This is a profile image of Scott Keller

Scott Keller

Senior PartnerSouthern California

Counsels Fortune 100 leadership teams on enterprise-level transformation, culture-change programs, top-team performance, and CEO effectiveness

Scott coleads our global CEO excellence work on behalf of the Strategy & Corporate Finance Practice. He is also a global leader of our Organization Practice.

Scott spends the vast majority of his time serving Fortune 100 CEOs and top teams in leading enterprise-wide, multiyear change programs, often also playing a direct coaching role to CEOs during their transitions and beyond. He has been recognized externally for his client work, having been awarded the ASHRM Strategic Leadership Award, AMCO’s Business Transformation Award, and Leadership Excellence’s Top 25 award for developing leaders.

Scott is a featured speaker at multiple CEO and senior executive roundtable events including the World Economic Forum and is also a guest lecturer at the USC’s Marshall School of Business and University of Dublin’s Trinity Business School.

Beyond client work, Scott has authored seven books in the field of organization effectiveness, including his two most recent: Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths (Bloomsbury, 2017), coauthored with Mary Meaney, and Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change (John Wiley & Sons, July 2019), coauthored with Bill Schaninger. He has also written numerous articles that have been featured in the McKinsey Quarterly and Harvard Business Review.

He is a co-author of the New York Times bestseller, CEO Excellence: The Six Mindsets That Distinguish the Best Leaders from the Rest.

Outside McKinsey, Scott is a cofounder of Digital Divide Data, a multiaward-winning social enterprise that was featured in Thomas Friedman's New York Times best-selling book The World is Flat and utilizes a sustainable IT service model to benefit some of the world's most disadvantaged people. He is also the founder and leader of a global affinity group for parents of special-needs children.


Leadership lessons from the world’s best CEOs,” McKinsey & Company, February 2022

What sets the world’s best CEOs apart,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

How to double the odds that your change program will succeed,” McKinsey & Company, August 2019

What every leader needs to know about organizational management,” McKinsey & Company, November 2017

Published work

Serving a greater purpose: CEO Excellence revisited,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

The CEOs secret to successful leadership: CEO Excellence revisited,” McKinsey & Company, March 2024

Sending it forward: Successfully transitioning out of the CEO role,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2023

Staying ahead: How the best CEOs continually improve performance,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2023

Capturing the value of ‘one firm’,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2023

Actions the best CEOs are taking in 2023,” McKinsey & Company, March 2023

Stepping up: Becoming a high-potential CEO candidate,” McKinsey Quarterly, March 2023

Starting strong: Making your CEO transition a catalyst for renewal,” McKinsey Quarterly, November 2022

Author Talks: What separates the best CEOs from the rest?,” McKinsey & Company, December 2021

The CEO moment: Leadership for a new era,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2020

How do we manage the change journey?,” McKinsey & Company, May 2020

The mindsets and practices of excellent CEOs,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

The forgotten step in leading large-scale change,” McKinsey & Company, September 2019

How to double the odds that your change program will succeed,” McKinsey & Company, August 2019

Getting personal about change,” McKinsey Quarterly, August 2019

A better way to lead large-scale change,” McKinsey & Company, July 2019

Beyond Performance 2.0: A Proven Approach to Leading Large-Scale Change, John Wiley & Sons, July 2019

How to make your team R.O.C.K.,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, May 2018

Successfully transitioning to new leadership roles,” McKinsey & Company, May 2018

Amazon’s Alexa – your next Chief Talent Officer?,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, March 2018

TalentTech: enabling talent in the digital age,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, February 2018

Reorganizing to capture maximum value quickly,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

Focus on the five percent,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, January 2018

Be rational about irrationality,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, January 2018

It really isn’t about 100 days,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, November 2017

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

Attracting and retaining the right talent,” McKinsey & Company, November 2017

High-performing teams: A timeless leadership topic,” McKinsey Quarterly, June 2017

Leading Organizations: Ten Timeless Truths, Bloomsbury Business, June 2017

Increasing the meaning quotient of work,” McKinsey Quarterly, January 2013

Social pressure is a better motivator than money,” HBR Blog Network, September 2012

How to get senior leaders to change,” HBR Blog Network, June 2012

Increase your team’s motivation five-fold,” HBR Blog Network, April 2012

Change your employees’ minds, change your business,” HBR Blog Network, March 2012

Three steps to a high performance culture,” HBR Blog Network, January 2012

Four motivation mistakes leaders make,” HBR Blog Network, October 2011

Four ways to lead a successful transformation,” HBR Blog Network, September 2011

Five questions that should shape any change program,” HBR Blog Network, December 2011

Beyond Performance: How Great Organizations Build Ultimate Competitive Advantage, Wiley, 2011

The irrational side of change management,”McKinsey Quarterly, 2009

The CEO's role in leading transformation,”McKinsey Quarterly, 2007


University of Notre Dame
MBA, international business
BS, mechanical engineering