Katzenbach Partners

  www.katzenbach.com
  www.katzenbach.com
There are newer employer reviews for Katzenbach Partners

1 person found this helpful  

Blundering firm with blundering partners

  • Comp & Benefits
  • Work/Life Balance
  • Senior Management
  • Career Opportunities
Former Employee - Principal
Former Employee - Principal

I worked at Katzenbach Partners

Pros

this is a great place for junior consultants, students fresh out of undergrad programs. At higher levels promotions to principal level is quite questionable, external hiring is quite random as well. Some partners are good at what they do

Cons

Very territorial whereas one would expect a small firm to be more cohesive. most partners could not survive in larger tier 1 strategy firms. everyone works a level or two below their official title - most times!

Advice to ManagementAdvice

its one thing to talk about empathy and informal networks and quite another putting it in practice. most of the firm is pretty much on different pages, with some offices reading different books altogether. Boy has Booz inherited a mess

Doesn't Recommend
Disapproves of CEO

11 Other Employee Reviews for Katzenbach Partners (View Most Recent)

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  1. 1 person found this helpful  

    A very difficult economy will test this firm's adaptability

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Associate
    Current Employee - Associate

    I have been working at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    Small, intimate firm environment. Leadership will adjust on some levels to the needs of their people. Firm tries to be transparent as much as possible - good learning experience. Quirky, extremely intelligent people. Generally "nice" or thoughtful people. Core competencies often focus on "nice" things like empathy, pride, leadership, communication. A valiant attempt to merge the "soft" organizational focus with a "hard" quantitative and/or strategic capability. Because our firm is "different", many of our projects seem or feel slightly "different" - not just blindly applying frameworks, so lots of flexibility in problem solving and the consulting experience. Firm members work "nicely" with clients and clients tend to like us as people. Lots of development-focused feedback on performance. Staffing team is also a champion for your personal development. Entrepreneurial spirit still exists to some extent - there is freedom to participate in "extracurriculars". It is a challenging job in an extremely uncertain time.

    Cons

    Somewhat uncertain firm value proposition and strategy in terms of the type of work we want to provide. Partnership has tried to define what they want the firm to be, but it seems to be a continuous problem. A bit of a rift in the firm in culture, strategy, and working style, starting at the partnership level. Smaller firm means a less secure pipeline of work in an uncertain economy. Uncertainty yields discomfort in the ranks in terms of job security and opportunities at the firm going forward. Smaller firm also means there is a very strong "informal network" of gossip and info flow (and political positioning to some extent). Not a great example of how to create work life balance norms. Since every project feels so important to the future of the firm, there is not much impetus to create work life balance. People just dive in and try to over-deliver. In a cost cutting time, "one firm" ideal goes to the wayside as geographies isolate.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Continue to work to define what we want to be as a firm - there is work being done on this, but it needs to be a definitive tack. Strengthen formal business systems to avoid lavishness and lack of control that helped to create a difficult financial situation in 2008. Partnership did a good job of adjusting communications and increasing transparency. In late 2008, the firm was a firestorm of gossip because partners did not communicate consistently or clearly. Since then, they have learned that firm members are discontented and have tried to provide more intimate, honest, and open forums for communication, which has worked well for many employees. Make a decision quickly about how the firm plans to survive what seems like a difficult period of years ahead. Support satellite offices with senior leadership and tailored communications so they don't feel abandoned (there has also been an effort on this front).

    No opinion of CEO
  2. 2 people found this helpful  

    Poor capability in adapting the firm strategy and improving the firms performance during tough times.

    • Comp & Benefits
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Senior Management
    • Career Opportunities
    Current Employee - Poor Place for "Top Tier" MBA's - Stay Away in Chicago, IL (US)
    Current Employee - Poor Place for "Top Tier" MBA's - Stay Away in Chicago, IL (US)

    I have been working at Katzenbach Partners

    Pros

    The relative small size of the firm allows people to take on additional roles and responsibilities earlier than you would see at most firms. The transparency provided during firm wide calls does give individuals a good sense of the performance of the firm as well as what the future opportunities and changes are. Certain senior partners are extremely talented and the flat structure of the organization does allow for interaction and dialog between junior members and senior leadership. Most of the people are smart along some development and are fun to go have a drink with. the recruiting function is extremely well organized and has done a good job building the brand even if the equity isn't there.

    Cons

    Poor ability to leverage MBA's and people that have significant past work experience, reluctance to answer the tough questions and truly work on the most compelling issues for clients. Much of the work is still seen as discretionary by most clients. Too many young managers, that do not have fundamental business skills provided in most MBA programs, the lack of work experience also shows in many of their capabilities to manage teams and grow client relationships. Severe group thing exist when understanding how the firm is performing and how bad the problems are. The firm continues to be dominated by the New York office even though the office is only driving 1/3 of the firms revenue and 2/3 of the consultants. Offices like Texas should be given more power given the revenue they are driving. The focus of New York on only org based work is slowly killing the firm. Poor brand equity, most people will not know who it is until you mention the McKinsey link. Poor pay comparison from the manager level upward expect to take home 70%-80% of what you would take home at (BCG, McKinsey,Bain) the entry salary is a gimmick to entice top tier talent. There is not an active Alumni network to help place people when Up or Out occurs, most Alums want nothing to do with the firm.

    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    Look for strategic partners to drive future growth, and growth at the next level. the current model is not scalable above 300 consultants given the amount of new entrants entering the space. The platform needs to be diversified geographically and from a work and sector standpoint. Selling to a strategic buyer could be advantageous. More analytical resources should be hired to improve the firms capability to serve clients.

    Doesn't Recommend
    Disapproves of CEO
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