Management Consulting Jargon

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Consulting Jargon Terms

Each group of employees develops their own jargon, terms that express ideas related to what they frequently do or discuss with each other. Find out the common phrases used by management consultants in this article.

The French philosopher Condillac said in 1782 that, “Every science requires a special language because every science has its own ideas.” This generally explains why management consultants formulate terms, phrases or idioms that are uniquely used and fully understood by those who in the industry. If you are preparing  a career in BCG or other top tier management consulting firms, you might as well master some of their jargon so you won’t get lost in the discussion.

We’ve already defined some terms in this post, so in this article we listed more phrases that can add up to your management consulting vocabulary.

At the End of the Day

It is used to introduce summary of discussions, goals and meetings. (At the end of the day, we must find out what caused the annual decrease of sales of this computer brand.)

Blue Sky Thinking

It connotes thinking creatively, unconventionally or from a new perspective. Just like the blue sky, ideas should come without limits. It’s similar to the expression, “thinking outside the box.” (Each brainstorming session requires blue sky thinking from all participants.)

Boil the Ocean

It suggests taking an enormous task or resolving a problem through an extremely difficult approach (e.g. to boil the ocean literally). (There’s no need to boil the ocean for this research. Even if we limit our study to two market segments, we can still get valid results.)

Deep Dive

To conduct an extensive management consulting study and analysis about a certain problem by going through reports, market trends and other data. (Have a deep dive on Company A’s new soap product. I’d like to know if it has something to do with our decrease in sales last month.)

Due Diligence

A comprehensive review, study or evaluation of a business opportunity to clarify expectations, identify risks and investigate all relevant factors. It may include any of these management consulting frameworks to structure answers. (Each business project requires due diligence before its implementation.)

On the Beach

It describes management consultants not getting billable projects from clients. The term derived from the idea of bumming on the beach during free time. (Many consultants have been on the beach since the 2008 recession.)

On the Same Page

To see things in a similar way or to talk about the same topic. (Could you explain your analysis on this expansion strategy? We don’t seem to be on the same page.)

Take the Lead on

To assign or delegate a menial task to someone. It is an expression more often used by senior consultants. (Could you take the lead on preparing these reports for tomorrow’s meeting?)

Touch Base

To meet at a certain time to talk about the project status, important tasks and other matters. (Are you free tomorrow at 3:00 p.m.? I’d like to touch base with you to discuss our market research.)

View from 30,000 Feet

To understand a strategy, business problem or anything in a bigger picture. Because you’re viewing things from a distance, significant details are dismissed without thorough consideration. (Before we decide on merging two companies, let’s have a 30-000 foot view of the current market.)

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