Episodes
Published 01/13/22
Two experts discuss programmatic M&A, an approach to mergers and acquisitions that over many years has proven to be the most successful at delivering results—provided you execute it right. Robert Uhlaner, who co-led McKinsey’s Strategy and Corporate Finance practice until his retirement this summer, and Liz Wol, the global leader of McKinsey’s work on M&A capability building and programmatic M&A strategy, explain what programmatic M&A is, why it works, and how to do it.
Published 01/13/22
While environmental, social, and governance (ESG) issues increasingly dominate the executive agenda, not all three elements get equal attention. This episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast—one of three exploring the various challenges around ESG—delves into the element that is most often overlooked, but has been put into a sharp focus by the pandemic: the “S.” Senior partner Dame Vivian Hunt and Bruce Simpson, CEO of the Stephen A. Schwarzman Foundation and senior advisor to McKinsey...
Published 12/16/21
“Stakeholder capitalism” is the buzzword du jour for business practices that strive to achieve more than profits and a high stock price. But what does benefitting all stakeholders really entail? What trade-offs do companies have to make? And how do business leaders put the aspiration into practice? In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast—the second in a series on meeting the challenges of environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) demands—two experts lay out the...
Published 12/09/21
Purpose and environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues represent critical challenges for both boards and executive teams. They have become particularly salient since the COVID-19 pandemic, which forced corporations to scrutinize their responsibilities and role in society. In this episode—one of three exploring the various challenges around ESG—two experts who have long studied the connection between purpose and ESG explain how to align these commitments and embed them in...
Published 12/02/21
Frank D’Amelio has been the CFO of Pfizer for 14 years, but the past 18 months have been like unlike any other. In this episode, he relates how the company addressed the most urgent and massive challenge in its history: developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Working in partnership with BioNTech, Pfizer accomplished that feat in record-breaking time, helping to alleviate the biggest global health crisis in living memory. D’Amelio spoke with Rodney Zemmel, global co leader of McKinsey Digital,...
Published 12/01/21
When Kevin Hostetler took the reins of Rotork, a UK-based company that makes industrial flow-control equipment, he immediately launched a multi-year transformation to help the company benefit from trends transforming the industries it serves. In this episode he talks with Anna Koivuniemi, co-leader of McKinsey’s work on growth strategy, about the progress Rotork has made and the challenges of changing the culture. This is an edited transcript of the discussion.
Published 11/11/21
As organizations increasingly grapple with digital transformations, large technology investments, and shifts to the cloud, these issues regularly appear on board agendas. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, Steve Van Kuiken, global leader of the McKinsey Technology practice and co-author of a recent article about ways boards can shape the cloud agenda, speaks with two experienced directors about the implications of such a move. David Court sits on the boards of pension...
Published 10/28/21
As organizations increasingly grapple with digital transformations, large technology investments, and shifts to the cloud, these issues regularly appear on board agendas. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, Steve Van Kuiken, global leader of the McKinsey Technology practice and co-author of a recent article about ways boards can shape the cloud agenda, speaks with two experienced directors about the implications of such a move. David Court sits on the boards of pension...
Published 10/28/21
In this episode, we explore how digital analytics is revolutionizing strategy. Nicholas Northcote, who for years led McKinsey’s research on strategic decision making, is joined by Sagie Davidovich, the co-founder and CEO of SparkBeyond, a McKinsey partner company that operates an AI-driven analytics platform, and Sasha Vesuvala, who leads much of McKinsey’s work in applying advanced analytics to strategy and growth-related questions. Our conversation is based on the recent McKinsey.com...
Published 10/20/21
In this episode, we explore how digital analytics is revolutionizing strategy. Nicholas Northcote, who for years led McKinsey’s research on strategic decision making, is joined by Sagie Davidovich, the co-founder and CEO of SparkBeyond, a McKinsey partner company that operates an AI-driven analytics platform, and Sasha Vesuvala, who leads much of McKinsey’s work in applying advanced analytics to strategy and growth-related questions. Our conversation is based on the recent McKinsey.com...
Published 10/20/21
Companies looking to bring breakthrough innovations to life need the right organizational structures and incentives in place. In his book Loonshots: How to Nurture the Crazy Ideas That Win Wars, Cure Diseases, and Transform Industries (St. Martin’s Press, March 2019), Safi Bahcall, a former biotech CEO who now helps organizations innovate, explains what that requires. In this episode, he talks with Erik Roth, leader of McKinsey’s innovation work globally, about why some great ideas changed...
Published 10/14/21
What responsibilities does business have to society and what benefits do companies deliver to stakeholders and society at large? In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, two authors of a new McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) report share recent research on how the value companies bring to economies, societies, and households has changed over the past quarter century. Michael Birshan is the global co-leader of the Strategy and Corporate Finance practice while Clarisse...
