Cookie and Privacy Settings

This website uses cookies to enable essential functions like the user login and sessions. We also use cookies and third-party tools to improve your surfing experience on preplounge.com. You can choose to activate only essential cookies or all cookies. You can always change your preference in the cookie and privacy settings. This link can also be found in the footer of the site. If you need more information, please visit our privacy policy.

Data processing in the USA: By clicking on "I accept", you also consent, in accordance with article 49 paragraph 1 sentence 1 lit. GDPR, to your data being processed in the USA (by Google LLC, Facebook Inc., LinkedIn Inc., Stripe, Paypal).

Manage settings individually I accept
expert
Expert with best answer

Ken

100% Recommendation Rate

50 Meetings

4,600 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

7

Does anyone have any advice for dealing with non-profits or public sector cases particularly in helping them grow?

Are there any extra factors/framework you would recommend just while I am learning about public sector/non-profit cases in general (this is a topic I am new to)?

Secondly if trying to grow their revenues would you approach this issue differently to a 'regular' business?

I am struggling with them, I'd be grateful for any advice.

Thanks!

Are there any extra factors/framework you would recommend just while I am learning about public sector/non-profit cases in general (this is a topic I am new to)?

Secondly if trying to grow their revenues would you approach this issue differently to a 'regular' business?

I am struggling with them, I'd be grateful for any advice.

Thanks!

7 answers

  • Upvotes
  • Date ascending
  • Date descending
Best Answer
Book a coaching with Ken

100% Recommendation Rate

50 Meetings

4,600 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

It may not be the answer you want to hear but taking a framework-driven approach will only get you so far. Interviewers like giving non-proift/public sector cases partly because they tend to be more interesting/impactful but also because it better tests a candidates ability to really think (as opposed to apply a framework and practice lots of cases) as they will typically not be as familiar with the topic.

The most important thing is for you to "define the problem" as in what you are solving for. Growth is a very generic topic and so its usually fine to clarify the objective(s) of the client during your initial clarification questions. The objective (as well as issues faced) of a healthcare organisation trying to distribute vaccines in Africa will be very different to a non-profit art gallery who are trying to remain competitive to their peers, etc. I would then take a more academic approach of asking yourself a few guiding questions such as is it supply or demand driven? What are the internal vs. external factors? to have a hypothesis-driven approach to coming up with the different ways to help grow your client. The key here is not to have the perfect answer but more for you to tangibly and creatively think about the way your client could grow (i.e., if you were the Director General of the healthcare organisation what would you do?).

At McKinsey this is called "problem solving by first principles". Even in a traditional profitability case, interviewers are looking for signs of your actual critical thinking which is often is apparent in the levels of detail after one has explained the obvious profitability tree (e.g., fixed vs. variable cost etc.).

Good luck!

Below is a recent thread on a similar topic:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-approach-politicalout-of-the-box-questions-esp-for-mckinsey-9130

It may not be the answer you want to hear but taking a framework-driven approach will only get you so far. Interviewers like giving non-proift/public sector cases partly because they tend to be more interesting/impactful but also because it better tests a candidates ability to really think (as opposed to apply a framework and practice lots of cases) as they will typically not be as familiar with the topic.

The most important thing is for you to "define the problem" as in what you are solving for. Growth is a very generic topic and so its usually fine to clarify the objective(s) of the client during your initial clarification questions. The objective (as well as issues faced) of a healthcare organisation trying to distribute vaccines in Africa will be very different to a non-profit art gallery who are trying to remain competitive to their peers, etc. I would then take a more academic approach of asking yourself a few guiding questions such as is it supply or demand driven? What are the internal vs. external factors? to have a hypothesis-driven approach to coming up with the different ways to help grow your client. The key here is not to have the perfect answer but more for you to tangibly and creatively think about the way your client could grow (i.e., if you were the Director General of the healthcare organisation what would you do?).

At McKinsey this is called "problem solving by first principles". Even in a traditional profitability case, interviewers are looking for signs of your actual critical thinking which is often is apparent in the levels of detail after one has explained the obvious profitability tree (e.g., fixed vs. variable cost etc.).

Good luck!

Below is a recent thread on a similar topic:

https://www.preplounge.com/en/consulting-forum/how-to-approach-politicalout-of-the-box-questions-esp-for-mckinsey-9130

(edited)

Book a coaching with Adi

100% Recommendation Rate

84 Meetings

7,977 Q&A Upvotes

USD 169 / Coaching

Hey,

Agree with other coaches that frameworks should be used to give you a head start. Dont get bogged by them. But I have couple of tips to help you.

Any company that operates in any industry will have following layers:

  • Customers they sell to (B2B or B2C)
  • Channels to sell to those customer (e.g. retail, online etc)
  • Product & Service to sell through those channels to the customer
  • All underlying processes
  • Data to enable the processes
  • Technology/Tools to execute the processes
  • People & Organisation
  • Physical assets (offices, warehouse, stock etc)

So use this to think about and analyse relevant factors for non-profit/public sector organisations.

