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McKinsey : Recovery from the crisis

Perhaps unsurprisingly (given all that mental horsepower left idling!) the guys at McKinsey have emerged throughout the crisis as a notable ‘thought leader’ when compared to the other big name consultants. Seriously though, they’ve upped their game since last year.

This piece from their COVID blog offers a pretty decent summary of those key factors that will enable some businesses to push through the setbacks and emerge from the crisis as new market leaders.

One particular nuance within the 6 recommended ‘building blocks’ not highlighted, is the interplay between ‘ SMALL AGILE TEAMS’ - ‘RAPID DECISION MAKING’ and ‘FLATTER, FASTER ORGANISATIONS’.

Quite naturally the ‘rapid decision making’ is the product of the empowered and capable ‘small agile teams’ and the ‘faster organisation’ is the result of the new cadence that creates. That leaves ‘flatter organisations’ as the final point of the list and there lies the key to it all.

In any organisational shift of the type outlined, the key constraint on success is often not the taking of control by the small teams but the relinquishing of the traditional control approach required from senior management and leadership. A new flatter structure takes reporting lines and numbers over the threshold of what can be ‘controlled’ in a traditional way, which enforces and re-enforces the shift to the new ways of working throughout a transition period.

Even where all six of the recommended shifts in approach are adopted, where they are overlaid on a legacy management structure, their effectiveness and the results will always be compromised.

It’s this relinquishing of traditional control that most often chokes transitions of this kind, as that alone requires the greatest ‘leap of faith’ by a business’ senior leadership. Those who are ticking boxes simply can’t and won’t make that leap, as it’s reserved for those who know they’ll truly get the fruit from the new approach.

Check out the full blog post here :

or click on the pic above.



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