Global Management Consultancy

Using history to help a leading management consulting firm better understand its values—and why they matter more today than ever before.

Having safely navigated a series of economic and reputational shocks at the turn of the millennium, a global management consultancy was not content to put the past behind it. Whenever it had found itself at a crossroads, it always turned inward, to its own history, for guidance. This time was no different. Only by understanding how and why the firm had evolved, it reasoned, could its partners and associates live up to the high standards they had inherited.

The firm engaged Winthrop to write an official history for a sophisticated and sometimes skeptical internal audience. Based on hundreds of interviews and research in corporate archives and the public record, it traces the growth of the institution from its humble Depression-era origins into one of the most influential professional services firms in the world today. In doing so, it yields some valuable insights - about leadership, knowledgemanagement, people, and the very fine line between aspiration and hubris.

Running throughout the story is the common thread of the firm's values: how they were formed, shaped, tested, and adapted; how they empowered success; and why they continue to matter all the more in a diverse, highly decentralized global enterprise whose most valuable asset is its reputation.

Originally printed in hardcover for a select audience of senior and retired partners, the book has since been released in e-book format to the entire firm.