In addition, you must also look at external factors

  • PESTLE
  • COVID

Use the above two to pick out relevant branches/layers and deep dive into them.

Happy to help you further so feel free to send me a message.

Hey,

Agree with other coaches that frameworks should be used to give you a head start. Dont get bogged by them. But I have couple of tips to help you.

Any company that operates in any industry will have following layers:

  • Customers they sell to (B2B or B2C)
  • Channels to sell to those customer (e.g. retail, online etc)
  • Product & Service to sell through those channels to the customer
  • All underlying processes
  • Data to enable the processes
  • Technology/Tools to execute the processes
  • People & Organisation
  • Physical assets (offices, warehouse, stock etc)

So use this to think about and analyse relevant factors for non-profit/public sector organisations.

In addition, you must also look at external factors

  • PESTLE
  • COVID

Use the above two to pick out relevant branches/layers and deep dive into them.

Happy to help you further so feel free to send me a message.

Book a coaching with Florian

100% Recommendation Rate

226 Meetings

5,409 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hey there,

Fully agree with Ken here.

Frameworks were applicable in the 2000 years, the era of Victor Cheng and Case in Point. McK has long caught up on this and the cases you will get during the interviews are tailored in a way to test your creativity and ability to generate insights, not remember specific frameworks.

In fact, it will hurt you when you try to use a framework on a case that calls for a completely different approach. Also, it gives a false sense of security that will translate to stress once you figure out how your approach won't work during the real interview - I have seen this so many times...

Your goal should be to learn how to build issue trees no matter the context, industry, or function of the case. I have a system for that, especially for McKinsey cases, that teaches you exactly this approach + a ton of exercises I give my coachees to progress their ability to come up with deep, broad, and insightful frameworks for each case individually.

Happy to help if needed!

Lastly, it definitely helps to constantly read articles in the Economist, WSJ, FT, etc. about current issues just to build your reservoir of ideas, knowledge, keywords, and phrases that you could apply during the cases. This, however, still needs to be based on the creative approach I outlined above.

Cheers,

Florian

Hey there,

Fully agree with Ken here.

Frameworks were applicable in the 2000 years, the era of Victor Cheng and Case in Point. McK has long caught up on this and the cases you will get during the interviews are tailored in a way to test your creativity and ability to generate insights, not remember specific frameworks.

In fact, it will hurt you when you try to use a framework on a case that calls for a completely different approach. Also, it gives a false sense of security that will translate to stress once you figure out how your approach won't work during the real interview - I have seen this so many times...

Your goal should be to learn how to build issue trees no matter the context, industry, or function of the case. I have a system for that, especially for McKinsey cases, that teaches you exactly this approach + a ton of exercises I give my coachees to progress their ability to come up with deep, broad, and insightful frameworks for each case individually.

Happy to help if needed!

Lastly, it definitely helps to constantly read articles in the Economist, WSJ, FT, etc. about current issues just to build your reservoir of ideas, knowledge, keywords, and phrases that you could apply during the cases. This, however, still needs to be based on the creative approach I outlined above.

Cheers,

Florian

(edited)

Book a coaching with Ian

100% Recommendation Rate

296 Meetings

25,619 Q&A Upvotes

USD 289 / Coaching

Hi there,

My approach

Public sector cases are tricky because they feasibly be any case type (Product Launch - new service for citizens; M&A - merging two departments; even Profitability - cost cutting mandate). For any public sector case, I recommend:

  1. First identifying the type of case it is.
  2. Second, leverage your knowledge of the public sector as constraints/considerations.

Considerations/Constraints

Regards #2, you know that public perception is particularly important to consider in any public sector move. Additionally, you can count on bureacracy/slowness in implementation. You should identify the goal/mission of the organisation as well and keep this top of mind (if it loses money, but achieves it's goal of helping the poor, no problem). Howvever, just because the government sector doesn't have profit as a target, doesn't mean you should ignore the profit tree altogether - governments are still obliged to take into costs (and sometimes revneues) in decisions (example: setting up a public transport initiative). Don't get tricked into thinking you can't consider the economics of the case!

Other items to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Politlcal landscape (i.e. upcoming elections, special interest groups)
  • Sustainability
  • Private-public partnerships
  • International vs governmental vs state vs local partnerships/alignment
  • Income = taxes/budgetary landscape
  • Digitialization of government

Framework Resource

In terms of resources, the UPenn Wharton 2011 casebook has a framework for public sector. It's split into:

  1. Strategic rationale (Mission of organisation and stakeholder reactions)
  2. Deal economics (planned investment and returns, if any)
  3. Other (Required capabilities and risks)

Practice Cases

If you want some practice cases:

  • Tepper 2008's "NGO Effectiveness"
  • Colombia 2011's "MadeCasse"

Hope this helps, and please don't hesitate to ask any follow-up/clarifying questions!

