Leadership & Organization Blog
Back to Our Insights

Leadership & Organization Blog

Short and snackable insights on talent management, organizational design, agility, culture, change management, HR analytics and technology, leadership, and merger management from our experienced partners at the forefront of today’s trends.

Recent Posts

Browse by:

7 crucial steps to drive effective learning in your organization

Mention “learning” and “measurement” in the same sentence and it may evoke flashbacks to sharpening your No. 2 pencils in preparation for standardized tests. The good news is that measurement in learning is no longer a distinction between correct and incorrect answers, but rather a process designed to measure and improve engagement and effectiveness. Today, learning measurement involves collecting data from multiple sources—online course activity, surveys, human ...

Connect with our Organization Practice

Master these mindsets to enchant customers

Delighted customers. They drive powerful results and are integral to growth for more and more companies. But the bar to meet—and even better, exceed—customer expectations continues to rise along with the potential for increased speed and personalized service, provided by advances in technology as well as rapid sociological and economic shifts. Additionally, social media is an added challenge, as any displeasure appears online instantly—and that spells reputational damage that is hard to walk ...

Avoid leadership blind spots by asking the crowd

It is no secret that leaders have blind spots. Like the blind men trying to understand the elephant, leadership teams frequently have a limited and biased view of what happens in an organization. Despite growing evidence and appreciation for the importance of good decision-making, all too often leadership base multimillion-dollar decisions on what they see, rather than a more complete and accurate picture. This is particularly prevalent when talking about the traditional ‘soft stuff’ ...

3 reasons why organizations make bad hiring decisions

A leading fast food chain had a problem. Customers were unhappy with the service they were receiving from frontline employees; service was slow and painful. Customers began taking their money elsewhere, resulting in declining revenue. Fortunately, there is a happy ending to this story. McKinsey’s People Analytics team quickly identified that the crux of the problem laid with its people. By leveraging insights into what characteristics make for good employees, they were able to revamp their ...

Don’t stress out: how to build long-term resilience

Imagine that you’re about to present to the executive board on the progress of a large-scale transformation. Although you’ve worked for many long nights to develop a compelling presentation, your stomach starts churning as soon as you enter the boardroom. Once in front of the board, you accidentally tip over a glass of water. Then, a few minutes in, the CFO asks you how much money this transformation will save the company. You have already had a few difficult conversations with this ...

Matching the right talent to the right roles

A healthcare organization going through a massive transformation had to assess and consider more than 2,000 high-potential employees for more than 100 critical positions. By identifying the 45 most critical value-adding roles and defining markers for success supported by people analytics, it was able to build a unique competency model tailored toward its values. For large enterprises that must match many employees to new roles, properly realigning talent to available and high-value positions ...

Hiring from unlikely sources as the talent pool shrinks

In today’s tight labor market, organizations are vying to fill open positions as the U.S. unemployment rate is at record lows. Increasingly, companies are turning to unexpected sources, such as ex-convicts, many never considered before for hard-to-fill jobs. Those with a prior criminal record, for instance, are being hired by some companies, such as Midwest manufacturers and 175-plus companies that have signed up at jobsforfelonshub.com. Others are lessening drug history requirements or ...

A small nudge to create stunning team results

Could you boost your team’s creative thinking just by passing around warm mugs of tea? Responsible use of “nudges” – subtle interventions that guide choices without restricting them – can be the key to opening up creativity, innovation and great performance levels to individuals and ultimately organizations. We set up these ideas in two recent blog posts (here and here) about the technique of nudging to influence behavior and propel action. To demonstrate how subtle ...

Understanding the role of analytics in modern baseball

Baseball, more than any other sport, is a game of tradition and one that is notoriously resistant to change. Yet in the past 15 years, advanced analytics have assumed a central role in every front office. As the Houston Astros complete another 100-win season, the team’s General Manager, Jeff Luhnow – a former McKinsey consultant and the man behind the 2017 World Series Champions – explains how analytics is dramatically changing America’s pastime. Baseball, of course, is a ...

New leaders: Tap your team ASAP

Transitioning to the C-suite is proving more challenging than ever as new leaders find they have very little time to adapt to today’s constantly changing business environment. Here’s one central piece of advice from hundreds of executives we have surveyed: Select your team of direct reports as quickly as possible. What’s clear is that success is driven by the ability to get the right team in place ASAP given the circumstances. Seventy-five percent of our survey respondents ...

When legal and compliance meet agile

A financial services client recently worried that as its teams get nimbler, they may neglect key legal and risk issues. A pharmaceutical company fretted that in enhancing patient and physician support, its teams were moving too fast for its legal and compliance experts. How should agile organizations, particularly in heavily regulated industries such as banking and healthcare, address legal, risk and compliance issues? And how can the legal department adopt a more agile approach, since the ...

Collide with your team for the best results

Collisions spark creativity, just as particles colliding with sufficient energy – a destructive act itself – sparks discovery of new and exotic particles that physicists have never observed before. Team members must learn to collide, to work together differently. Collision of ideas and perspectives fosters the emergence of unconventional collaboration and new solutions to tough challenges. Paradoxically, by bringing energy and co-creativity, creative collision can help destruct silos ...

Sleep more, work better: tips on getting more zzz’s

Sleep deprivation is a problem of epic proportions among professionals globally, but it is often neglected by organizations. I know the impact. I struggled with it for years when work dominated my life, undermining my sleeping patterns and, ultimately, my performance. During a decade-long period when sleep issues impacted every sphere of my life, I identified several potentially effective treatments for busy executives. Ultimately, the remedies did not lie solely in specialized assistance or ...

What heavy industry can teach you about agility

Organizational simplicity. Fast execution. Clear responsibilities. Fluid teams. Agile planning practices. Companies in every field are rushing to make these organizational changes to compete in today’s marketplace. But one industry that has been lagging more than most – heavy industry – is using innovative ideas borrowed from the tech sector to bolster performance and respond to increased environmental rules and the need for further cost savings. What one global chemical ...

Houston Astros: winning the World Series with advanced analytics

Professional sports teams traditionally have used their time-earned instincts to make critical player and on-the-field decisions. Increasingly, they’re relying on advanced data analytics to help. Consider the Houston Astros’ data-driven process that, in just four years, helped take the team from last place to winning Major League Baseball’s 2017 World Series. This practice required getting the organization to embrace data and analytics, translate it into ideas that matter and ...