Some McKinsey articles

Been fuffing around for the past week-and-a-bit, brewing ideas and following various web-trails around those themes. Came across a fairly eclectic list of McKinsey articles which may be relevant to anyone who’s interested in the human side of business-transformation:

  • How businesses are using Web 2.0: a nice not-quite-tech survey from March 2007, looking at the business aspects of people-to-people interactions via internet-style technologies (aka the fancy label of “Web 2.0”)
  • A revolution in interaction: in the year 1997, McKinsey finally make the startling (to them) discovery that people-based interactions actually are relevant to business
  • The next revolution in interactions: by 2005, McKinsey begin to grasp that supporting people-interactions is a good idea
  • Competitive advantage from better interactions: a year later, McKinsey finally reach a startling conclusion that people can’t successfully be treated as if they’re machines – “Tacit interactions are becoming central to economic activity. Making those who undertake them more effective isn’t like tweaking a production line.”
  • The war for talent: in 1997, a somewhat militaristic view of the reality that different people have different skills and different needs [warning: may be back behind the paywall now]
  • The war for talent, part two: four years later, McKinsey again use pretty graphs and long-winded phrases to explain that, yes, it’s still true that good people are hard to find, and even harder to keep
  • Company philosophy: ‘The way we do things around here’: a real classic from Marvin Bower, way back in 1966, with a refreshingly real, human view of people
  • Corporate transformation without a crisis: from 2000 – “The art of leading deep corporate change can be learned. The trick is to help each member of the company discover a new reality.”
  • Building the civilized workplace: somewhen this year, McKinsey discover that “Nasty people don’t just make others feel miserable; they create economic problems for their companies.” – another idea that appears to be, uh, new to them, if startlingly obvious to just about everyone else…
  • The CEO’s role in leading transformation: again in 2007, McKinsey finally get round to documenting the bleak fact that business-transformation efforts go nowhere unless the executive commits to them

And finally, another interesting-looking article that unfortunately is accessible only from behind McKinsey’s excessively-priced paywall:

Initiatives to address ‘soft’ management issues – such as talent, culture, and values – may have a direct financial payoff, McKinsey research shows.
An analysis of hundreds of global companies has identified a strong correlation between organizational and financial performance.
There seems to be an especially strong link between the bottom line and efforts to invest in skills, improve reporting relationships, increase the flow of ideas, and measure performance and risk.

(We’ve been saying all this for years, of course, but no-one wanted to believe us… But p’raps they might do so now ‘cos the Great God McKinsey says it’s true? 🙁 🙂 )

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