Global management consultancy firm, McKinsey’s 350 slide power-point presentation for a financial services Fortune 100 client evocatively titled ‘Imperatives for competing in a go-slow world’ has been shortlisted for the Booker – a prestigious literary prize awarded every year for the best original, full length novel in English.
Justifying the short-list, acclaimed author Salman Rushdie, who is part of the 2012 nomination panel said, “Someone from McKinsey, probably in error, mailed me this paper back spiral bound copy comprising over 350 er…slides, each replete with graphic imagery, cryptic one liners, and an intricate mosaic of inter-woven patterns that transported me into a magical word of fantasy – it was awesome…ahh….an ethereal reading experience!”
The literati contend that the McKinsey presentation is now the odds on favorite to win the 2012 Booker, and in the process establish a new genre in literature – ‘powerpoint surrealism’. “Powerpoint presentations are a very effective platform for communicating powerful ideas in the business world – whether it is laying-off people, acquiring companies, increasing the top-line, or generally creating value for the economy. Sadly, the seminal contributions that consultants have made to the world of literature through these presentations have gone unrecognized – the Booker prize for this McKinsey tome will perhaps change that,” said leading literary critic, Jack Green, who is now editing a book “50 power-point presentations that changed the world.”
Immediately after the nomination, publishing house, HarperCollins, reportedly paid an astronomical advance to McKinsey for acquiring publication rights to their work. The hard-bound edition, titled “The McKinsey verses”, comprises 350 artful slides with explanatory notes to permit deeper literary interpretations. The book recently hit the stands and is doing brisk sales, having climbed to the top of the New York Bestsellers list within a matter of weeks.
McKinsey global managing director, Dominic Barton, welcomed the Booker nomination but sounded a note of caution. “We have always maintained that consulting is a creative, artistic line of work and the Booker nomination underscores this. But why for Christ’s sake has our work been shortlisted under the fiction category?”