House of Lies: How Management Consultants Steal Your Watch and Then Tell You the Time
Once upon a time Corporate America paid certain people huge fees to tell organizations what they were doing wrong. These men and women really knew next to nothing. They trashed businesses, destroyed careers, and wasted time and money. They called themselves Management Consultants. I know them well. I was one of them. Welcome to the... HOUSE OF LIES.
When Martin Kihn joined a powerhouse New York consulting firm, he thought his job was to help organizations. In reality, the consultants spent precious work hours prowling for new clients, and offered little or no useful information. From power breakfasts with mind games to the screaming indignity of "Feedback Camp" in New Jersey, HOUSE OF LIES reveals the truth about a "profession" that could threaten your job, your career, and your life...and even throws you some lifelines should the suits start circling your company.
says. "I haven't done anything. So I called down to recruiting and said, 'Hey, put me on something.' They sent me down here. I've never been to Columbia before. When I was growing up, I don't think I ever heard of it. The only school we really heard about down there was Harvard." "Where did you go to school?" "In Cambridge." ''You went to Cambridge?" "No-in Cambridge. Allston." ''You went to Allston?" "No-Harvard." IBLarge employers interviewing on campus often have both "closed" and
with an exquisite cup of coffee. The Rainmaker's coffee cup is turned upside down. "None for you, sir?" "I don't drink coffee." He is famous for this: not drinking coffee. "So"-he turns to you-"I've been hearing good things about you. Very good. How are you liking it here? Oh, excuse me a second-Tina!-" Suddenly, he's gone from the booth and projectiled across the precious ivory Aubusson to a slightly frightened-looking woman who just walked in. They shake hands, briefly, nodding-is it Tina
the front desk, and these little blue plastic items are perhaps the cheapest solid matter on the planet; their purpose seems to be to seek out and destroy your dignity. But no matter. Today you have remembered your home razor. You shower ... and shower ... and shower ... does the day have to begin? Does it really? Since you don't really unpack, you don't really pack. That's the symmetry. 6:54 a.m. 7:07 a.m. Shoes, shirt, and service. Scan the room, the bathroom. Ninety percent of items
the tribe's way of putting up signs outside their tree house reading KEEP OUT and MEN AT WORK.63 You showed up in a nondescript office park in Linthicum, Maryland, within sight of the decrepit lAD office park, and you entered a windowless office. This was your home for the next three months. Clean-cut, heavy right-wingers with no discernible work task dropped by from time to time, poked their heads in, nodded, said something about the heat, a barbecue, buying a car at CarMax or an auto mall, and
are not friends and not enemies. You kind of feel as though maybe they don't know each other very well. "So," says Kelly. ''You wanted to see me-" "It's about Casanova," says Tina, to your surprise. "Uh-huh." "I wanted to-I think you know I'm having [your top-tier firm] take a look at it, just to get my arms around it." "I had heard something." "But Ijust wanted to-I wanted to let you know what we're up to and see if you had any input, like, from the top down. What we're trying to do is just