level of care and appreciation for their employees might be the reason. Here’s a deeper dive into our survey’s responses.

Screen Shot 2015-03-06 at 3.29.17 PMLeadership. Overwhelming approval of the quality of senior management easily distinguishes BCG from many other firms in the landscape. Whereas other firm’s leadership had been labeled as stuck-up, stubborn, and so forth, BCG’s leadership is marked as being humble, inspirational, and focused on employee growth.

Compensation. In terms of employee compensation, BCG offers very respectable packages in terms of base salary, and benefits, with a weighted satisfactory average of 8.01/10 and 8.41/10 respectively. Between healthcare (which one respondent described as “more generous than anything I’ve ever heard of.”), stock options, 401k matching, and employee growth offers such as MBA sponsorship, BCG takes good care of its employees.

Culture. When asked about BCG’s culture, respondents once again praised leadership for fostering a great working environment. One respondent said “Most partners and principals are very approachable and humble,” and that when it comes to their workforce, they are “ready to spend some serious cash to support development of its employees.” The universal down-to-earthness across the company genuinely appears to be what makes it unparalleled in terms of great places to work. One respondent mentions that the human element is not overlooked: “Everybody is aware that before a consultant, you are a human being.”

That being said, being successful as a BCG employee is no walk in the park. Serious work is expected of employees, and the vibe is described by one as “work hard, then work harder, then play hard.”

A breath of fresh air in the consulting industry, BCG also appears to have a workforce more diverse than others. Employees notice the diversity in gender, race, LBGT, and a somewhat diverse age bracket. One employee hits the nail on the head when replied that BCG has a “Very diverse set of folks – other firms seem to have a ‘standard type’, but BCG’s is all over the place.” When compared to other companies in our ranking, there was a recurring theme of “old white guys” in leadership roles. And in terms of the profile of the average employee? “Nerdy is valued” and “I think it’s the kind of nerdy kids who grew up to be pretty fun and interesting adults” were the responses of two employees who clearly have no problem embracing their inner nerds.

The camaraderie and high work ethic truly seem to make BCG stand out in its ability to produce great results for clients.

Perhaps if other companies want to catch up, an emphasis on being organizations run by humans as opposed to consultants is in order. Or risk getting knocked out.

About the Author

Greg Olsten is Ivy Exec's Sr. Content Manager, producing Online Classes, and Executive Intelligence articles.