McKinsey Quarterly Five Fifty

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Five Fifty: Discharged


Rethinking how we travel through our cities and towns means tracking the emissions we create as we do. The good news is that traveling may soon get cleaner.
The silo syndrome

The silo syndrome

Working in silos can cause tunnel vision, tribalism, and weak corporate performance. What’s a silo-buster to do?

Five Fifty: Industrial tech

Industrial tech

What will happen when industrial companies fully apply digital, analytics, and IoT technologies to their businesses? An upsurge in innovation—and value.
Five Fifty: The industry effect

The industry effect

What’s the single biggest determinant of how your company performs relative to others? The industry you compete in.

Agility at the top

Agility at the top

Want a more agile company? Become a more agile leader.
Five Fifty: Year end 2018

Year end 2018

It's time for your annual review. Here's what the Five Fifty did to support your success. 

Leadership at scale

Leadership at scale

Want a healthier, better-performing organization? Scale up your leadership team.

Getting your story straight

Getting your story straight

Emotional stories help innovative ideas attract attention—and get funded. Here are the narratives that help good ideas break through.
Five Fifty: Fear/fear not

Fear/fear not

The robots are coming for our jobs—that’s the widely held view. But the likely outcome is a bit more nuanced.

Emerging outperformers

Does the recent turbulence in emerging markets mean global growth will slow? New research suggests otherwise.
Digital's hard truths

Digital’s hard truths

Want to better understand what digital is doing to your business? Look to the underlying economics. 

Five Fifty: Flooring it

Flooring it

Are you a market leader? It may be time to start doing things faster. 
Data talent

The data-talent link

A compelling mash-up of analytics, data, and talent management is showing companies where HR misses the mark.

Genius after the fact

Genius after the fact

Did you know it all along? Then you may be a victim of hindsight bias. 
Creativity drives business innovation and growth

Creating creatives

Creativity drives business innovation and growth. But is it reserved for the lucky few?

Five Fifty: The talented company

The talented company

Want to get the most from your talented employees? Start with a more energetic approach to matching people and opportunities.
Five Fifty: Use the force

Use the force

How does AI work best? As a force multiplier for data analytics.

Five Fifty: Unprotected


Your air conditioning system. Your factory widgets. Even the fish tank thermometer. Every IoT sensor is a potential target for hackers.
Five Fifty: The data disconnect

The data disconnect

Companies may have more data than ever, but not everyone is making money with it.

Funding follies

You’ve got yourself a high-performing business. So why is it starving for resources?
Five Fifty: The coming boom

The coming boom

The global economy could be on the cusp of a productivity boom—and big opportunities for companies.

Five Fifty: Lights out

Lights out

Are your factories and warehouses operating in the dark? They might be soon.
Real-world AI

Real-world AI

Unsure where or how AI applies to your company? McKinsey Global Institute found over 400 real-life examples where AI can improve longstanding business challenges.

Five Fifty: Insecurity


Trojan-infested botnets. Distributed denials of service. Credential stuffing attacks. How secure is your company in an age of cybercrime?
Five Fifty: Shake it up

Shake it up

Want to avoid the complacency that so often follows success? Take lessons from Pixar’s high-morale collection of subversives and malcontents.

Five Fifty: Digital lipstick

Digital lipstick

As digital technology erodes profit and revenue growth, why aren’t companies responding with bold strategies?
Five Fifty: Try a little weird

Try a little weird

Tony Hsieh, the unconventional CEO of Zappos, is not afraid to create “a little weirdness.” In fact it’s a core value.

Five Fifty: Platform plays

Platform plays

Platforms are the favored operating model of seven of the world’s 12 largest corporations. So why have so few old-line companies followed suit?
Five Fifty: The 20,000-person start-up

The 20,000-person start-up

How do you get incumbent companies to perform like a start-up? By rethinking organizational culture.

Confronting uncertainty

Confronting uncertainty

Good strategists manage uncertainty by playing the probabilities. But most of us use wishful thinking instead.
Five Fifty: The lifecycle of a CEO

The lifecycle of a CEO

A CEO’s job starts out tough—and then gets tougher. Here’s advice for the early, middle, and late stages of a CEO’s tenure.

Success with a capital Zzzz

Success with a capital Zzzz

If sleep is essential to effective leadership, why do so many executives fail to sleep enough?
Five Fifty: Jerk factors

Jerk factors

Maybe you don’t act like a jerk in the workplace, but you might turn into one when exposed to the following triggers.

Midlife of Design

Midlife of design

Design thinking is nearing its 50th birthday, but most companies have yet to realize its business value.
The T-word

The T-word

Is your corporate transformation doomed to fail? Here’s advice for beating the long odds of success.

Decoding Leadership

Decoding leadership

What skills and behaviors make a good leader effective? Here are the traits that matter.
Five Fifty: Synthetic biology

Synthetic biology

What do you get when you combine genetic engineering with big data analytics? A new technology for disruptive innovation.


Savoring the surprise

Monetize the data. That’s the mantra for companies looking to grow through data and analytics. But how do you turn insights into action?
Five Fifty: The recipe for success

The recipe for success

What combination of management practices leads to the healthiest, highest-performing companies? We found four recipes for success.

Activists at the gate

Activists at the gate

How do you know a corporate board is effective? Look to the number of activist investors it attracts.
Strategy vs execution

Strategy vs execution

What matters more—great strategy or great execution? New research finds that strategy wins, especially disruptive strategies that respond powerfully to digitization.

Five Fifty: Ultralarge


Space stations, airports, power projects, and dams. These ultra-large projects suffer from big overruns in schedule and cost. Here’s how to fix them.
Five Fifty: This year's model

This year’s model

Established business models are under attack. How can companies innovate new ones?

Five Fifty: You better shop around

You better shop around

Used to be loyalty was everything. Now consumers would rather shop than stay faithful.
Five Fifty: Rudeness on the rise

Rudeness on the rise

As more managers and employees behave badly at work, the cost of incivility is steep. To remedy the rudeness, companies should start with the boss.

Five Fifty: Gut instincts

Gut instincts

Should corporate executives trust their intuition? Sometimes yes, but other times no, says Nobel Prize winner Daniel Kahnemann. Four tests can help you decide.
Five Fifty: The organic path to growth

The organic path to growth

What’s the best way to grow a company? Many executives gravitate toward mergers and acquisitions. But organic growth, done right, delivers long-term value, too.

Better decision

Better decisions

The path to better decision making means untangling the crossed web of accountability—one decision at a time.
Gender equality

The front lines of gender inequality

More than 75 percent of CEOs have made gender diversity a top priority at their companies. So why do men still get paid more, and promoted more often, than women?

Five Fifty: Becoming CEo

Becoming CEO

You’ve just become the chief executive officer of a big company. Now what do you do?

Going long

Going long

Are executives too focused on the short term? If so, does it really matter?

Digital Effect

The digital effect

What does the digitization of industries mean for future revenue and profit growth? McKinsey put that question to 2,135 global executives in a survey late last year. The findings are bad news for average companies.
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Evaluate this

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