September 21, 2019

Literally drinking the Kool-Aid

McGladrey’s Andrews: ‘We’re Doing Pretty Well’

The Minneapolis Star-Tribune recently did a sit-down with McGladrey President C.E. Andrews and from the sounds of it, C.E. is pret-tay, pret-tay, pret-tay pleased with how things have gone at Mickey G’s since he’e been on board saying, “We’re doing pretty well.”

Now the particular context of this statement could be taken a number of waerring to the recent acquisition of Caturno & Co. or he could be talking about the firm’s recent rebranding that involved plenty of refreshments, or he’s just pumped to get regular photo-ops with Natalie Gulbis OR it could be that he’s subtly referring to how good McGladrey is at layoffs.


Based on what we read, it’s most likely the handing out of sugar stimulants:

“Big companies tend to be inwardly focused. You drink your own Kool-Aid,” said Andrews, who knows something about large companies. He’s a former partner at Arthur Andersen and had a front-row seat for the demise of the consulting firm in the wake of the Enron debacle, then went on to run Sallie Mae before joining McGladrey.

The restructured McGladrey has just five people overseeing the revenue side of the business, and a system that rewards managers who improve client service and produce growth “rather than for internal things,” Andrews said. “We’ve gone from a local measurement system to a national measurement system.”

No real room for misinterpretation there. As you all know, drinking Kool-Aid isn’t something that McGladrey takes lightly.

But then again, maybe he is referring to the recent acquisition of Caturno. C.E. is thinking that it’s been a pretty solid move and there is more where that came from:

“This thing has the appearance of being as good a fit as anything I’ve ever been a part of,” Andrews said. He said each firm had strengths that the other lacked in the New England region. It’s a model for the kinds of acquisitions McGladrey is looking to make, he said.

That includes San Francisco — though Andrews said nothing’s teed up yet.

This rhetoric is strange if you consider the aforementioned layoffs, some employees considering dumping Mickey G’s for Mickey D’s and a disappointing year where the firm saw a 39% drop in its pre-tax income.

But despite all that, C to the E has big plans for McG and they don’t include keeping things local:

McGladrey offers prospective targets connections to RSM International, the sixth-largest network of independent accounting, tax and consulting firms, Andrews said. That’s becoming more important in today’s economy when even midmarket firms — which he called McGladrey’s “sweet spot” — now have operations in far-flung places like China or India.

“The attractiveness of truly local providers is diminishing,” Andrews said.

BUT! Don’t you go thinking that McGladrey will be like one of those firms, “We have the same kind of capabilities as the Big Four [accounting firms] … but delivered with an outstanding local touch.”

So, he backhands the local firms but then casually embraces their ‘delivery’ to take a jab at the Big 4. So, if we understand this correctly, McGladrey is a big firm, but isn’t like a big firm, and that’s their advantage. Got it.

McGladrey seeking more acquisitions [Minneapolis Star-Tribune]

One McGladrey Office Opts to Celebrate the Rebranding with a Cult-like Ritual

Leftovers of the freakishly repulsive cake that McGladrey rolled out for its rebranding was apparently not shared with other offices because the crew in Phoenix/Las Vegas took it upon themselves to come up with another method of celebration.

“After we returned from brand champion training in Orlando, the three of us met to brainstorm for ideas to make our local brand launch fun and memorable. We wanted to focus on more than just the launch. We wanted employees to know that a brand launch is only successful if the brand becomes part of everything they do.”

What exactly was the idea? Another cake? A surprise appearance by Natalie Gulbis? Keeping your jobs?


No, the creative minds in Phoenix/Vegas decided that gathering everyone together and asking them to drink blue Kool-Aid™ was the best way to show everyone that they are in this together. DO OR DIE.

“Asking employees to ‘drink the McGladrey Kool-aid’ sends the message that we all need to be in this together,” says ——. “And there’s no opting out if we’re going to make this effort a success.”

Pardon what is about to follow but…WHAT. THE. FUCK? Forget about the literal manifestation of a corporate metaphor, which is all sorts of lame (no on is schlepping an 800 lb. gorilla into HQ, are they?). Ever heard of Jonestown? Aren’t we all just a little too trusting with this “drink this” attitude? “Hey, just drink this Dixie cup that’s full of what we say is blue Kool-Aid™ because it will bring us all together.”

And you know how they got a lot of people to get on board with this? FREE T-SHIRTS!

“As an added incentive, employees who drank McGladrey Kool-aid from a Dixie cup received their very ownMcGladrey t-shirt.”

All we can say is, don’t walk but run away.

7-9-10 Drinking the Koolaid Article-2