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Jan Doležal

Engagement Manager, Prague

McKinsey Digital is a unique place, and a perfect match for those eager to use technology to solve complex business challenges.

Passion for technology

I have always been passionate about technology and the impact it has on the quality of human life. Not surprisingly, therefore, I studied cybernetics, control systems and artificial intelligence at universities in the Czech Republic, USA, and China. Back then, I thought that business meant shifting value from one pocket to another and that, unlike technology, it did not create value. It took more practical experience from internships to realize that even the most brilliant technical idea was useless without business, and that I could add tremendous value by connecting the two worlds.

Learning in a fun way

It took a single recruiting event, Horizon, for me to realize that joining the Business Technology Office (now Digital McKinsey) was better than taking a degree in business. It promised opportunities to build on my knowledge of technology and to develop my understanding of how business works. To be frank, I also thought that traveling around the world and working with top execs to solve their toughest problems was way more fun than programming out of a lab. I was right.

Solving real problems

I have yet to get bored as a member of Digital McKinsey. For example, on a transformation engagement for a telecom operator, I was in charge of full network optimization. My technical background gave me the much needed credibility in the eyes of the CTO and his team, technical people allergic to consultants. The CTO eventually hired us for yet another strategic network project. On another occasion, I helped design a new international direct bank by choosing the right system architecture. Should the client build the bank’s backend quickly in each country as a product within the mother bank’s diverse core banking systems, or would it be better to build the international bank centrally in a new lean system but undergo the extra work of integration to payment systems in each country? Again, with my technical background and business experience, I was able not only to me make the right choice for the client, but also to justify the choice to the business side of its organization.

Leading teams

Following a 2-year sponsored MBA at Harvard Business School, I started leading project teams. Connecting the client, team of consultants and McKinsey leadership on our high-paced projects with lots of uncertainties is extremely rewarding and challenging at the same time. But then again, challenge is part of the fun. If you are too comfortable doing something, you are probably not learning much.


Harvard Business School

Czech Technical University, Prague
MSc, control systems