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Q&A with Le Tilahun

Le Tilahun is an implementation leader based in Dubai.

What was your experience before joining McKinsey Implementation, and how does it help you in your current role?

I spent more than 17 years in the engineering and construction industry, managing and leading major capex programs and business units in the infrastructure space. With my extensive experience leading and implementing large programs, I can help our clients and McKinsey teams build capabilities, deliver results, and ensure that the impact is sustainable.

Can you give us an example of an implementation project you have led?

On my last study, part of a recovery and transformation program, we helped develop and implement a new governance process and a unique customized software solution to transform the way the client budgets and prioritizes its multibillion-dollar annual capex investments. The breadth and depth of the advanced analytics and big data we employed were unprecedented for this application. Within 4 months, we co-created, designed, and delivered the transformational solution with the client’s staff,  executing, in parallel, an extensive capability-building program and securing buy-in across the organization.

What was the impact?

By the next budgeting process, in 2017, the client will be using the new software tool and governance process we developed together to build and prioritize investments, while taking the lead on an internal capability-building program. We trained the client’s single points of contact, knowledge champions, and ten-plus users across different parts of the organization, transitioning the client’s team into the lead role. Together, these moves helped the client own the transformation and become self-sufficient.

What makes our implementation work differently?

We work closely with our clients to provide a tailored approach, which includes the following elements:

  • We (the implementation team) employ an integrated methodology and get involved early, during the solutions phase, to identify challenges to implementation and ensure that recommendations and insights are “born implementation ready.”
  • We use proprietary tools, such as ICE, early to assess the client’s implementation readiness and to design a tailored program.
  • We provide experienced consultants with specific industry and client-leadership skills, who focus on helping clients become self-sufficient using the new process or tool and thus build ownership and lasting capabilities within the organization.


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