The Boston Consulting Group, Inc. at a Glance

Uppers

  • "Besides being a top class firm in the professional sense, BCG is also a place that really cares about its people."
  • "The opportunities for impactful work and client interaction at the highest levels."
  • "The development opportunities to jump-start your career."

Downers

  • "Steep learning curve, lots of responsibility."
  • "Unpredictable travel/hours."
  • "High standards can create stress."

The Buzz

  • "Perfect strategy firm."
  • "One of the best, hands down."
  • "Really impressive employees."
  • "Masters at massaging the C-Suite."

About The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.

The name may sound local, but The Boston Consulting Group's reach-and expertise-is anything but. With over 12,000 employees in 85 offices in 48 countries, the firm ranks as one of America's Largest Private Companies, according to Forbes magazine. Clients typically include many of the world's 500 largest companies, but BCG also counts midsized businesses, nonprofit organizations and government agencies in North and South America, Asia, Europe, the Middle East and Australia among its clients. The firm's consultants-who have included notables such as Indra Nooyi, CEO of Pepsi; Jeff Immelt, CEO of General Electric; Jim Koch, founder, CEO and Brewmaster of Boston Beer Company; Sally Blount, dean of the Kellogg School of Management; Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu; and Grammy Award winner John Legend-are experts in a number of industries, including consumer goods, retail, financial services, industrial goods, social impact and nonprofit, energy, health care, insurance, technology, media, and telecom.

The firm helps clients with a number of specific management needs within its broad functional practice areas, such as growth strategy development and execution; business portfolio management; mergers and acquisitions; postmerger integration; productivity and efficiency improvement; marketing and pricing; supply chain management; IT infrastructure; customer and supplier relationship management; sustainability; turnaround; and private equity, among other services. 

The Henderson legacy

BCG was founded in 1963 by Bruce D. Henderson, a former Bible salesman and Harvard B-school dropout. Challenged by the CEO of The Boston Safe Deposit & Trust Company to form a consulting arm for the organization, Henderson responded with an aggressive strategy. While his first month's billings amounted to $500 and his office had a staff of just two by the end of his first year in business, Henderson's subsequent success is impossible to deny-and it was driven largely by expansion. In 1966, BCG became the first Western strategy consulting outfit in Japan, and a string of offices throughout Europe soon followed. By 1976, half of the firm's revenue was being generated outside the U.S.-a year after Henderson laid out a plan for employee stock ownership that saw the firm fully owned by BCGers in 1979. Such was Henderson's reputation within the business world that, following his death in 1992, no less a publication than the Financial Times wrote that "few people have had as much impact on international business in the second half of the twentieth century as the founder of The Boston Consulting Group." 

In 1998, BCG established the Strategy Institute, a sort of consulting think tank set up to apply insights from a variety of disciplines to the strategic challenges facing both business and society. Among the concepts developed by the firm over the years are the experience curve (which charts improvements in efficiency as experience is amassed), time-based competition (an approach that recognizes speed as an essential component of success), disease management (an approach to patient care that takes a more systemic view of quality and costs than traditional approaches), richness versus reach (the trade-off inherent in the economics of information), trading up and trading down (consumer spending phenomena) and globality (the post-globalization era in which everyone from everywhere competes for everything). 

Not the stuff of fairytales

Perhaps the innovation that the firm is best known for, however, is its growth-share matrix. While a tool that utilizes images such as cows, stars and dogs might sound fanciful, the matrix is one serious piece of business methodology-and one that has become a core tool used by businesses the world over. A graphic representation of a firm's money flow, the growth-share matrix divides a company's assets into four categories-the three mentioned previously, plus question marks. While a full description of the methodology is available on BCG's website, the basic meaning of each category is as follows: a cow represents a "cash cow," a low-growth, high-market share pursuit (generally the bread and butter of any business); a star is an enterprise that both uses and generates a lot of money, usually on the way to achieving cow status; a dog tends to be labor-intensive but provides little return on investment; and question marks are to be avoided at all costs-basically representing money pits that absorb resources but produce little revenue.

