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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.

We help large organizations design and deliver major change programs that create step-change performance improvement, build capabilities, and strengthen organizational behaviour to renew and sustain exceptional performance over time.

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 1700 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.

Featured experts

Arne Gast

Expert Partner, Kuala Lumpur

Scott Keller

Senior Partner, Southern California

Alexis Krivkovich

Partner, San Francisco

John C. W. Parsons

Partner, Calgary

Featured Capability

McKinsey Organizational Health Index

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.

Learn more on the Organizational Health Index site

Impact story

Reorganizing to build customer loyalty

Bringing a stronger market focus to an execution-oriented organization helps to boost customer loyalty by 33 percent and maintain high growth rates even during the banking crisis.

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How we help clients

Human Capital

We help clients compete through talent—by shaping robust talent strategies linked to business needs, understanding workforce trends,... developing great leaders who deliver results, and building an excellent HR function.

Merger Management

We help clients realize maximum deal value from mergers—by tapping the right synergies, building capabilities, shaping the new... culture, and speeding up integration.

Organization Design

Our consultants help clients design organizations to reduce costs, drive growth, and strengthen both short-term performance and... long-term organizational health.

Transformational Change

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