the Shortlist

Four of our best new ideas, delivered twice monthly

So you want to be CEO? Here’s how.

– When Mary Barra joined General Motors as an 18-year-old intern, she was more likely to be struck by lightning than become CEO. The odds were far lower than one in 750,000 (the number of GM employees at the time). Yet today, she’s nearly ten years into her tenure. How did she—and dozens of other CEOs—beat the odds?

On red alert for black swans: Understanding geopolitics today

– What did you do the last time someone disagreed with you? Did you welcome the interruption? Did you actively engage with the naysayer?... Or did you get defensive, or even shut down? While we can all agree in theory that dissent is a good thing, managing it in practice is both an art and a science.

China reopens; the world watches and waits

– China is reopening. After locking down vast swathes of the country during its battle with COVID-19, the country suddenly reversed... course. Now, the rest of the world is reckoning with the (potentially inflationary) effects as the country reopens. One thing is clear: in an increasingly multipolar world, China remains a powerful draw for multinational companies (MNCs). But MNCs will have to recalibrate the risks.

Harness the power of generative AI

– There’s more to generative AI than pictures of puppies underwater. DALL-E, ChatGPT, and other new products have set the... world on fire, triggering starry-eyed visions of the future (and much hand-wringing among content professionals). Many people have a basic question: what the heck is generative AI? But some execs are looking beyond the basics to the potential business uses for generative-AI models—from marketing to IT to risk and legal.

What happened in Davos

– Hello, Shortlist readers! This week we’re pleased to introduce a new format. We started this newsletter because... we know it’s hard to sort through all the content—from McKinsey and elsewhere—to find the articles and reports that spark ideas. From now on, we’ll bring you a carefully curated selection of our best insights: four of our best new stories, twice monthly.

Talent trends that companies should understand by now

– This week, we look at ways that companies can address the continuing trend of employee attrition. Plus, an innovator whose career... melds STEM and the humanities, and a Stanford business school professor on how to wield power (for the good). The Shortlist team wishes our readers happy holidays and a wonderful start to the new year.

The State of Fashion 2023: Bright spots and darker patterns

– This week, why the fashion industry is likely to remain in a state of flux in 2023. Plus, consumer companies are turning to chief... transformation officers more often, and why it’s important for leaders to demonstrate “deliberate calm.”

Globalization isn’t going away, but it’s undergoing shifts

– This week, we look at how globalization is shifting and what companies can do to respond. Plus, two McKinsey experts on how to... build better relationships at work, and Tech for Execs on the power of the qubit.

Managing out? Women leaders are leaving the workplace in droves

– This week, we look at some sobering trends facing women leaders in the workplace. Plus, an interview with the Spanish-born chef... José Andrés on what working in emergencies has taught him, and a McKinsey technology expert on how business leaders can harness innovation.

Debit or credit? How retail banks win in the new digital age

– This week, we look at how retail banking incumbents, and even central banks, are shifting toward digital models. Plus, a new report... on decarbonizing India, and an interview with management expert Richard Rumelt on how not to talk about strategy.

Climate solutions: Has nuclear fusion’s time finally arrived?

– This week, why the case for nuclear fusion is growing stronger. Plus, how a labor shortfall could affect plans to upgrade US infrastructure,... and a McKinsey partner and former international sailing champion shares her favorite podcasts.

A defining moment for Europe’s CEOs

– This week, how Europe’s business leaders can place smart bets on the future. Plus, e-scooters get a leg up with investors,... and Tech for Execs on the importance of creating a cloud “sandbox” for developers.
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