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The magic of McKinsey Design

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– Within my first year at McKinsey, I’ve been fortunate to work on a variety of client engagements to create impact in a lot of different ways: Organizational capability mapping to help a pharma client plan for future growth; identifying new surgical innovation opportunities for heart health; defining a service offering to help hospitals become more efficient; and the list goes on.

Scott Inline

I’m a senior creative lead with McKinsey Design, specializing in life sciences and now that I’m able to catch my breath from this amazing ride, I wanted to reflect on why I chose to work at McKinsey. There were numerous reasons, both personally and professionally, but overall there were two main drivers: 1) The challenge of the opportunity; 2) and the potential to have more impact in the world.

Growing through challenge

“We grow through challenge.” I am a firm believer in this quote. In a way, it has become how I’m wired. I find motivation through challenge: This is why I run marathons, and why I am learning to swim to compete in triathlons. And, this is why I was extremely intrigued when my discussions first began with McKinsey.

The magic of peanut butter and jelly

The concept of bringing design/innovation together with business analytics and strategy is a popular topic today. A lot of companies are trying it, with mixed results. The challenge and opportunity is for McKinsey to set an example: truly lead and pioneer this blending of the design and business toolkits. As Derrick Kiker, partner and visionary for bringing design into McKinsey, has said, “the magic is in truly mixing the peanut butter (design) and jelly (business)…”. If we are able to disrupt ourselves by infusing more design and innovation into the firm, we can apply our methods to help clients grow and disrupt themselves in new ways. It’s been extremely rewarding to work closely with others on this challenge.

McKinsey represents challenge and stretch in other ways. I love the challenge to build an innovation capability in Chicago, find the right people, and create the right culture. On a personal level, the opportunity meant moving my family from the east coast to Chicago. This challenge of laying new roots in a new city was exciting and something we embraced. We are still die–hard Red Sox fans, but otherwise we have embraced Chicago and everything it has to offer.

It’s been an incredibly rewarding ride the past year. I’m excited to see how the challenges evolve and our impact continues to increase.

Find a job like Scott’s.

About Scott

Scott is a creative lead with the McKinsey Design team – a collaboration with McKinsey New Ventures and McKinsey Operations – specializing in life sciences. Prior to joining McKinsey, he was a senior industrial designer and program manager at Farm Design, a healthcare innovation consultancy. Based in Chicago, Scott has an MBA in entrepreneurship and marketing from Babson College, and a BS in industrial design from the University of Cincinnati.

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