Falling in line

While many of BCG's consultants come from some of the best business schools in the world-including the University of Chicago, Harvard, INSEAD, Kellogg, Stanford and Wharton-not everyone working at the firm has a business background. A number of consultants have degrees that range from economics, biochemistry and engineering, to psychology, classics and law.

Whatever their background, the firm organizes its brainpower into formal practice areas, which include the functional and industry areas listed above, as well as timely issues such as managing through the downturn, cloud computing, megatrends, operational transformation and turnaround, sustainability and talent management, and more recently big data, and technology advantage.

PTO: Not just an acronym

It's no secret that life in a top-tier consuIting firm can be stressful, and that dealing with the hours can be one of the hardest aspects for consultants. To address the challenges of the job, BCG partnered with Harvard Business School in the creation of its PTO (Predictability, Teaming, and Open Communication) program, which it debuted in 2005. Since then the firm has rolled this out across U.S. Systems, launched worldwide, and it is now in every BCG office. According to the firm, "PTO  is now a fundamental BCG People Platform, used to drive business priorities at case level, driving client value, while giving our employees a sense of control and accomplishment. This program recognizes that a satisfying, sustainable career at BCG is about more than minimizing hours-it is also when you have personal control, purpose and accomplishment."

Paying it forward

BCG is big on being good. The firm strives to provide a lasting social contribution to the world. Its social impact practice network, which functions like one of the firm's formal practice areas, works with clients on socially conscious issues, including public health, education, community and economic development, environmental preservation, hunger, and arts and culture.  BCG provides around 900 staff to more than 300 social impact projects around the world each year. They have a number of partnerships with organizations like Save the Children, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and Teach for All. These partnerships enable the firm to extend their impact through involvement in "global challenges" - including the eradication of malaria, and the fight against child hunger. In October of 2015, BCG announced their sixth global Social Impact partner Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus, and his network of Social Business organizations.

Building the business canon

As might be expected of a company with so many experts and a dedication to research, BCGers put out their fair share of publications-so many, in fact, that in 2006, the firm collected some of its biggest thoughts over the past 40 years into one volume, entitled The Boston Consulting Group on Strategy. Aimed at executives across all industries, the anthology offers both the now-established wisdom as the company conceived it years ago, as well as more recent thoughts on the state of business. The themes, in many cases, have remained consistent over the decades: Retain competitive advantage, break compromises, realize the value of time, and remain aware of second- and third-order causes.

IN THE NEWS

May 2016

Michael Sherman and Roselinde Torres are some of the most influential minority executives

The Financial Times included BCG's Michael Sherman and Roselinde Torres on the inaugural "Upstanding Executive Power List", which recognizes the top 100 most influential ethnic minority executives. Roselinde Torres, a Senior Partner in BCG's New York office, is a senior member of the firm's People & Organization practice area and leads its CEO Advisory practice in North America. Michael Sherman, a partner in the Dallas office, leads BCG's software sector in North America, advising both software firms and chief information officers at companies in other industries. In addition, he is a core member of the firm's North American Diversity and Inclusion Council and leads its Black/African-American Network. The list showcases and ranks the Top 100 Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) executives in the U.S., U.K., and Ireland.

March 2016

BCG Extends Its Streak Near the Top of Fortune's 100 Best Companies to Work For List, Ranking Third

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world's leading management-consulting firms, has extended its remarkable streak near the top of Fortune's100 Best Companies to Work For list. Ranking number three, BCG has made the top five for six years in a row and is one of only two companies to make the top dozen every year since it began participating in 2006.

March 2016

WPC and BCG Collaborate on Promoting Women in the Oil and Gas Industry

The World Petroleum Council (WPC) and The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) are working together to create a global report, Promoting Women: A Strategic Approach to Gender Equality in Oil and Gas. The report will be presented in 2017 at the 22nd WPC in Istanbul. We believe that achieving gender equality is a key strategy for overcoming shortages in skilled labor, improving companies' performance, and doing a better job of managing digital disruptions. We are excited about the combination of the global outreach of WPC and the analytics of BCG, as well as the passion and experience that the two organizations share on this critical topic.

