I’ve learnt recently a new Mckinsean acronym: MECE (Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive). Meaning, you break ‘it’ all down in (Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive) pieces and deal with a piece at a time. Mother Consulting Lego then does the trick and converts it all into a Mutually Exclusive Collectively Exhaustive 235 powerpoint pack. All pristine. And expensive. Yes man, we are talking thousands per powerpoint.
As much as the MECE people would challenge me, an enterprise I have no intention to get into, this is Mechanics as it best. Good for organigrams, maybe for traditional organizations, not a good idea for organisms. Us. We are kidding ourselves if we think that we can break down reality in this way. It may appeal to the engineering mind, which is a mind that few engineers possess today, but it’s is pure fooling ourselves.
The problem is that there are not serious alternatives to the Salami consulting model unless you accept complexity, interdependence, chaos and emergent properties, all scary and beautifully real.
People crave for analysis, dissections, digestible pieces. There is a logic for this. We can’t tackle an elephant, and we have specialists on trunks and ivory. But, hey, it’s an elephant after all.
Our world is messy, the consulting world is MECE. And feel much better with the pieces.
Still we need a synthesis which is more than the sum of powerpoints and the adding of all the pieces