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Mar 30 2023

Deliberate Calm: How to Learn and Lead in a Volatile World

Presenters: Jacqueline Brassey and Aaron De Smet | Time: 9:30 - 10:00 a.m. ET / 15:30 - 16:00 CT

As the pace of change accelerates in an increasingly complex world, leaders must perform outside their comfort zones in their personal and professional lives. This requires adaptation. Yet, the same conditions that make adapting so important can also trigger fear, leading some to resist change and default to reactive behavior that stifles innovation.

This “adaptability paradox” is defined and explored in a new book, Deliberate Calm, authored by Director of Research Science Jacqueline Brassey, Senior Partner Aaron De Smet, and McKinsey alum Michiel Kruyt.

Drawing from a unique combination of psychology, neuroscience, and consciousness practices plus a combined 50-plus years of international board room experience, the authors offer a unique approach to learning and leading with awareness. Join authors Jacqueline Brassey and Aaron De Smet as they discuss the methods and tools to learn proactively and lead dynamically amid the most uncertain circumstances.


What matters most? Six priorities for CEOs in turbulent times

– Managing complex organizations is much harder today than it was just a few years ago. A CEO’s most difficult task is deciding what must be done now and what can wait.

World Economic Forum: Live from Davos

– During a special McKinsey Live, senior partners Daniel Pacthod and Kate Smaje answered audience questions about how leaders are navigating the toughest operating environment in recent memory—as well as what they’re looking forward to in the year ahead.

World Economic Forum: A preview of Davos 2023

– McKinsey’s chief marketing officer Tracy Francis and global Sustainability leader Daniel Pacthod explored five primary topics McKinsey partners will focus on during their time at Davos. Each topic poses challenges that will require global cooperation to address successfully.

How to thrive in a downturn: A CFO perspective

– The world is a different place, says the CFO of AB InBev. To meet the moment, companies need to create multiple options and react quickly to changes.

Global flows: The ties that bind in an interconnected world

– Global integration is here to stay, albeit with nuance.

The Titanium Economy

– The underappreciated and undervalued industrial-technology sector could be a future source of US economic prosperity and stability.

Value creation in the metaverse

– The metaverse revolution is coming soon, and companies must prepare today to seize the opportunities of tomorrow.

Building resilience amid economic uncertainty

– Global economies appear to be slowing. A company’s success both during and beyond the downturn will depend on the resilience it builds now—an effort that requires strong and effective leadership.

World Economic Forum: A debrief of Davos 2022

– Two McKinsey senior partner reported on crucial insights from Davos.

World Economic Forum: A preview of Davos 2022

– The themes and topics expected to dominate this year’s meeting.

Creating an inclusive environment for transgender employees

– An organization’s top-down embrace of the transgender community goes a long way toward providing a safe and inclusive workplace in which all employees can thrive.

The invasion of Ukraine: Humanitarian and economic consequences

– What can business leaders do amidst today’s uncertainty?

The mindsets and practices of excellent CEOs

– Scores of interviews reveal how the world’s top CEOs think and act.

Five priorities for CEOs in the next normal. What matters most?

– Leaders can raise their organization’s odds of success by establishing and implementing five trends.

Charting a sustainable, inclusive, and growing future

– Leaders can create conditions for economic growth that supports environmental resilience and advances living standards for more people. Meeting this extraordinary challenge is critical to achieve broad-based prosperity around the world.

Women in the Workplace 2021: The state of women hangs in the balance

– Despite important gains, women are still underrepresented in corporate America and women of color continue to lose ground at every job level. By following top companies’ example, US companies can accelerate women’s progress, improve the workplace, and become more competitive.

The Great Attrition or the Great Attraction: What will it be for you?

– To gain a competitive edge in attracting and retaining talent, organizations need to truly understand what’s important to their employees today.

Returning to corporate travel: How do we get it right?

– By taking into account a multitude of factors and developing some critical skills, corporate-travel players can be prepared for what is likely to be an uneven and complicated comeback from the devastating impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The future of business: Tech trends that matter

– The pandemic emboldened companies to adopt new types of technology. Which ones will affect your industry and organization the most—and maximize your company’s competitive edge?

Black livelihoods and economic recovery in the US

– When businesses focus on dismantling barriers to racial equity, the result could be a more dynamic and resilient economy for all Americans.

Reskilling the workforce for a postpandemic future

– Leaders across the globe are confronting a rapidly widening skills gap and need to rethink skill building at scale. Here are nine best practices to successful skill transformations.

Getting hybrid work right: What employees are saying

– New research reveals what employees want from their postpandemic workplace—and how companies can get started with hybrid transformations.

Elevating digital customer experience in the next normal

– Designing great customer experiences is getting easier with the rise of predictive analytics—especially now that the pandemic has driven more of us online than ever before.

Better bosses: Changing the way we lead postpandemic

– Good bosses matter—now more than ever. Here are a few ways to cultivate better leadership at scale and be better leaders ourselves.

Promoting mental wellness in the workplace

– Here are five actions organizations can take to address the rise in mental and substance-use disorders precipitated by the pandemic.

Transitioning to a postpandemic workforce

– How has COVID-19 affected the future of work? Which job categories will increase, which will decline, and how can businesses and communities successfully adapt to the next normal?

