Be bold: Here’s how 30 top US companies are prepping for the future

We asked the top three US companies in ten different industries where they’re making the boldest moves. They were most clearly making moves in three areas: purpose (83 percent of the companies we studied), establishing ecosystems (83 percent), and creating data-rich tech platforms (73 percent).

Top-performing companies are taking bold action across all nine imperatives (table)

Top-performing companies are taking bold action across all nine imperatives.

Share of 30 top companies making,1 and considering, bold moves against the 9 organizational imperatives, %
    Bold moves2 Bold plans or pilots3 Neither
Who we are Purpose 83 13 4
Value 30 53 17
Culture 17 53 30
How we operate Structure 10 53 37
Decision making 17 40 43
Talent 47 43 10
How we grow Ecosystem 83 13 4
Tech platforms 73 23 4
Learning 20 60 20


1To acknowledge that industries have different market fundamentals and face different headwinds and tailwinds, we selected the top 10 industries as measured by their average economic profit between 2015–19. We then selected the top 3 companies from each industry by the same metric.

2Bold moves defined as: 1) Company among the first to adopt a given practice; 2) the practice is unique and not copied elsewhere; or 3) the practice has been scaled across >50% of the company.

3Bold plans defined as: Company is actively planning or piloting a bold move as defined above.

Source: McKinsey Organization Practice; McKinsey Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice

McKinsey & Company

To read the article, see “Organizing for the future: Nine keys to becoming a future-ready company,” January 11, 2021.