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Brian Quinn

Partner, Chicago
Leads transformational programs for clients across industries, building innovation, design, and digital capabilities to create growth and strengthen the ability of their organizations to create new growth

About Brian

Brian is a leader of McKinsey’s business-building and innovation work, partnering with executives to build the institutional ability to innovate and drive breakthrough growth.

He focuses on end-to-end business building and innovation transformations, helping clients set winning strategies that demand new growth. He also puts the strategy in motion by building new businesses and other innovations and standing up the supporting operating model to sustain these efforts over time.

Brian has deep experience in helping clients build new governance systems, incubators, accelerators, training academies, and other systems to foster an innovative organization and culture. He is also an expert in using design methods to solve business problems and drive innovation, and has helped clients across a wide array of industries seek cutting-edge change with a particular focus on insurance and consumer-facing businesses.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • designing and launching an innovative new business for a leading life-insurance and employee-benefits provider focused on the unique needs of small-to-medium business owners
  • designing an innovation operating model for a leading global life insurance and asset management company
  • designing and standing up an innovation unit for a leading insurance broker and incubating two of its new businesses
  • designing eight breakthrough-growth businesses for a leading pharmacy-company projected to deliver over $1 billion in new growth for the enterprise and strengthen its omnichannel capabilities

In 2013, Brian coauthored Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, which provides organizations with a systematic method for envisioning a range of innovation possibilities, identifying opportunities, and developing differentiated solutions. He has been a regular contributor to Forbes, and his writing on innovation has been published in Wall Street Journal, Businessweek, Fast Company, and Conference Board Review. He speaks regularly on innovation at conferences and private executive retreats.

Before joining McKinsey, Brian was a partner and coleader at a design-driven innovation firm, where he led client programs, oversaw its methods and perspectives, and managed innovation talent.

Published Work

Committed innovators: How masters of essentials outperform,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

The next frontier in consumer goods: Digitally enabled innovation,” McKinsey & Company, April 2022

Five steps to improve innovation in the insurance industry,” McKinsey & Company, March 2022

Future of insurance: Unleashing growth through new business building,” McKinsey & Company, December 2020

The innovation commitment,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2019

From lab to leader: How consumer companies can drive growth at scale with disruptive innovation,” McKinsey & Company, September 2018

You Can’t Outsource Innovation,” Forbes, September 2016

Not So Fast: What Problem Are We Trying to Solve?Forbes, July 2016

Reframe to Innovate: Recognizing You’re an Innovation Leader,” Forbes, April 2016

Brian Quinn, “Reframe to Innovate: Your Enterprise and Organization,” Forbes, March 7, 2016

Re-frame to Innovate: Your Industry, Your Company and Yourself,” Forbes, January 2016

Stop Trying To Act Like A Startup,” Forbes, December 2015

Why Measuring Innovation Matters,” Forbes, November 2015

Ten Types of Innovation: The Discipline of Building Breakthroughs, Wiley, 2013

Past Experience


Monitor Deloitte
Associate partner


Amherst College
BA, premedical studies