AI at scale: Propelling your organization into the next normal

– A small proportion of companies use AI to capture the value they are getting from data analytics at scale. What are they doing right?

A winning approach to business building: The new priority for growth

– New research reveals how critical launching new businesses has become for postpandemic renewal.

COVID-19 vaccines are here. What does that mean for your organization?

– The COVID-19 vaccines have arrived but pressing questions remain on development, implications for the new strains, rollout challenges and the role companies can play in the worldwide vaccination effort.

Reenergizing the workforce: How leaders can overcome pandemic fatigue

– Leaders can recharge their organizations by intervening in four ways.

The future of business: 2021 and beyond

– As companies continue to navigate the health-related and economic difficulties of the COVID-19 crisis, leaders worldwide can expect eight key forces to shape business in the future.

Purpose vs PR: how business can find meaning in the COVID-19 era

– Organizational purpose must go beyond lip service to being authentic and embedded in a company’s DNA.

Tomorrow’s teams today: Building capabilities needed to transform individuals, teams, and your organization

– Find out how the COVID-19 crisis has disrupted the way we learn and what it takes for organizations to accelerate and make a sustained impact by cultivating new capabilities and learning mindsets.

The secrets to transformation success

– Research shows that most transformations fail. And yet, as organizations adapt to the next normal, many CEOs will launch transformations in the coming months. Learn how some organizations have beaten the odds and achieved long-term transformational success.

Finding tomorrow’s ‘resilients’: Propelling companies into the next wave of growth

– Leaders can learn from the last global recession and plan for several economic outcomes, including, as McKinsey senior partners Cindy Levy and Bob Sternfels suggest, taking thoughtful actions to balance growth, margins, and optionality.

What should you do to get your business on the right track? Plan your COVID-Exit

– When the current uncertainty dissipates, economic momentum will accelerate. What can you do to prepare for a successful exit from the COVID-19 crisis?

The evolving consumer: How COVID-19 is changing the way we shop

– The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic is likely to continue. This McKinsey Live webinar covers the four elements of a digital agenda for recovery.

India’s turning point: An economic agenda to spur growth and jobs

– India is at a decisive point in its journey toward prosperity. Our experts explore how the country can raise incomes and productivity, while keeping India in the ranks of the world’s emerging economies.

Navigating the impact of COVID-19 on analytics models

– Advanced analytics and AI are invaluable to organizations managing uncertainty in real time, but most predictive models rely on historical patterns. How can companies account for a crisis and get more from their analytics strategy?

Women in the Workplace 2020: Progress toward gender equality

– This discussion of the sixth annual Women in the Workplace report covers the effects of COVID-19 on US working women and the need for both companies and individuals to help deter women from exiting the workforce.

Sustainable fashion: How the fashion industry can urgently act to reduce its greenhouse gas emission

– By accelerating changes all along the value chain, the industry will be able to substantially reduce, and ultimately minimize, its contribution to global warming.

Corporate travel: The long road to recovery

– It may take business travel a long time to return to prepandemic levels, and the new normal will differ from the past. Here’s what corporate travel providers need to know.

Behavioral health crisis in the United States: The fallout from the COVID-19 pandemic

– The adverse impact of COVID-19 on behavioral health—which comprises both mental health and substance use—presents additional challenges and opportunities for industry leaders.

Considerations for schools amid COVID-19

– Education leaders, teachers, and parents are faced with myriad decisions about students’ futures, and the stakes are high. Their choices must be informed by facts—reliable data and lessons learned from experience.

How improving health globally can save lives and strengthen economies

– The costly COVID-19 crisis provides an opportunity to dramatically advance worldwide health and prosperity.

Building more resilient value chains after the COVID-19 crisis

– It’s more important than ever that companies, as well as individual countries, boost the resilience of their value chains.

Protecting US small businesses from the impact of COVID-19

– Many small businesses have closed as a result of the COVID-19 crisis. In this McKinsey Live webinar, partner Deepa Mahajan discusses innovations and support mechanisms that could help keep more small companies in business.

Accelerating digital capabilities to recover from the COVID-19 crisis

– The rapid migration to digital technologies driven by the pandemic is likely to continue. This McKinsey Live webinar covers the four elements of a digital agenda for recovery.

Returning to the workplace: Lessons from essential businesses

– As companies bring workers back to offices and plants, they can learn from organizations that have kept their facilities open during the COVID-19 crisis. This McKinsey Live webinar looks at the most important adjustments for safety in various work environments.

Investing in Black lives and livelihoods: What stakeholders can do

– Black Americans face longstanding economic challenges. The COVID-19 crisis could make these challenges worse. McKinsey partner Jason Wright discusses ways to support the health and wealth of Black businesses and households.

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.

Operations in the next normal: Five themes to focus on

– Operations executives are seeking to take what they have learned during the COVID-19 crisis and achieve new levels of performance. This McKinsey Live webinar covers five focal themes for these efforts.

Five priorities for rapid revenue recovery during COVID-19

– The muscles that companies can build to bring back revenues amid the COVID-19 crisis can also help accelerate growth. This McKinsey Live webinar covers the fundamentals of achieving new levels of speed and agility.

The economics of COVID-19: A look at possible scenarios for the next normal

– Although executives express uncertainty about how long the economy will take to recover from the COVID-19 crisis, they can begin to prepare their organizations for the “next normal.”

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