Sunday, December 8, 2019

"How the McKinsey-fied Astros cheated their way to a championship—and became a parable of American success"

New Republic:

He was so devoted to efficiency that he engaged consultants from McKinsey to audit the organization (and, inevitably, to disrupt the org chart) every year.

...

It is not evidence of anything in particular, let alone anything sinister, that a World Series champion would hit better than a team that finished in third place. Players improve, and lineups change, and both of those things happened here. But it’s no more surprising to learn, given the dramatic shift in the numbers, that it later turned out that the Astros were cheating

...

[The General manager's] job in Houston becomes just another McKinsey engagement. It’s one more in a long global roster of company makeovers, with management bringing in the smartest and best-credentialed people available to find an organizational solution to a dynamic and difficult set of problems for a client. The other stuff, the culture and tradition or whatever, is other stuff, and so, by definition, well outside the scope of the engagement. McKinsey is a powerful and profitable global force, largely because the organization is very good at solving problems in a very particular way. Management consultants work for management, after all, and solve problems in ways that benefit the people paying them.