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Chris Gagnon

Senior Partner, Austin

Leads our portfolio of digital solutions for the People & Organizational Performance Practice and delivers sustained performance at scale through an integrated approach to lasting change, culture, talent, and leadership


A leader in the People & Organizational Performance Practice, Chris oversees our portfolio of digital solutions and helps shape organizations fit for the future through an integrated approach that transforms organizational health and sustains overall performance by aligning organization design with culture, talent, change management, and leadership. He has worked with clients in many sectors, including consumer products, hospitality and leisure, private equity, and technology.

In Chris’s role as coleader of McKinsey’s organization work, he has been able to direct initiatives related to two of his passions. First, he led the firm’s efforts to bring hard data, tools, and analytics to the soft topics of organization. Some of the tools he has developed with the OrgSolutions group include the Organizational Health Index, OrgLab, People Analytics, and the a new tool to personalize change-management initiatives. Second, he led the firm’s research into the “beyond the matrix” organization, learning from the most aggressive organizational experiments and approaches in the world to bring clients new methods that are faster, more tech enabled, and more human centered.

Chris has long been active in knowledge creation and publishing. He led the team that cowrote Real Change Leaders: How You Can Create Growth and High Performance at Your Company (Harmony Books, 1995) and has published numerous articles in the Harvard Business Review and the McKinsey Quarterly on topics such as agility, analytics, leadership, and organizational health.

Chris now lives in Austin, Texas, after spending much of his career in the Northeast. In his free time, he enjoys working out, playing chess, enjoying blues harmonica, and coaching youth basketball.


How to future-proof your organization,” McKinsey & Company, June 2021

Going from fragile to agile,” McKinsey & Company, December 2015

Published work

The nine traits of future-ready companies,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

Organizing for the future: Nine keys to becoming a future-ready company,” McKinsey & Company, January 2021

Reimagining the post-pandemic organization,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2020

Why rigor is the key ingredient to develop leaders,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2019

8 ways to build a future-proof organization,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, June 2018

The 2 Cs of management excellence,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2018

Organizing for the age of urgency,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2018

Welcome to the ‘Insights on Leadership & Organization’ Blog,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, November 2017

Safe enough to try: An interview with Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2017

Organizational health: A fast track to performance improvement,” McKinsey Quarterly, September 2017

Leadership in context,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2016

Organizing for the future,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2016

Why agility pays,” McKinsey Quarterly, December 2015

Agility: It rhymes with stability,” McKinsey Quarterly, December 2015

Decoding leadership: What really matters,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2015

Past Experience

Global Leisure Capital Partners
Managing director and president

Merrill Lynch Private Equity Partners
Managing director

Blue Capital
Founder, managing director

McKinsey & Company


Amos Tuck School of Business Administration

Dartmouth College