Art of Message

Art of Message – July 5, 2023

The real “Big Con”

Purely as a matter of wordsmithing, you have to give “The Big Con” a 10/10 for its title. As a book title it has an allure to it that almost feels like a promise.

The promise is that you’ll get some blend of James Elroy detective-fiction and investigative tech business journalism by Azeem Azar. The Big Con isn’t as gripping as James Elroy but comes pretty close to being investigative journalism. It presents a ton of data that shows a messy entanglement of large consulting firms (McKinsey & Company, Boston Consulting Group, Bain & Company, PwC, Deloitte, KPMG, EY – and dozens of smaller replicants) with our governments and our economies. This has an inevitable outcome: the crushing of innovation.

It’s war on entrepreneurialism.

But you can’t throw the baby out with the bathwater – there are many brilliant and innovative consultants out there at firms like these.

So maybe “the Big Con” is more abstract than specific consulting firms or even the consulting industry as a whole  – maybe it’s also a conceptual problem.

Maybe what’s most pernicious is the idea itself that you need vast resources, time, meetings, even pedigrees, etc., to “strategize”.

Again, what does strategy really mean? Formally, strategy means a set of ideas that inspire a change to a position of advantage over a significant period of time. Informally, strategy means, to “be smart about things”.

And the way to be smart about things is to spend time asking good questions and putting effort into answering them. But that doesn’t need to take many months, meetings, or MBAs – message maps is based on the theory that you can find strategy with a couple of hours of dedicated focus.

The message above comes from…
[convertkit form=5118201]

Art of Message archive