Skip to main content
Back to Our Insights

Leadership & Organization Blog

Short and snackable insights on talent management, organizational design, agility, culture, change management, HR analytics and technology, leadership, and merger management from our experienced partners at the forefront of today’s trends.

Recent Posts

Browse by:

Finding the balance in leadership styles

Business today is becoming increasingly more fast-paced and complex. In today’s complex, uncertain and fast-paced business environment, it is tempting to simply react to the latest issue and manage what is. The best leaders, however, in addition to reacting to the current situation, are able to create something new. What often separates the best leaders is their ability to be visionary and creative, not just vigilant and reactive. Rather than react to situations and manage what is, ...

Connect with our Organization Practice

What business can learn from professional football

Though it may seem difficult to find similarities in the career arcs of a management consultant and professional football team, they do in fact exist. Recently, I confirmed that suspicion after bumping into a well-known football manager with years of championship-level experience. After striking up a conversation in the otherwise empty airport lounge, we found remarkable parallels between talent management in professional football and in the corporate world. Both football triumph and business ...

How prioritizing initiatives fuels performance turnarounds

In cooking, whether you are a master chef or novice, the sequence is crucial. Performance improvement programs are much the same as recipes, but since companies must address a multitude of variables to boost productivity, success can be significantly more difficult to achieve. Consider one global luxury car manufacturer that was mired in a cycle of poor performance. Sales and production standards had declined, and the brand had lost its distinction in the market. A new ownership team acquired ...

For a successful transformation, start by sprinting

When done well, an organizational redesign fosters improved strategic focus, higher growth, better decision-making and more accountability. However, a McKinsey survey revealed that only 30 percent of organizational redesigns are successful in terms of achieving overall objectives and improved performance. That means a daunting 70 percent of transformations fail. Why? In the design phase, meddling by too many cooks often obscures the vision of a future operating model. Accommodating multiple ...

Streamline decision-making for a better customer journey

Imagine if an agency, retailer or bank could map its audience’s journey, fully understanding the experiences, actions and pain points that both drive and undermine the organizational decision-making process. Recent McKinsey research shows that most companies struggle with decision-making—particularly cross-cutting decisions where the process is often not only complex, but also unclear. Our research into the impact of decision-making shows that organizations with high velocity and ...

What it takes to digitize a public sector organization effectively

Digital transformations are difficult in the private sector, but even tougher in the public sector. Government IT projects requiring business change are six times more likely to record cost overruns and 20 percent more likely to miss deadlines than private sector projects. In our experience, we have identified three main challenges: Difficulty changing due to deep cultural and legacy roots, especially when status quo is valued and risk-taking is avoided. Lack of employees with the ...

Elephant in the room: making a culture transformation stick with symbolic actions

Why did a leading global agriculture player order small rubber elephants adorned with the company’s logo for its meeting rooms? Far from being mere props, these elephants were symbols to facilitate desired behavior shifts in employees. The organization was undergoing a cultural transformation to become a higher-performing, more innovative company. Leadership realized that to achieve this goal, employees needed to become more open and comfortable having the candid conversations required to ...

An agile HR leads to happier employees

Recruiting top talent, improving performance management and retraining the workforce were top priorities for one tech company. Leadership, including a new CHRO, realized the answer to their main concerns required moving to a more agile HR model and, consequently, creating levels of excitement and motivation previously absent in the organization. Top HR talent formed a pool of "internal consultants" to support business priorities, dedicating purpose-built teams to answer the need in a ...

Set your cultural aspiration with these four steps

The new CEO of a major multinational organization inherited a crumbling empire. Declining performance. Unsuccessful product launches. Leader infighting. A complete lack of strategic direction. He could have jumped straight into market analysis or strategic planning to transform the organization. But he took an unconventional approach. The CEO’s first move was to reach out and listen to hundreds of people at all levels of the organization to set a new, organization-wide aspiration ...

Using advanced analytics to acquire and retain the best talent during M&A

Recent merger and acquisition activity is at an all-time high and shows little sign of slowing down. While the right acquisition can unlock value and innovation, identifying the wrong target organization or failing to retain talent post-acquisition can scuttle any hope of merger success. Whether acquiring new capabilities to keep pace with the competition or expanding to meet the needs of your customers, leaders often have limited information about the skills required in the new markets or ...

Applying advanced analytics to accelerate value creation in M&A

When a company makes an acquisition, the CEO and steering committee embark on a path to integrate the businesses in a “glitchless” manner, hopefully creating value, retaining talent and aligning cultures to form an effective company. The long-standing and well-documented integration approach works, but it often takes many months or even years to complete the integration. To ensure value creation is accelerated and sometimes increased, acquirers can more rapidly integrate by applying ...

Winning practices for agile in advanced industry

You might think that advanced industry—a sector characterized by research and development and use of artificial intelligence and other breakthrough technologies—also optimizes the way its R&D organizations work. But continual business and technology trends in advanced industries (AI) have triggered fundamental challenges that require advanced industry innovate in its approach to R&D. Just consider the three major R&D hurdles automakers confront in designing autonomous ...

Continuous improvement: the realities of making the shift

The applications of continuous improvement are growing beyond the manufacturing settings where it originally came to prominence (explored in our last myth-busting post). In this post, we turn our attention to another common misunderstanding, about who can benefit from a continuous improvement culture. Myth: Continuous improvement only benefits underperforming companies. Reality: Continuous improvement can support a business’s strategy in many different contexts. In our Organizational ...

6 pieces of wisdom to help young leaders thrive in uncertain times

In a world that feels increasingly uncertain, young people entering the workforce are often struggling to find their path, experiencing a mix of anxiety, enthusiasm, anticipation and high expectations. Many young people today also feel impatient and are asking: How can I lead, grow, thrive and make a difference? It’s a difficult question to answer, and I have certainly been through and observed many of the emotions they are experiencing. When I was a project leader at a non-profit, I first ...

What to do when you’re awake at 3 a.m.

You wake up. It’s 3 a.m.—again! Why always 3 a.m.? You get up and use the bathroom—maybe that’s why?! You go back to bed. You toss and turn. Thoughts flood your brain—issues at work, challenges in your relationships, the myriad of seemingly insoluble political problems in the world. 3 a.m. becomes 4 a.m. 4 a.m. becomes 5 a.m. 5 a.m. almost becomes 6 a.m. before you finally drop off to sleep. Then, the alarm! You get up—shattered—after hitting snooze a ...