The Daily Read

An article a day, picked by our editors

New year’s resolutions for tech in 2023

– McKinsey Technology leaders offer their insights on how business leaders can make the most of tech this year.

Digital transformations: The five talent factors that matter most

– Setting up a winning digital and advanced-analytics organization is hard. Decisions about talent and technology will often determine the transformation’s success.

Pixels of Progress: A granular look at human development around the world

– Our world is big and complex, but human progress is still about life on the ground, up close and in detail.

The state of AI in 2022—and a half decade in review

– The results of this year’s McKinsey Global Survey on AI show the expansion of the technology’s use since we began tracking it five years ago, but with a nuanced picture underneath.

How will the space economy change the world?

– Space is no longer the sole domain of governments and aerospace and defense companies. Businesses that pursue emerging opportunities now may gain a first mover advantage.

The gender leadership gap is replicating in the metaverse

– Five early indicators on women in the metaverse reveal gender inequality—especially in the leadership creating and setting metaverse standards.

Starting strong: Making your CEO transition a catalyst for renewal

– The best CEOs use the first six to 12 months of their tenure as a moment of great personal transition and institutional renewal. There are four keys to success.

Prioritizing brain health: Scaling what works to add years to life and life to years

– How many more years can be spent in optimal health if our society viewed mental and substance-use disorders as we do other conditions? The McKinsey Health Institute and the Healthy Brains Global Initiative collaboration sought to answer this question through a series of interactives.

Why bad strategy is a ‘social contagion’

– Business leaders are often focused on ambitions and achieving results—and less about developing an action plan, according to Richard Rumelt, professor at the UCLA Anderson School of Management.

Stepping up: What COOs will need to succeed in 2023 and beyond

– Behind every great CEO, there’s a great COO. After a few years out of vogue—in 2018, only 32 percent of Fortune 500 companies had one—the COO is back in a big, bold way. Nearly half of Fortune 500 companies in the energy and financial sectors have COOs in 2022.

How Titanium Economy companies are driving innovation in the US

– In recent years, companies in Silicon Valley have dominated headlines—and for good reason: they are among the best performing stocks of the past decade.

Women in the Workplace 2022

– Did you know that for every 100 men promoted to managerial levels, only 87 women experience similar advancement?

Digital twins: The foundation of the enterprise metaverse

– Put away your crystal ball. For enterprise organizations, the metaverse has the potential to help predict what's next with tremendous precision through mass simulations and artificial intelligence technologies.

Economic conditions outlook, September 2022

– In stormy weather, survey respondents maintain realism about the global economy. While geopolitical conflicts and inflation remain top of mind, concerns about energy volatility predominate in Europe.

Heat waves, the war in Ukraine, and stigma: Gen Z’s perspectives on mental health

– A new McKinsey Health Institute survey finds that Gen Z may have higher levels of perceived stigma compared with other generations, but they may be more accepting of people with mental illnesses.

Something’s coming: How US companies can build resilience, survive a downturn, and thrive in the next cycle

– The US economy continues to throw off mixed signals. But one thing is becoming clear: executives should prepare for an extended period of higher interest rates.

Author Talks: How industrial technology is creating a more inclusive economy

– McKinsey reveals 35 cutting-edge companies in the industrial tech sector, highlighting a robust “titanium economy” that creates American jobs and fuels innovation through sustainable, inclusive growth.

Reducing food loss: What grocery retailers and manufacturers can do

– More than two billion tons of food—representing up to 40 percent of the world’s food—are lost or wasted every year, yet one in nine people in the world can’t get enough to eat.

Strategic courage in an age of volatility

– Today’s challenging environment requires business leaders to hone their edge in three critical areas: insights, commitment, and execution.

McKinsey Technology Trends Outlook 2022

– Which technology trends matter most for companies in 2022? New analysis by the McKinsey Technology Council highlights the development, possible uses, and industry effects of advanced technologies.

The strong job market isn’t benefiting all Americans

– Many respondents to McKinsey’s American Opportunity Survey say limited opportunities and a lack of skills are keeping them on the sidelines of the tightest labor market in 50 years.

Does ESG really matter—and why?

– Although valid questions have been raised about ESG, the need for companies to understand and address their externalities is likely to become essential to maintaining their social license.

Race in the workplace: The frontline experience

– Three of four frontline workers want to be promoted, but less than one in four achieves it. Companies can take targeted actions to better support these workers.

The office of the future: A whole new (floor) plan

– For many companies, getting employees back into the office has been a challenge. Employees want in-person connectivity—younger folks, especially—but they want flexibility at the same time. And the commute can be—well, daunting.

Space junk—it’s out of this world

– You may have seen the stunning new images captured by the James Webb Space Telescope last week. Space is an endlessly fascinating topic, and there is a lot of excitement and activity surrounding it, especially in recent years.

Meet the psychological needs of your people—all your people

– Your job is a big part of your life, and the highs and lows that come with it—frustration at being micromanaged, pride from a glowing review—have a major impact on your day-to-day.

The metaverse could generate up to $5 trillion in value by 2030

– While the world is still figuring out the metaverse and its role in our daily lives, one thing is certain: its potential is too big to ignore.

Black representation in the beauty industry

– Black Americans are a major force in the beauty industry. They are responsible for over 11 percent of the total beauty market in the US and spent over $6 billion on beauty products last year.

