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Julia Sperling-Magro


Serves private- and public-sector clients on large-scale organizational transformations, strengthening performance and health through enhanced culture, values, leadership, and talent systems

Julia is a medical doctor, neuroscientist, and partner in McKinsey’s Frankfurt office. She is a global leader in McKinsey’s People & Organizational Performance Practice, which is responsible for the firm’s work on talent and leadership, organizational design and analytics, cultural change, capability building, and performance and health transformations. Julia co-leads this practice for Germany.

Prior to this role, Julia had been McKinsey’s global partner lead for the firm’s own diversity, equity, and inclusion programs, the global leader of McKinsey’s “Science of Change” efforts, as well as the global organization people and learning leader.

She is also a founding member and has been the leader of McKinsey’s Healthcare Practice in the Middle East, where she has spent over a decade.

Julia is an expert in addressing organization and people-related projects across different industries.

Examples of her recent work include the following:

  • designing the future operating model (people, structure, and processes) of private and public sector institutions in the context of the future of work, with a special focus on roles and talent segments, and required skill building
  • revamping the talent cycle, including recruiting, deployment, and development in various industries—encompassing financial services, energy, and healthcare—with a focus on debiasing decision making in each step
  • leading cultural-change efforts, with a particular focus around diversity, equity, and inclusion
  • designing the strategy and operational model for leadership development programs at a national level, including capability building offerings, assessment and development centers, research arms, and innovation units

Julia has also overseen McKinsey’s work for women in leadership in Saudi Arabia for over a decade and was recently awarded with the Saudi Aramco’s partnership award for her leadership. In 2017, she took over the Chefsache initiative, which aims to help women reach and thrive in leadership positions in Germany.

Julia is a native German speaker and fluent in English, French, and Spanish. She also speaks Italian and has a basic knowledge of modern Arabic.

Published work

Returning to the office can be a choice, not a challenge,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, July 2022

Tackling transformation at Allianz: A holistic approach to change,” McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Three steps to supercharge DE&I capability building,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, May 2022

Don’t train your employees on DE&I. Build their capabilities.,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2022

Much anew about ‘nudging’,” McKinsey & Company, August 2021

Personal experience of inclusion: Critical to win the war for talent,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, August 2021

Sounding the alarm on system noise,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2021

Maximizing behavioral change in leadership development programs,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, March 2020

Answer these 6 questions before setting up a ‘nudge’ unit,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2019

Lessons from the front line of corporate nudging,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2019

A small nudge to create stunning team results,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, October 2018

How to change mindset and behavior,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, July 2018

How to nudge your way to better performance,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, December 2017

Leadership and behavior: Mastering the mechanics of reason and emotion,” McKinsey Quarterly, October 2016

Solving public problems through behavioral science,” McKinsey & Company, May 2016


Max-Planck-Institut für Hirnforschung
PhD, neuroscience

Goethe University Frankfurt