Published 10/07/21
In business, breaking up is hard to do. While divesting businesses in a timely manner is an essential aspect of effective portfolio management, companies tend to struggle with separation decisions. In this episode, three experts discuss how to determine which businesses to strengthen and which to divest and explain how to make your M&A strategy nimble enough to keep up with increasingly dynamic markets. Obi Ezekoye, a leader in the Strategy and Corporate Finance practice, and Anthony Luu,...
Published 09/09/21
As companies prepare for the recovery from the pandemic, many leaders hope innovation will set them up for the next phase of growth. In this episode, Laura Furstenthal, whose client work focuses on healthcare organizations and innovation transformations, and Erik Roth, leader of McKinsey’s global innovation practice, explain how to establish a sustainable innovation process.
Published 08/24/21
The combination of Dow Chemical and DuPont in 2017, followed by a split into three separate companies, was a huge and highly complex transaction that transformed the chemical industry landscape. In this episode, Howard Ungerleider, president and CFO of Dow, explains how the management teams of the two global giants approached the merger that produced three market-leading players. He spoke with John Warner, who co-leads McKinsey’s Global Energy and Materials practice, during a virtual event we...
Published 08/20/21
Frank D’Amelio has been the CFO of Pfizer for 14 years, but the past 18 months have been like unlike any other. In this episode, he relates how the company addressed the most urgent and massive challenge in its history: developing a vaccine for COVID-19. Working in partnership with BioNTech, Pfizer accomplished that feat in record-breaking time, helping to alleviate the biggest global health crisis in living memory. D’Amelio spoke with Rodney Zemmel, global co leader of McKinsey Digital,...
Published 08/05/21
Board members are increasingly challenging management to ensure the organization’s talent pipeline can meet the needs of the strategy. In this episode, we continue our series on board perspectives by looking at the board’s role in helping organizations develop the right talent and culture. To explore this topic, Frithjof Lund, the global leader of McKinsey’s board services work, speaks with two experts on governance and organization. Hugo Bague, a former group executive at Rio Tinto, is a...
Published 07/29/21
The COVID-19 pandemic forced the National Basketball Association (NBA) to develop new ways to engage with fans. Amy Brooks is the NBA’s first chief innovation officer. She oversees innovation initiatives across four leagues—the NBA, the Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA), the NBA G League (minor league), and the esports NBA 2K League—and has used the difficulties of the pandemic as an opportunity to experiment. In this episode of our Committed Innovator series, she shares with...
Published 07/19/21
As chairman and CEO of State Street Corporation, Ron O’Hanley oversees one of the largest and oldest American financial institutions, with $38 trillion in assets under custody and administration, and $3.5 trillion in assets under management. In this episode he tells Celia Huber, who leads McKinsey’s board services work in North America, why State Street’s focus on environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) issues has grown dramatically, what gaps in Corporate America’s resilience...
Published 06/24/21
For Michelle Gass, the CEO of US retail chain Kohl’s, the pandemic delivered an education in the importance of decisive and inclusive leadership. But preparing the company for growth in the recovery, starting with a major partnership with cosmetics brand Sephora, is where her true passion lies. In this episode, she speaks with Sajal Kohli, leader of McKinsey’s global retail and consumer packaged goods work, about using the crisis to reposition the retailer for a new era.
Published 06/21/21
As the global leader of GS Accelerate, Goldman Sachs’ internal incubator that identifies, invests in, and develops new businesses, Tanya Baker has been instrumental in helping the financial services giant establish sustainable innovation capabilities. In this episode of the Committed Innovator series, Baker shares her experience evolving the program and fostering entrepreneurial ventures within the firm. Tanya spoke with Erik Roth, who leads McKinsey’s innovation work globally.
Published 06/15/21
Airbnb navigated a major crisis in 2020–the online marketplace went from having its long-term survival questioned to staging a successful IPO several months later. In this episode, James Manyika, a senior partner based in San Francisco who co chairs the McKinsey Global Institute, talks with Brian Chesky about his experience leading Airnbnb through the crisis. Their discussion is based upon an article James recently co-authored titled, ‘It's time to build 21st century companies: Learning to...
Published 06/08/21
The process of joining a public company’s board tends to be complex and confusing, especially for first-time directors. In this episode of the Inside the Strategy Room podcast, Celia Huber, who leads McKinsey’s board services work in North America, speaks with experts on board membership and governance from the executive search and leadership consulting firm Spencer Stuart, based in Chicago, and the independent investment management company Invesco, headquartered in Atlanta. Julie Daum, head...
Published 06/03/21
Crises tend to give rise to remarkable innovations and insights. Today is just such a moment, raising challenges to many long-held beliefs about how companies should operate. In this episode, McKinsey’s global leader Kevin Sneader talks with senior partner Celia Huber about the eight trends that will shape the post-COVID-19 economy, which he writes about in his recent article, ‘The next normal arrives: Trends that will define 2021—and beyond’. Their conversation took place during a recent...
Published 05/20/21