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Short insights on execution excellence, leadership development, and capability building.

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Are you a “team of learners,” or do you learn as a team? And why it matters

Back in 1990, Peter M. Senge wrote, “Team learning is vital because teams, not individuals, are the fundamental learning unit in modern organizations. This is where ‘the rubber meets the road’; unless teams can learn, the organization cannot learn.” Teams continue to be one of the main vehicles for delivering performance and innovation outcomes in businesses. It comes as no surprise that a recent Harvard Business Review study reports, ‘‘The time spent by ...

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Thriving after COVID-19: What skills do employees need?

We know that COVID-19 changed the way we live and work overnight. What we don’t know is how the subsequent health and economic crises will evolve, and what mindset changes will arise. One thing is certain, however: to emerge successfully from the current crisis, organizations will need to nurture their employees’ digital, cognitive, social and emotional, and adaptability and resilience skill sets. Scale and urgency of change needed Even before COVID-19, revolutions in technologies, ...

Buckle up! It’s time to future-proof your skill set for the decade ahead

If there was ever a time to discard your comfort zone and embrace adaptability, it’s now. Whatever your position and industry, chances are the “critical skills” required for your role have shifted in the past few years, and will continue to do so. Working remotely and serving customers in new and digitally enhanced ways are just the beginning: the next 10 years will see fundamental changes to our working world, and employees will need to acquire new skills to remain successful. ...

Designing learning journeys that deliver business value

Imagine you work for a company that has a busy season—the annual crunch time for achieving results. Everyone works at full stretch for six weeks, and then there’s a lull before the next cycle gets under way. If you’re designing a learning program, when should you schedule it? Most designers would probably say after the rush, when people can spare time out of their everyday routine. But is that the right answer? We don’t think so. With this timing, the next busy season could be eight or nine ...

People will resist change: Here’s how to approach it

Leaders who have lived through a major transformation will be familiar with the following scene. You introduce a change initiative to your team members, but before you even finish your presentation, they shut it down, saying it may be a good idea elsewhere—but not here. In our experience, we find that CAVE (consistently against virtually everything) people exist in all organizations. Sometimes there are only a few individuals resisting, and sometimes they make up the majority of the ...

How tackling the hard stuff can break down resistance to change

Astro Teller, captain of moonshots at Google X, shares an allegory of a company that needed to teach a monkey to recite Shakespeare while on a pedestal. Teller poses the question, “Where would you begin?” In this allegory, most people would opt for first erecting the pedestal. After all, that is objectively easier than “shooting for the moon,” so to speak, of teaching a monkey to recite the “Storm on the Heath” monologue from King Lear. While we don’t ...

Want better results from change programs? Focus on the right measures of success

A recent survey of global executives asked participants what the most influential factors were that attributed to an unsuccessful implementation. Many respondents said leadership decreased over time and that the impact wasn’t sufficiently tracked. One company recently implemented a new enterprise resource planning (ERP) system—a massive under- taking for any organization. A substantial amount of resources had been dedicated to the project to help reach the company’s goals of ...

Putting sales organizations on the path to a successful sales transformation

Most sales organizations have yet to crack the code on how to launch a successful transformation. Too many sales leaders still make quick decisions based on feelings rather than hard evidence. And high attrition rates present challenges when individuals don’t pass on their knowledge of how things should work. The good news is that there is a science-based approach that can increase the odds of a successful transformation by three to four times. A recent McKinsey article, “Meet the ...