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Transformational Change

We help large organizations design and implement major change programs that improve performance, build capabilities, and strengthen behavior over time.

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The ability to drive transformational change—such as moving from good to great performance, cutting costs, or turning around a crisis—is a key source of competitive advantage. Yet despite the 25,000 books published on the topic, one in three change programs fail. We work with major corporations and public services to overcome these odds.

Our deep experience and rigorous approach help clients shape successful transformation programs and build cultures of continuous improvement. Specifically, we work closely with clients to:

Strengthen organizational health

We help clients attain excellence by managing both performance and organizational health with equal rigor. “Health” can be defined as an organization’s ability to align, execute, and renew itself faster than the competition. Our proprietary Organizational Health Index survey provides a fact-based means of measuring and strengthening health. Years of McKinsey research on the topic are encapsulated in the book Beyond Performance: How organizational health delivers ultimate competitive advantage, by Scott Keller and Colin Price.

Shape and deliver transformational change

We help clients design and deliver far-reaching change efforts through our Five Frames methodology. This approach helps leaders shape a change vision and set targets that are tightly linked to business outcomes; diagnose the organization’s ability to meet those targets; and deliver improvement initiatives that strengthen performance, build capabilities, and change organizational mind-sets and behaviors.

Shift behavior to shape organizational culture

Achieving sustained improvement in performance and health requires that organizations move beyond structures, processes, and systems to address individual and collective behavior—including culture, mind-sets and capabilities, and team and group dynamics. As a key aspect of creating transformational change, we work with clients to design and implement interventions to build skills, shift mind-sets, develop leaders, and manage talent to ensure a successful and sustainable change in behaviors.

Help leaders become models for change

Senior leaders have a unique role in transformational change: They must provide cues about what really matters for everyone in the organization to follow. We help leaders make the transformation personal, role-model the change, openly engage others, and spotlight successes. We also help build commitment and alignment within the senior team.

Convene leaders and share insights

We share our insights at a range of external and McKinsey forums. For example, more than 600 senior executives leading major transformation efforts have participated in our Change Leaders Forum. Articles published in the Change Management section of the McKinsey Quarterly bring leading-edge thinking and practical advice from our transformational-change experience and our proprietary research.

Examples of what we do

We helped a major US bank outgrow its competitors by building collaboration across its organization to create value for customers. Customer attrition fell by 60 percent in three years.

Latest thinking

article | McKinsey Quarterly

Developing better change leaders

April 2012—Putting leadership development at the heart of a major operations-improvement effort paid big dividends for a global industrial company.more

Voices on transformation

Voices on transformation 4

Insights from business leaders in creating lasting change.

Meet our people

Scott Keller

Scott Keller



Organizational Health Index

McKinsey OHI

A solution that enables leaders to create high-performing culture by assessing their organization’s ability to align behind common goals, execute with excellence to meet them, innovate, and adapt to change.

Featured book

bookBeyond Performance

Beyond Performance

Scott Keller and Colin Price, 2011

How can organizations deliver strong financial and operational results today and change fast enough to do so year in, year out? more

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