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J.R. Maxwell

Guides organizations in the private, public, and social sectors as they put more effective operating models in place and transform performance across the enterprise

J.R. is a leader in McKinsey’s practices focused on the public, social, and healthcare sectors. Within our People & Organizational Performance Practice, he heads the group in North America focused on organization design work.

Since joining McKinsey in 2011, J.R. has advised a range of clients including public-sector agencies, private-sector companies, and social-sector institutions. Partnering with executives and leaders, he helps these organizations identify fundamental strategic imperatives and envision the organization that will support reaching them. J.R. also helps guide transformation and culture-change initiatives, fostering better decision making and boosting operational efficiency.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • optimizing the organizational- and financial-operating model for a defense agency, shifting the focus to emphasize domains of expertise
  • helping a railcar manufacturer design and enact a new, customer-focused organizational operating model
  • working with the CEO and senior team of an arts institution to define and implement a new organizational model, clarifying decision-making and building capabilities for leading in a matrix organization
  • helping a Fortune 50 chemicals company redesign its organizational-operating model
  • guiding the CEO and senior team of a travel company through the effort to shift its operating model and improve organizational culture.

Interested in sharing best practices across sectors, J.R. publishes frequently on topics such as change leadership and decision making.


Mission not meetings: How government leaders could avoid self-sabotage,” McKinsey & Company, June 2022

If we’re all so busy, why isn’t anything getting done?,” McKinsey & Company, January 2022

America 2021: Making change happen, against the odds,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

Increasing decision-making velocity: Five steps for government leaders,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Reimagine decision making to improve speed and quality,” McKinsey & Company, September 2020

Streamline decision-making for a better customer journey,” McKinsey & Company, August 2019

Decision making: Avoiding turf wars,” McKinsey & Company, May 2018

How the public sector can remain agile beyond times of crisis,” McKinsey & Company, May 2017


Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth

Tufts University
BA, international relations and economics