Super Cities №17 — Corporate Transformation, McKinsey-style

Brendan Hart

One Big Thing

McKinsey India now focusing on 3–4 big themes

At a time when consulting firms are fighting to stay above rapidly changing market conditions, stiff competition and employee turnover, McKinsey India’s new managing director Gautam Kumra said the white-shoe consulting firm’s India revenues grew in double digits.

Let’s state it plainly: legacy organizations that refuse to innovate will die.

For some, it will happen over time. For others, it will happen quickly. The data is compelling — according to a report from Innosight, 50% of the S&P will be replaced over the next ten years.

When I think about legacy organizations, I think about consulting firms and their overly formal Ivy Leaguers, powerpoints, and corporate speak.

McKinsey is this most prestigious of this group.

But McKinsey is doing what many of its legacy peer organizations are not; it is transforming how it operates, the products it offers, and the process it uses.

One interviewer recently asked Dominic Barton, McKinsey CEO, about the changing nature of his work:

Can you talk a little bit about what you were hearing specifically from CEOs that made you think you needed to go back and challenge the orthodoxies of McKenzie?

Yes, there were a number of things. I think one was, why does every issue or opportunity or problem take a project manager plus two associates three months to solve it? Surely, there are other ways, more efficient ways. Surely, sometimes we may just want data. If you guys had collected information on how hospitals work, and you had a large number of them, and looked at how often an operating table was used and so forth, and collected data like that, we may just want the data, not the people, if you will.

So there was a notion of be more flexible. What we really value is x versus y. Sometimes, you go into far too much analytical detail. We only need to go 60% of the way to be able to get it.

We value the judgment, not so much the analytics. And this obviously varied by situation and type of client. But there were a lot of questions on– or suggestions on– you could be a lot more flexible in terms of how you work with us– the type of people, the amount of time, and so forth.

The same logic applies to hospitals, healthcare systems, universities, manufacturers, and government agencies.

The wave of disruption is coming; the only question is what organizations will ride it and what organizations will drown from it.

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