Ivy League educated management consultant, Michael Schneider, gets hired by an unlikely client – a mafia boss who wants to make a last desperate bid to resuscitate his family business that spans across gambling, drugs and porn.
A reluctant Schneider takes on the challenge to analyse the problems and re-launch the underworld organization into the super-competitive, highly evolved world of crime.
I started reading this Business Doctors one afternoon and a few pages down the book and a thought strikes, “Hey! This is a story set in a foreign country (it’s the US of A), with foreign characters and written by an Indian author!” Now, isnt’t that a different one!!
Yes, Business Doctors is set in Los Angles where Stephen Woody runs his Woody’s Family Business or WFB as it is better known. WFB is involved in highly lucrative and risky areas of weapons, drugs, prostitution, gambling, pornography, extortion, contract killing etc. WFB was losing big money and the situation was close to hopeless. Woody’s wife, Angie suggests him to approach the experts or the management consultants or the Business Doctors to bail him out of this business mess.
The professional team of Michael Schneider and Martin from Schneider Associates, after some deep reflective discussion finally decide to work with an unconventional and unique business client like WFB. It is a challenge for both the parties to come on the same page of understanding and trust.
And thus starts the rollercoaster ride for Michael and Martin as they embark on Project Lean and Mean.
Michael and Martin apply their management consulting lingo and jargon like value stream mapping, issue tree combined with the MECE (mutually exclusive and collectively exhaustive) approach in order to prioritize and break down the problems, team building, back-to-the-drawing board, out-of-the-box-thinking to 4 step process of group dynamics development ie the Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing!!
The story in the Business Doctors progresses swiftly from one scene to the next with snappy dialogues that engages with you as a reader. The management lingo which is used liberally in the book is simplified for the understanding of the gangsters and it took me back in time to the good old MBA days! The insights of the various businesses viz consulting, gambling, drugs or the rounding off and truncating in online transactions made for a very interesting read! The humor in the story is found at numerous places and adds to the reader’s delight.
A major gripe that I had while reading Business Doctors is that the text on all the pages of the book does not have paragraph breaks!! And the direction of the apostrophe kept oscillating from (’) to (‘). It took me a while to get accustomed to this pattern but it dampened the reading pleasure, a bit!
While rest of the book reads like a breeze, I felt the team-building or the Forming – Storming – Norming – Performing stage of the new recruits took a long time and could have been pruned somewhat!
Overall, Business Doctors is as thrilling and entertaining as a good novel should be. A must read.
Author Bio: Sameer Kamat is the founder of MBA Crystal Ball and Booksoarus. His first book, Beyond The MBA Hype published by HarperCollins, is currently in the third reprint. Business Doctors – Management Consulting Gone Wild is his second book.