Reader Phil was interested if I've found out anything more about the lack of management consulting blogs. To bring everyone up to speed, I had an original post that questioned why there weren't many management consultant blogs out there. McKinsey only happened to be cited by me to get people's attention (because of its prominent reputation). It is noteworthy, however, that in my original post I found a public reference that indicated that McKinsey was encouraging its employees to blog, but I have found no blogs to date. Some factual updates on consulting blogs to consider:
- I did find Mike Nevens (ex-McKinsey) is blogging at the Sand Hill Group from time to time (note my post here)
- Sapient CTO has spoken out against blogging
- PR consulting firms are making moves.
An additional factor to consider, one that I did not explicitly address in my original post, is that it is important to think about how deal flow is generated in many management consulting models.
In management consulting, clients problems are generally confidential and they are infrequent (or at least do not follow as regular patterns as may occur in other services areas). Thus, a significant amount of time needs to be spent on marketing (as opposed to sales), because one needs to be at the top of mind, have relationships, and show up at the right time when a client calls. There are some firms that have more dedicated business development resources, but this is more the exception that the rule for the traditional management consulting firms.
To single out McKinsey, they have a very significant marketing vehicle around the McKinsey Quarterly. They provide world-renowned thought leadership there, and they already have eyeballs for their target audience. If one reads the book, "The McKinsey Way," the McKinsey Quarterly type of vehicle serves as one primary mechanism for staying at the top of people's minds. The presence of this vehicle probably has a diminishing effect on the needs for blogs. Other consulting companies also have firm-specific publications - it is not unique to use these things for marketing in consulting firms.
Risk management is probably the strongest argument I can find to not wanting to adopt blogs in the management consulting firms. That said, I have seen a number of law firms that seem to be able to provide adequate counsel in the blogging area.
So if I were to update my hypothesis on why there are "no" McKinsey blogs, well there's no urgent need to do so right now. Management consulting firms can afford to be second movers because the needs are diminished by a lack of CXO readers and other marketing vehicles already in place.
All said, I am a fan of Bob Lutz's blog (Vice Chairman at GM). That's a great example of what some companies are missing out on.
Update (1/4/07): Update on consulting blogs after two years ...