As an alumnus, I received an email from McKinsey about its response to the SEAsian tragedy. I read it, nodded, and cast it aside. (But did not “delete” for some unknown reason.) I returned to it a few hours later—and was moved to send McKinsey’s managing partner an email. I said that the response was “perfectly adequate,” but I added that business has a tawdry rep these days and that McKinsey is the premier Counselors to Top Management … so, I chided, I saw it as a missed opportunity that McKinsey’s response failed to “make me gasp by its audacity.”

No surprise, I got no response from McKinsey’s top dog. But I also copied my old McK pal & In Search of Excellence coauthor, Bob Waterman—who offered his hearty support. (Thanks, as always, Bob.)

Forget McKinsey (never a bad idea). The Bigger Point—see the above also—is that our “responses” to tragedy & opportunity alike ought to aim to “make people gasp” at their audacity. Agree?

Tom Peters posted this on January 17, 2005, in Excellence.
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