Written on 01 December 2014.
Students in EDHEC Business School’s MSc in Strategy and Organisation Consultancy programme (MSc SOC) recently presented human resource recommendations to the former director of McKinsey & Company’s London office Colin Price, giving them the opportunity to test their analytical skills with one of the top management consultants in the world.
As their final project for the Organization Performance course, taught by Professor Lorraine Uhlaner, 24 teams of MSc SOC students were asked to prepare a consultancy proposal for one of six firms - Accenture, Air France, Netflix, Yahoo!, Starbucks, or General Electric. Recommendations were based on the Organization Health Index, a management tool co-developed by Mr. Price. Six finalists presented their proposals on 17 November in front of their classmates and a panel of judges.
Judges included MSc SOC director Christine Coisne, Strategy professor Valérie Duplat, EDHEC MSc SOC alumna Ananya Dixit, an Internal Auditor at Castorama, as well as Professor Uhlaner and Mr. Price, founder and chairman of CoCompany, a boutique consulting firm in London.
Mr. Price was complimentary of the students’ presentations, comparing the calibre of their work to that of young professionals at McKinsey & Co. But he also asked some pointed questions. “What’s the real cost? You’ve got to be very clear what the cost is and what the prize is going to be”, he asked one group. “I need to hear the economic value of your recommendation and I am not hearing that.” To a group working on Netflix, he said: “It sounds to me like you are applying a standard model to a start-up with a very unique feel. But will your strategy kill the essence of Netflix?”
In the end, the first place winner was the Starbucks team, comprised of Augustin De Villeneuve Bargemont, Vincent Hermal, Yunzheng Liu and Estelle Thomas. Second place went to the Netflix team, comprised of Antoine Lecocq, Matthieu Mettling, Nicolas Saroux and Morgane West. Third place was awarded to the Yahoo! team, comprised of Jing Fu, Pierre Morvan, Peter Maagaard Pedersen, Camille Wozniak, and Yunqian Zhang.
“The greatest reward for many of the students, even those who did not win the competition, was the chance to meet Mr. Price and receive his invaluable feedback”, said Professor Uhlaner.