March 2016

The Boston Consulting Group Achieves $5 Billion in Annual Sales

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG), one of the world's leading management consulting firms, announced today that it reached the milestone of $5.0 billion in global sales last year, powered by organic revenue growth of 19% at constant exchange rates. In fueling this growth, the firm increased its worldwide workforce to 12,000. BCG also announced the opening of three new offices this year-in Lagos, Lima, and Denver-enlarging its global footprint to 85 offices in 48 countries. "BCG's strong and steady growth and our expanding footprint are a real tribute to the talent of our people and our close client relationships," said Rich Lesser, BCG's president and CEO. "These results also reflect major investments in building capabilities across our practices and particularly in digital-related opportunities for our clients." Lesser, who was reelected to a second three-year term last year, said that the firm's investments in new businesses were also clearly paying off. As examples, he cited BCG Digital Ventures, a digital innovation, corporate venturing, and incubation business unit that started in early 2014, and last year's acquisition of BrightHouse, LLC, a pioneer in purpose-driven consulting. Both businesses are thriving. 

November 2015

The Boston Consulting Group Ranks Near the Top of Fortune's 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity List

The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been names to Fortune and Great Place to Work's first-ever 50 Best Workplaces for Diversity list, ranking near the top at number five. "The companies on this list are leaders who recognize the strategic importance of creating workplaces that attract and support the best talent in their industries," said Michael Bush, CEO of Great Place to Work United States. "The best companies are focused on creating great workplaces for all." Fortune noted that women represent 45 percent of BCG's U.S. employees, 44 percent of management positions, and 26 percent of executive positions. Ethnic minorities represent 28 percent of employees, 23 percent of management positions, and 15 percent of executive positions in the U.S. 

May 2015

BCG Acquires Purpose-Driven Consulting Pioneer BrightHouse

Seeking to deepen its expertise in organizational transformation and bring the power of creativity to positively impact business, The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) announced today the acquisition of BrightHouse, LLC, a global consultancy with a top reputation in purpose-driven consulting, a field it pioneered and has continued to lead for 20 years. BCG also announced the hiring of Doug Shipman, founding CEO of the National Center for Civil and Human Rights in Atlanta and a BCG alumnus, as incoming CEO of BrightHouse. BrightHouse will operate as a stand-alone business unit within BCG and will retain its top leadership team. Founder Joey Reiman-a well-known authority on leadership, marketing, and creativity-will remain actively involved as Chairman. Cathy Carlisi will stay as President and Chief Creative Officer, and Dolly Meese will continue as Executive Vice President and Chief Strategy Officer.

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Company History

 

 

The Boston Consulting Group, Inc.

One Beacon Street
10th Floor
Boston, MA 02108
Phone: (617) 850-3700
Fax: (617) 850-3701

Stats

  • Employer Type: Private
  • President & CEO: Rich Lesser
  • 2016 Employees: 12,000

  • Employment Contact
    careers.bcg.com

  • Major Departments & Practices
    Functional Practice Areas and Capabilities
    Corporate Development
    Corporate Finance
    Digital Economy
    Globalization
    Growth
    Information Technology
    Innovation
    Managing in a Two-Speed Economy
    Marketing & Sales
    Operations
    People and Organization
    Postmerger Integration
    Risk Management
    Strategy
    Sustainability
    Transformation and Large Scale Change
    Turnaround
     
    Industry Practice Areas and Expertise
    Automotive
    Biopharmaceuticals
    Consumer Products
    Energy & Environment
    Engineered Products & Infrastructure
    Financial Institutions
    Health Care Payers & Providers
    Insurance
    Media & Entertainment
    Medical Devices & Technology
    Metals & Mining
    Private Equity
    Process Industries
    Public Sector
    Retail
    Social Impact
    Technology
    Telecommunications
    Transportation, Travel & Tourism

Major Office Locations

  • Boston, MA (HQ)

    85 offices in 48 countries

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