Is there value in sharing strategy consultants with your competitors?

McKinsey is one of the most prestigious and respected management consulting companies.  They help solve strategic issues that keep senior management awake at night.  Their audience is generally the movers and shakers of corporate leadership who play a fundamental role in shaping the global economy.

Research reveals that they consult with 147 of the top 200 companies in the world (74%).  Two-thirds of the Fortune 1000 has hired them as strategy consultants.  80 of the world’s top 120 financial firms use McKinsey.

Wikipedia says, ‘Knowing that a competitor has hired McKinsey has historically been a strong impetus for companies to seek McKinsey’s assistance themselves’. 

I have been reading a book called ‘Re-energizing the corporation’.   The authors make an interesting point – if you are using McKinsey’s services, and so are your competitors, what are the chances you will gain long term competitive advantage?  Can companies acquire truly lasting innovation, direction and strategic inspiration, that will set them apart from others, if they are all hoping to get it from exactly the same source?

 

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