Boston Consulting Group
This article needs to be updated.April 2019)(
|Headquarters||Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.|
Number of locations
|More than 90 offices|
|Rich Lesser (CEO)|
|Revenue||$7.5 billion (2018)|
Number of employees
The firm was founded by Bruce Henderson as part of The Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. Henderson, a HBS alumnus, had previously been employeed at Arthur D. Little. In 1973 Bill Bain and others left BCG to form Bain & Company, and two years later Henderson arranged an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP), so that the employees could take the company independent from The Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Company. The buyout of all shares was completed in 1979.
In 1998 the firm created The Strategy Institute, to enrich the firm's strategic thinking by applying insights from a variety of academic disciplines to the strategic challenges facing both business and society.
The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) ranked 8th overall and 1st among smaller companies in Fortune Magazine's 2007 "100 Best US Companies to Work For" survey.
BCG typically hires for an Associate or a Consultant position., recruiting MBA graduates from the high-ranking business schools, There is also an opportunity to join as a Summer Associate or Summer Consultant (internship) position for 10 weeks.
Insiders estimate that BCG North American offices receive around 10,000 resumes every year for the Associate position. Typically, 1 to 2% of candidates are extended an offer to join the firm, ~70% of whom accept - ratios that are considered in line with competitors.
After a two year tenure, some associates choose to stay for a third year as Senior Associates and have the opportunity to work abroad in a foreign office through BCG's Associate Exchange Program. Many Associates are also sponsored by the firm to attend business school and rejoin the company afterwards as Consultants. As typical for the top strategy consultancies, BCG practices an "up or out" or "forced attrition" system, in which employees must leave the company when they fail to achieve a promotion within fixed time-frames.
BCG uses the case method to conduct interviews, which is an interview technique designed to simulate the types of problems inherent in management consulting and to test the qualitative and quantitative skills deemed important for abstract thinking in a business setting. The first round of interviews consists of two 30 minute cases with BCG consultants. Successful candidates may be passed on to the second round corresponding with a regional office. The second round consists of three 30-45 minute interviews with partners from that office in a similar format to the first round interviews.
Every year, BCG publishes articles, industry reports, government commissioned studies and books relating to particular industries or authorial practice areas. Many partners have written books on management issues, including:
- Trading Up - Why Consumers Want New Luxury Goods and How Companies Create Them. By Michael J. Silverstein and Neil Fiske, 2003. A Business Week Bestseller and Berry AMA book prize winner.
- Payback - Reaping the Rewards of Innovation. By James P. Andrew and Harold L. Sirkin, 2006. Published by the Harvard Business School Press, Payback has become a staple in the MBA curriculum.
- Blown to Bits - How the New Economics of Information Transforms Strategy. By Philip Evans and Thomas S. Wurster, 2000.
- Treasure Hunt - Inside the Mind of the New Consumer. By Michael J. Silverstein with John Butman, 2006.
- The Change Monster - The Human Forces that Fuel or Foil Corporate Transformation and Change. Jeanie Daniel Duck, 2002.
In the 1970s, BCG created and popularized 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", 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.