Knowing your odds of success before you launch a strategy can go a long way toward ensuring you execute it well. By embracing probability, you can change the odds in your favor and help set a winning strategy.
Machine learning holds immense promise for businesses that can effectively harness the powerful technology, but it is only as good as the data it’s working from—and, perhaps even more important, the people inputting the data.
Frontline managers are responsible for an outsize proportion of companies’ workforces—nearly two-thirds—yet they are often hobbled under the weight of administrative work, endless meetings, and various nonmanagerial tasks such as traveling or training.
A company’s digital core is increasingly becoming the purview of the CFO, who must work in lockstep with the CEO to help lead the kind of digital- and AI-transformation efforts that many organizations today are pursuing.
Moments of truth in customer service—that spark between customers and frontline employees—still abound in today’s customer journey, and they represent a crucial opportunity for building brand loyalty and business value.
This past week, the Cannes Lions International Festival of Creativity held its 70th annual ceremony honoring the world’s top advertising, marketing, and communications companies. And while no CEO worth their salt would deny the importance of creativity in the workplace, does creativity translate into actual business value? That’s what the authors of this classic McKinsey article set out to find.
Back in 2014, many companies found that their revenues were growing more slowly than their sales, general, and administrative (SG&A) costs were. Controlling those costs became essential. At such times, executives often think they have to make large, arbitrary budget cuts, no matter how imprudent or unsustainable. But a McKinsey team argued that companies had a better choice: zero-based budgeting (ZBB).
Banks exist to lend, and every lending decision is a risk decision. That’s why the basic trends and responses in bank risk can reveal the future of the risk function throughout big business. In 2016, McKinsey published an article explaining these trends and their impact. It’s well worth reading today.
Let’s say you’re facing a “difficult conversation”—for example, informing a colleague that you’ll have to pull out of an important meeting the two of you have been planning for weeks. You start by baldly stating that you can’t attend it. Behavioral research shows that the other person’s brain then goes on defense, diverting scarce mental energy by launching an automatic “snap, sulk, or skulk” mode. Emotionally sophisticated neural machinery shuts down, and the quality of work declines.
Scott Harrison was a successful nightclub and fashion promoter in New York, but he felt spiritually bankrupt. Leaving his business behind, he decided to serve as a photojournalist on a floating hospital that provided free medical care in poor countries. Such stories help build organizations and lead them through times of change. To learn the four principles that make these narratives effective, read our 2011 classic “The power of storytelling: What nonprofits can teach the private sector about social media.”
In 2014, to celebrate McKinsey Quarterly’s 50th anniversary, the McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) examined the future prospects for economic growth throughout the world. Read “A productivity perspective on the future of growth.”
McKinsey has been fascinated for years by the cognitive biases that explain how people make economic decisions, such as investments. Learn how to control them: read “Overcoming obstacles to effective scenario planning.”
The job market will probably continue to be a challenge for employers in the new year, which means that your workplace—whether remote or in-person—needs to be as comfortable, collaborative, and welcoming as possible if you are to retain workers. Read our 2007 classic “Building the civilized workplace.”
Most companies can anticipate the strategic side of growth—where, when, and how it happens—but many underestimate its organizational side. Read our 2011 classic article ‘Preparing your organization for growth.’
McKinsey’s research and experience have found not only that the companies with the strongest risk cultures have specific traits but also that there are effective ways to strengthen them. Read the 2015 classic ‘Managing the people side of risk.’
Better teams develop better strategies, implement them more successfully, and inspire confidence among stakeholders. To learn how your top team can improve its performance, not just its strategies, read our 2001 classic ‘Teamwork at the top.’
Four powerful forces are transforming the world: urbanization in developing economies, faster technological change, aging, and a new kind of globalization. Learn about them in our 2015 book excerpt ‘The four global forces breaking all the trends.’