Return, Reimagine, Reinvent

The COVID-19 crisis has compelled many leaders to rethink ways of working. This regularly updated collection of articles draws together McKinsey’s expertise on post-pandemic reentry to help organizations lead the recovery.

Reimagine the organization

How can leaders accelerate their companies’ journeys toward becoming not only faster but also better for customers, employees, and society at large? These three mutually reinforcing areas together provide glimpses into what a post-pandemic organization could look like.

Featured Insights

Article

Help your employees find purpose—or watch them leave

– Employees expect their jobs to bring a significant sense of purpose to their lives. Employers need to help meet this need, or be prepared to lose talent to companies that will.
Article

What employees are saying about the future of remote work

– Employees want more certainty about postpandemic working arrangements—even if you don’t yet know what to tell them.
Interview

Fit for the postpandemic future: Unilever’s Leena Nair on reinventing how we work

– As chief human resources officer, responsible for 150,000 Unilever employees, Leena Nair prepares for the future of work by focusing on both the care of people and the competitiveness of the business.
Article

The new possible: How HR can help build the organization of the future

– The pandemic underscores the urgency for a more dynamic talent and work model. Human-resources leaders can help by focusing on identity, agility, and scalability.
Survey

Psychological safety and the critical role of leadership development

– While the benefits of psychological safety are well established, a new survey suggests how leaders, by developing specific skills, can create a safer and higher-performance work environment.
Article

Organizing for the future: Nine keys to becoming a future-ready company

– To better organize for a postpandemic future, leaders should embrace nine imperatives that collectively explain who we are as an organization, how we operate, and how we grow.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

How COVID-19 is redefining the next-normal operating model

– With everything disrupted, going back to the same old thing is a losing strategy. The strongest companies are reinventing themselves by embracing pandemic-driven change.
Podcast

Grief, loss, burnout: Talking about complex feelings at work

– Leaders have always navigated emotional dynamics in the workplace—but not at the scale and intensity unleashed by the COVID-19 pandemic. Here’s how to map this shifting terrain.
Article

Overcoming pandemic fatigue: How to reenergize organizations for the long run

– Leaders must actively manage the energy of their workforces, cultivate the quality of employee relationships, and demonstrate a capacity for resilience to recharge their organizations during crises.
Survey

Rethink capabilities to emerge stronger from COVID-19

– In a new survey, leaders say the pandemic has alerted them to the urgency of getting learning programs right. Yet companies are falling short in delivering outcomes, and executives can do more to support capability-building efforts.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Your organization is grieving—here’s how you can help

– Responsive leaders need to bring the mourning process forward in their organizational culture—and in their own leadership approach.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

The hidden perils of unresolved grief

– The pandemic is fueling a wave of grief and loss that threatens to derail leaders and hurt organizations. Yet when addressed, grief can be a creative force that turns loss into inspiration.
Survey

The need for speed in the post-COVID-19 era—and how to achieve it

– Survey findings confirm that organizational speed is an essential ingredient for outperformance in times of unprecedented change, and point to three ways companies can gain speed for the longer term.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Igniting individual purpose in times of crisis

– Creating strong links to an individual purpose benefits individuals and companies alike—and could be vital in managing the postpandemic uncertainties that lie ahead.
Article

The long haul: How leaders can shift mindsets and behaviors to reopen safely

– The influence model is not only a template for organizational transformation but also a solid guide to crafting a sustainable response to the COVID-19 crisis.
Article

HR says talent is crucial for performance—and the pandemic proves it

– Five talent-management practices can help steer organizations through new ways of working and into the post-COVID-19 era.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Reimagining the postpandemic workforce

– Pandemic-style working from home may not translate easily to a “next normal” mix of on-site and remote working.
Article

COVID-19 and the employee experience: How leaders can seize the moment

– The return phase of the COVID-19 crisis is a good time for organizations to create more tailored responses to workplace challenges, expanding on the goodwill and camaraderie earned in earlier phases.
Article

Communications get personal: How leaders can engage employees during a return to work

– As organizations embark on the reentry phase of the COVID-19 crisis, four practices can help them build trust and a sense of purpose for the long term.
Article

Ready, set, go: Reinventing the organization for speed in the post-COVID-19 era

– The need for speed has never been greater. Here are nine ways companies can get faster.
Webinar

Reimagining organizations for postpandemic times

– Companies have mobilized to address the COVID-19 crisis through bold experiments and new ways of working. In this McKinsey webinar, Mary Meaney, global coleader of McKinsey’s Organization practice, discusses how leaders can not only make their companies faster but better for stakeholders.
Article

Reimagining the office and work life after COVID-19

– The pandemic has forced the adoption of new ways of working. Organizations must reimagine their work and the role of offices in creating safe, productive, and enjoyable jobs and lives for employees.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Reimagining the postpandemic organization

– The organization of the future is taking shape in the moves that companies are making now. Here’s what’s changing—and why some companies say they won’t go back.
Article

To emerge stronger from the COVID-19 crisis, companies should start reskilling their workforces now

– Adapting employees’ skills and roles to the post-pandemic ways of working will be crucial to building operating-model resilience.

Featured experts

Fabian Billing
Senior Partner
Guides companies through performance transformations, enterprise agility programs, and merger integrations, leading to sustainable operational and financial impact and greater organizational health
Aaron De Smet
Senior Partner
Delivers growth, innovation, and organizational agility and is an expert on culture change, leadership development, team effectiveness, capability building, and transformation
Amadeo Di Lodovico
Senior Partner
Serves leading companies in the energy, metals, and mining sectors on strategic topics, operational and organizational challenges, and government policy matters
Oliver Engert
Senior Partner
Advises executives across industries on mergers and acquisitions—including mergers, integrations, alliances, and divestitures—bringing particular expertise in strategy and performance in the pharmaceuticals and medical-products sector
Chris Gagnon
Senior Partner
Coleads the Organization Practice globally and is head of McKinsey’s OrgSolutions group, helping clients organize in an integrated way by applying analytics methodologies and tools to improve culture, talent, change management, agility, and leadership
Arne Gast
Partner
Leads our Organization Practice across Asia–Pacific, bringing extensive global expertise in leadership development, organizational design, talent management, and transformational change
Mary Meaney
Senior Partner
Coleads the Organization Practice globally and is one of the leading experts in transformational change
Bill Schaninger
Senior Partner
Designs and manages large-scale organizational transformations, strengthening business performance through enhanced culture, values, leadership, and talent systems
Haimeng Zhang
Senior Partner
Coleads our Organization Practice in Asia, developing the talent and leadership that organizations need to thrive; leads our work across China on infrastructure, sustainability, and public-sector issues; and works extensively with cities and major developers to plan and deliver integrated, sustainable urban developments

More insights from our Organization Practice