the Shortlist

Welcome to the Shortlist: new ideas on timely topics, plus a few insights into our people. Get it in your inbox on Fridays.

The road to Black advancement in the US can be traced back to HBCUs

– McKinsey research shows that significant economic and human value can be gained when Black Americans are fully engaged in the economy. HBCUs are perfectly positioned to foster such engagement—and to continue the crucial work they’ve been doing for almost 200 years: dramatically improving the lives and livelihoods of Black Americans.

Who’s looking out for you at work? Most likely, a female manager

– Over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, we’ve seen that social cohesion matters everywhere, from countries to cities to... companies. Entities that are more cohesive (and focus on emotional and physical well-being) can weather tough times better, research shows. In the workplace, who is focusing on connection and well-being?

If cyberattacks are the new Trojan Horse, don’t be Troy

– Cybercriminals have continued to launch major ransomware attacks—with widespread consequences. This rash of recent attacks... has, in some cases, resulted in companies making large ransom payments to get their operating systems back online.

The ‘workforce of the future’ can sound scary—but we’re all part of it now.

– Reskilling, upskilling, microskilling, skill adjacencies, talent gaps. As talk grows of what the future of work will look like,... these terms may seem daunting for employees and leaders alike.

AI can figure out how to avoid an accident. What that means for the future of insurance

– Insurance is on the verge of a seismic, tech-driven shift as AI and its related technologies lay claim (pun intended) to everything... from distribution to underwriting. Advanced technologies and data are already affecting policies—in close to real time—as they are priced, purchased, and bound.

Now’s the time to work on your adaptability skills

– It’s clear that our volatile world is serving up change at a rapid clip. But true adaptability may not be what you think.... It’s less about meeting the next challenge when it arrives, shoulders squared, laptop in hand. Rather, it’s about being prepared beforehand to meet any challenge—no matter how out of the blue—by having the right mindset.

On the road again, but this time in an EV

– Despite a shortage of semiconductors that has hampered supply chains around the world, electric-vehicle (EV) sales topped three... million in 2020, a 40 percent increase over the previous year.

As the climate alarm bells toll, which industries are listening?

– The case for broad action on climate has been clarified, yet again, as record temperatures, flooding, and other extreme weather... events sweep the globe. We know the playbook calls for reining in emissions of atmosphere-warming carbon, and fast.

Corporate boards, like most of us, have learned a thing or two from this crisis

– Have you hugged your corporate board today? OK, that might be a little dramatic, but boards deserve credit for doing more than... ever to help set a company’s course on competition, digitization, risk, and more. What is emerging is a model in which the core mandate of the board is unchanged but its scope for intervention is expanding.

Up or down the ladder? Americans’ views of their economic future diverge

– This spring, McKinsey set out to understand what Americans think about their economic standing, their views on economic opportunity,... and the barriers between themselves and a more inclusive and prosperous future. Our inaugural American Opportunity Survey revealed that fewer than half of all respondents were optimistic about access to economic opportunity.

Think your employees are itching to return to the office? Think again.

– Workers are reevaluating their relationships with their employers and, contrary to what companies may think, they are not jumping... for joy at the prospect of a full return to the office.

‘Creativity would skyrocket’

– The fashion industry has a diversity problem. Certain groups of talented individuals—in particular, people of color—struggle... to break into the industry, and those who manage to get in don’t often feel welcome. This lack of diverse talent begins in fashion schools and internships and continues through the industry into its highest echelons of power and influence.
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