Resilience for sustainable, inclusive growth

– As a global community, we are living through continuous, overlapping crises with long-lasting effects.

Human capital at work: The value of experience

Human capital—the strength of all the collective knowledge, attributes, skills, experience, and health of its workforce—is the most vital resource for any organization or economy. Individuals accumulate human capital throughout their working lives, and taking on new roles helps them become upwardly mobile.

How to market in the metaverse

The metaverse: So much has been said about it, but what is it exactly? Although many continue to debate its definition, the metaverse can be characterized as an evolution of today’s internet—and an opportunity for marketers to engage consumers in new ways via immersive digital worlds.

Five questions for airline executives to boost corporate travel

– When it comes to flying, business trips have always been crucial to the airline industry. Before the pandemic, corporate trips made up about 12 percent of air traffic but accounted for about half of the airline sector’s profitability in the US.

Advanced recycling: Opportunities for growth

– It’s no surprise that sustainability is on the minds of both companies and consumers. Many companies have made public commitments to sell goods that have less impact on the environment, and consumers want to buy products made from recycled plastics.

The pathway to net zero for nine industries

– As industries and governments around the globe look toward a net-zero future, the road to decarbonization will be a challenge, particularly for sectors that produce the majority of global greenhouse-gas emissions.

State of Fashion Technology Report 2022

– As technological innovation accelerates, fashion companies have an opportunity to serve customers better while also creating a more efficient, responsive, and responsible business.

Global Energy Perspective 2022

– We’re in the midst of an energy transition that continues to evolve.

Understand the issues

– The war in Ukraine continues to have devastating consequences—particularly for vulnerable populations, both within the conflict zone and beyond. Now, the war is converging with other disruptions—supply-chain strains, inflation, the pandemic—to pose a looming threat to our global food supply.

Shift to green

– As more institutions step up in their commitments to achieve net-zero emissions of greenhouse gases, new business opportunities are emerging. In a net-zero future, there will be more demand for climate-friendly goods and services, and companies will tilt away from investing in high-emission assets.

Discover digital landscapes

– Why is Gucci getting into gaming? For the same reason Louis Vuitton, Ralph Lauren, and other high fashion brands are linking up with the $176 billion industry. Shoppers—especially those in Gen Z—are spending more time than ever before in virtual spaces, or “second worlds.”

Aim high

– Who doesn’t want to live a happier, healthier life? While we’ve made incredible progress in human health over the past century, there’s so much more we can do to improve the quality of life for everyone.

Hone your attributes

– Who are we at our most raw? Rich Diviney, retired Navy SEAL commander and author of the book The Attributes: 25 Hidden Drivers of Optimal Performance, has a view.

Understand the implications

– Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has caused the greatest humanitarian crisis in Europe since World War II. How can leaders get to grips with the dynamics of this unfolding crisis?

Understand new priorities

– Human resources is playing a critical role in helping organizations respond to the COVID-19 pandemic. Chief human resources officers expect that influence to persist.

Get the scoop

– The authors of the new book CEO Excellence, who interviewed dozens of the top-performing chief executives, share their most memorable encounters and stories.

Read the full report

– The insurance industry struggles to create economic profit. But amid COVID-19’s enduring changes, opportunities await.

Adapt to change

– Real-estate leaders should revalue assets, decarbonize, and create new business opportunities. Here’s how.

Understand the Great Resignation 

– She also knows what you can—and can’t—do about it. Here are three surprising lessons from a veteran of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Look at it this way

– Structured conversation during brainstorming sessions removes some of the risks that can thwart honest discussion.

Capture more value

– Despite a shortage of cloud talent, top companies are finding ways to get past table stakes and build the capabilities needed.

Collaborate and innovate

– With endless meetings, incessant emails, and casts of thousands, companies have mastered the art of unnecessary interactions. Winning in the next normal requires much more focus on true collaboration.

Listen up

– Women are doing more to support employee well-being but face higher stress levels as a result. Here’s how leaders can help.

Stop the cycle

– To solve the burnout epidemic, organizations need to look beyond traditional wellness perks.

Navigate new developments

– Get up to speed on what could lie ahead with an in-depth look at how Omicron affects a range of scenarios based on infectiousness, immune evasion, and disease severity.

Read the report

– Half of banks can't cover their cost of equity, and more findings from McKinsey's Global Banking Annual Review 2021.

An agenda for leaders

– The climate crisis is top of mind for many leaders. And while the world has seen promising developments in promoting a sustainable future, including country- and company-level commitments and rising attention from investors, net zero is not currently in sight.

Prepare for the future

– For many organizations, traditional talent-resourcing models no longer work. The disruption to business models prompted by the pandemic made it clear that companies need to get better at utilizing employees’ existing skills and capabilities. How can you prepare for the future of work and improve organizational speed and responsiveness?

Check in on progress

– Hindsight, as they say, is 20/20. Back in January, we made a series of projections about the trends that could characterize the economy in 2021. So, how have they held up?

Advanced AI, the biotech revolution, cleantech, connectivity

– In the next decade, the world may see more progress than in the past 100 years, and organizations need to watch how technology is reshaping health and materials sciences, energy, transportation, and myriad other industries and domains.