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Boston Consulting Group Case Study

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Case Analysis - Boston Consulting Group

Human Resource Planning

October 24, 2018

Professor A.N.

04-71-485-01 

Problem

Boston Consulting Group is having difficulty with developing talent through experiential assignments leaving employees wondering where they should focus their time and energy for their best possible chance of advancement.

Analysis

There is a disconnection between the boundaries and responsibilities of the mentor and mentee relationship. Eric Peret; the mentor to Madeleine Lagarde, is not sure how to mentor his mentee so he seeks advice from a vice president to see how to handle Madeleine’s unhappiness in her current role. Peret’s mindset is that he is not responsible for her work-life wellbeing and states; “She will like her work over time”. Michael Lao; the mentor to Eric Wong, wants to help Eric in any way that he can for him to succeed. Neither of them know how to approach the other for advice or knowledge and because of this, Eric is having a hard time coping with his international assignment due to cultural boundaries. Another problem witnessed is a lack of consistent feedback criteria for consultants and thorough evaluation of the group and individual. Job performance evaluations as well as promotional timelines are not reliable enough to judge if a consultant should have their career advanced. Josh Coopersmith did not ask many questions in his first assignment and received a poor performance evaluation. He was then involved in a new assignment where he attempted to ask many questions and do more research leading to a better group initiative and a higher feedback score because he improved himself on his own.

 Employees are trying to work within the mission statement, but BCG is not optimizing their employees through the mission potentially due to recruitment methods. BCG wants a corporate growth rate of 15% per year so they recruit approximately 30% more consultants per year. BCG perceives an increase in hiring consultants as an overall increase in profits. The problem with their recruitment method is that they hire people with very high educational backgrounds, but they do not necessarily have the skills that attribute to the projects they would be working on. BCG is not focusing on a human resource planning strategy to see what skills in individuals they may need now and in the future. Basic Business Training is too broad and not enough to prepare consultants with little business background such as Michael Nelson who has his PHD in Sociology. Training modules would take place after an employee has finished a case and performed poorly. The employee will finish their case and receive a performance review session where there is direct feedback from the corporation to tell the employee what steps they can take to develop their skills. There are no tools that the company provides the employee after this review session and it is up to the employee to work on another case to develop those lacking skills on their own.

Alternatives

The first alternative is an Open-Door Policy where mentees are made known that they are fully encouraged to ask questions to their mentors and mentors are enforced by the company to be open to giving advice in order to build a strong relationship. The role of the mentor needs to change to an evaluative role so that both parties can discuss the mentees problems so the mentor can advise what the most effective path for the mentee will be. The mentor; according to the company, is currently a non-evaluative role for just basic work discussion. BCG should promote for growth and development versus individual autonomy at the lower level. When consultants perform well over time they will be promoted to a position that will give them a higher sense of freedom of choosing which projects they would like to pick or what aspects within a project they would like to work on rather than giving a more inexperienced employee that freedom. Lastly BCG should not recruit employees based heavily on academic background rather than experiential background. This can deliver less strain on the organization to further develop talent from the start of the employee’s career.

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