Learning From The Reshaping of McKinsey
Most people agree that the COVID-19 pandemic will have a lasting impact on our economic structure and may rival the Great Depression. What that next chapter will be is hard to determine at the moment but I believe we can review much of our recent past to help prepare us for the future. I think McKinsey & Company because of their wealth of quality content can provide an excellent example for many of us.
Disclaimer: I have no experience at McKinsey and base all of what I have written from an outside perspective.
Chris Bradley’s explanation of The Power Curve and your appraisal of where your company is positioned is a good starting point. The playlist of this video is an excellent compilation for added insight.
After watching, I think it would be somewhat obvious due to present economic conditions that a large portion of the curve may disappear, no matter what industry you are in. Surprisingly, don’t sell off the bottom section to quickly as in most recessions, it is the middle that is lost. People reduce risk by gravitating either towards higher quality, well-known brands or by choosing less-expensive options that allow for less outlay of cash.
After positioning yourself, think of the ways you are approaching business. For example, I can’t imagine any set of books that have shaped my business practices, mostly consulting, then the McKinsey collection: McKinsey Mind, Mckinsey Way, and McKinsey Engagement. Fundamentally, it addressed the problem-solution mindset:
This model has served McKinsey and most of us well for decades. It is the fundamental idea that we have used to build businesses and leadership principles. It has also given substance to the idea of spreading Peanut-Butter (listen to the playlist above) to minimize decision-making risks in most business portfolios. However, McKinsey for one, have addressed this mindset and revamped their strategy to a new digital framework as depicted below
As I have written before, the new type of mindset that I think resides is a result of the idea that the “complicated” domain in Snowden’s Cynefin Framework is shrinking as the Simple and Complex domains get larger for most.
Read more on those thoughts in the article: Why I Quit Using PDCA
The immediate question for most is simply, have you made a strategic choice to move to a digital framework? Have you positioned your company to handle the complexities of the future as McKinsey did pre-COVID-19? An overview of the McKinsey Digital Strategy Framework explained in the above video.
In summary, I don’t think the Problem-Solution space is disappearing. It will always be there, just less of it. What is changing is the acceleration of adaption and maybe equally important the idea of emergence and disruption or as Mckinsey promotes a big change. I wrote about this in a past LinkedIn article: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/marketing-practice-emergence-joe-dager/
- Bulletproof Problem Solving: The One Skill That Changes Everything https://amzn.to/2xbJsQc
- Strategy Beyond the Hockey Stick: People, Probabilities, and Big Moves to Beat the Odds https://amzn.to/2YdUvDB
- Cracked it!: How to solve big problems and sell solutions like top strategy consultants https://amzn.to/2SbNxvg