Hi there,

My approach

Public sector cases are tricky because they feasibly be any case type (Product Launch - new service for citizens; M&A - merging two departments; even Profitability - cost cutting mandate). For any public sector case, I recommend:

  1. First identifying the type of case it is.
  2. Second, leverage your knowledge of the public sector as constraints/considerations.

Considerations/Constraints

Regards #2, you know that public perception is particularly important to consider in any public sector move. Additionally, you can count on bureacracy/slowness in implementation. You should identify the goal/mission of the organisation as well and keep this top of mind (if it loses money, but achieves it's goal of helping the poor, no problem). Howvever, just because the government sector doesn't have profit as a target, doesn't mean you should ignore the profit tree altogether - governments are still obliged to take into costs (and sometimes revneues) in decisions (example: setting up a public transport initiative). Don't get tricked into thinking you can't consider the economics of the case!

Other items to consider include, but are not limited to:

  • Politlcal landscape (i.e. upcoming elections, special interest groups)
  • Sustainability
  • Private-public partnerships
  • International vs governmental vs state vs local partnerships/alignment
  • Income = taxes/budgetary landscape
  • Digitialization of government

Framework Resource

In terms of resources, the UPenn Wharton 2011 casebook has a framework for public sector. It's split into:

  1. Strategic rationale (Mission of organisation and stakeholder reactions)
  2. Deal economics (planned investment and returns, if any)
  3. Other (Required capabilities and risks)

Practice Cases

If you want some practice cases:

  • Tepper 2008's "NGO Effectiveness"
  • Colombia 2011's "MadeCasse"

Hope this helps, and please don't hesitate to ask any follow-up/clarifying questions!

(edited)

Book a coaching with Antonello

98% Recommendation Rate

167 Meetings

6,608 Q&A Upvotes

USD 219 / Coaching

Hi,
I have a dedicated package for NGO and public sector cases. Feel free to text me for additional info

Best,
Antonello

Hi,
I have a dedicated package for NGO and public sector cases. Feel free to text me for additional info

Best,
Antonello

Book a coaching with Gaurav

100% Recommendation Rate

199 Meetings

6,672 Q&A Upvotes

USD 239 / Coaching

Hi there,

great question!, but I'm afraid knowing a specific framework does not always help you solve a case, leave aside the real cases once you start working. It's all about the practice and understanding of different contexts, industries, and factors.

Cherrs, GB

Hi there,

great question!, but I'm afraid knowing a specific framework does not always help you solve a case, leave aside the real cases once you start working. It's all about the practice and understanding of different contexts, industries, and factors.

Cherrs, GB

Book a coaching with Clara

100% Recommendation Rate

59 Meetings

16,345 Q&A Upvotes

USD 229 / Coaching

Hello!

Industry does not really matter.

A growth case is always solved the same way, with very little changes regarding the industry.

Cheers,

Clara

Hello!

Industry does not really matter.

A growth case is always solved the same way, with very little changes regarding the industry.

Cheers,

Clara

Related case(s)

MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education

Solved 18.6k times
MBB Final Round Case - Smart Education Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvantaged areas. The client is considering starting operations for its services in the Chicago area. They hired us to understand if that makes sense. Due to the nonprofit regulation, SmartBridge should operate on its own in the market, without any partnership. How would you help our client?
4.6 5 648
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

Our client is SmartBridge, a nonprofit educational institution offering face-to-face tutoring services. The client operates in the US. The mission of SmartBridge is to help as many students as possible to complete studies and prevent that they drop from the school system, in particular in disadvant ... Open whole case

MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine

Solved 6.2k times
MBB Case: COVID-19 Vaccine The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic.  The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and dying (e.g. elderly people and healthcare workers) receive a safe an effective COVID-19 vaccine in the next six months. The WHO’s Director-General asked your help to build a plan to achieve this goal. What should be included in this plan?
4.6 5 296
| Rating: (4.6 / 5.0)

The COVID-19 pandemic has killed millions of people worldwide and led to devastating economic impact. A vaccine is one of the biggest hopes for stopping the pandemic. The World Health Organization (WHO) is working with multiple stakeholders to ensure groups at higher risk of becoming infected and ... Open whole case

MBB Case – Consulting a Government

Solved 4.9k times
MBB Case – Consulting a Government Our client is the government of an imaginary country which is suffering from strong protests and riots by its own population. The client would like to understand the reason for these protests. In a second step, the client wants you to make suggestions for improvement to end these protests. In answering those two questions, what factors would you consider in making your potential recommendation?  
4.5 5 224
| Rating: (4.5 / 5.0)

Our client is the government of an imaginary country which is suffering from strong protests and riots by its own population. The client would like to understand the reason for these protests. In a second step, the client wants you to make suggestions for improvement to end these protests. In answer ... Open whole case