This is a profile image of Christopher Handscomb

Christopher Handscomb


Christopher Handscomb


Leads our work globally on organisation for players in the energy industry, and supports companies across sectors on enterprise-wide agile transformations.

Christopher leads McKinsey's work on organisation in the energy sector across the globe. He has a broad perspective on organisational challenges in the industry, having helped more than 25 energy companies, including international and national oil companies, utilities, and service providers. Beyond energy, Christopher also leads our work on enterprise-wide agile transformations across industries.

The current focus of Christopher's work is how energy companies can design and implement more agile organisations: reduce complexity in their organisational structures; redesign standards and processes so that they are efficient and fit for purpose; and ensure that their people have the capabilities and mind-sets to drive performance.  Based on this, Christopher advises clients on operating model design, process simplification, and successful implementation of programmes to transform performance and health.

Christopher's recent work includes the following:

  • advising an unconventional player how to transform ways of working across their organisation to fully implement an agile operating model
  • supporting a national oil company in transforming its organisation to enable international growth
  • leading a team to design a new operating model for a large independent oil company
  • helping an international oil company model labour supply-and-demand dynamics in a core basin and developing a tailored employee-value proposition

Christopher joined McKinsey in 2008, having completed a masters and doctorate in chemical engineering at the University of Cambridge. He has also worked in our Houston office.

Published work

Five features of operational excellence in oil and gas organizations,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

The productivity prize in oil and gas: Lessons from top performers,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

Energy organizations in transition,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

New energy businesses: The independence versus integration dilemma,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

Talent squeeze: Planning for the energy sector’s talent transition,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

The importance of cultural integration in M&A: The path to success,” McKinsey & Company, February 2024

The State of Energy Organizations 2024,” McKinsey & Company, January 2024

How people and organizational moves can power up energy firms in 2023,” McKinsey & Company, December 2022

In pursuit of value—not work,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Vaca Muerta: An opportunity to respond to the global energy crisis,” McKinsey & Company, October 2022

Five agility myths in energy and heavy industries,” McKinsey & Company, February 2022

bp: An agility pioneer in the energy industry,” McKinsey & Company, November 2021

Unleashing the power of communication in agile transformations,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, August 2021

The impact of agility: How to shape your organization to compete,” McKinsey & Company, May 2021

How the British Field Army headquarters shifted to agile ways of working,” McKinsey & Company, November 2020

Agile resilience in the UK: Lessons from COVID-19 for the ‘next normal’,” McKinsey & Company, October 2020

Lean management or agile? The right answer may be both,” McKinsey & Company, July 2020

An operating model for the next normal: Lessons from agile organizations in the crisis,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Agility to action: Operationalizing a value-driven agile blueprint,” McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Brexit: The bigger picture—Embracing agility in a volatile world,” McKinsey & Company, December 2019

Building agility in the British Army’s headquarters,” McKinsey & Company, October 2019

The journey to an agile organization,” McKinsey & Company, May 2019

Giants can dance: Agile organizations in asset-heavy industries,” McKinsey & Company, May 2019

How to select and develop individuals for successful agile teams: A practical guide,” McKinsey & Company, December 2018

How to mess up your agile transformation in seven easy (mis)steps,” McKinsey & Company, April 2018

Activate agility: the five avenues to success,” McKinsey & Company, February 2018

The five trademarks of agile organizations,” McKinsey & Company, January 2018

What it takes to be successful: Three hallmarks of a healthy oil and gas organization,” McKinsey & Company, September 2017

Rethinking the oil and gas organization,” McKinsey Quarterly, December 2016

The oil and gas organization of the future,” McKinsey & Company, September 2016

Capturing value from M&A in upstream oil & gas,” McKinsey & Company, July 2016

Unlocking the benefits of a tailored upstream operating model,” McKinsey & Company, October 2015

Adopting a through-cycle approach to talent management,” McKinsey & Company, July 2015

Organizing to enable the shift from volume to value,” McKinsey & Company, October 2013


University of Cambridge, King's College
PhD, chemical engineering

University of Cambridge, King's College
MEng, chemical engineering

University of Cambridge, King's College
BA, chemical engineering