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  • Writer's pictureHassan Younes

How McKinsey Cuts Through Complacency in the Workplace

McKinsey is one of the most successful corporations today. They have a wide reach and an impressive international stature, which they wouldn’t achieve if they were complacent.

Founded in 1926, McKinsey is one of the world’s most revered consultancy management companies today.

They’re known to advise powerful government agencies, including the White House, and world-leading corporations. In fact, they’re possibly the most influential private institution on the face of the planet.

Their expertise lies in helping businesses find lasting solutions to problems that these businesses couldn’t solve with internal resources. And being an innovative company, they offer contemporary services that keep them at the top in the corporate world.

Given its stature and outstanding success, it’s not surprising that a lot of people strive to get into McKinsey each year. They’re one of the top companies that fresh graduates from Ivy League institutions aim for.

But do you know why McKinsey remains at the top in the corporate world?

They are never complacent.

McKinsey kicks complacency to the curb in every aspect of their business. This includes recruitment, operations, or relationships with clients. They don't allow room for complacency which is why they’re efficient, respected and always at the zenith.

In this article, you’ll discover the five ways that McKinsey cuts through complacency in the workplace.

The 5 Ways

Way #1 - Empowering and Retaining Exceptional Talents

McKinsey takes the cake when it comes to companies that have a high opinion of themselves. After all, they’re a body of elite individuals with intellectual ability, business acumen, and an immense drive for success.

They were able to create this high-achieving community by doing two things:

  1. Recruiting exceptional talents

  2. Creating an empowering work environment.

Also, McKinsey doesn't only attract and hire exceptional people. Its mission is to attract, develop, excite, and retain exceptional people. So, the company puts a lot of effort into creating an empowering environment for them and stimulating the growth of their people.

This ongoing mission kicks complacency out of the firm. It plays a major role in their far-reaching success and stature.

To banish complacency from your own business, follow in the footsteps of McKinsey. Don’t just hire exceptional people. Create an environment where they can thrive and become better versions of themselves. Keeping them hungry for success guarantees your own success, too.

Way #2 - Having A Learning Culture

Perhaps what attracts McKinsey to prospects the most is their learning culture. After all, going to McKinsey is regarded as getting a PhD on top of an MBA. It’s because the company over-invests in learning and development.

Recruits are given the tools and opportunities to learn as much as they could. Their training is focused on helping them think creatively and communicate efficiently. This makes them quick, efficient, and productive.

What’s more, this learning culture extends from the individual to the McKinsey community.

It’s common for employees to get loads of helpful suggestions from team members when they ask for help with a client. It’s because McKinsey’s people take pride in helping others find solutions to problems.

But that's not all.

There’s a feedback culture that helps members constantly improve and raises the bar for them. And feedback isn’t one-directional either. Consultants are encouraged to give feedback to their managers, too. The goal is for everyone to improve in the shortest possible time and reach their highest potential.

This learning culture is why complacency couldn’t creep into the McKinsey community.

Everyone constantly strives to become a better version of themselves. They don’t get comfortable with any success they’ve achieved. Nor do they relax, get lazy and become complacent. And this makes them a successful corporate conglomerate.

After all, when you instill a learning culture in your business, complacency won’t come in and ruin your success.

Way #3 - Focusing on Values

McKinsey has a set of values that it takes seriously. It’s the reason why the firm sets aside a “Values Day” every June. And on that day, its employees talk about the company’s values and re-aligning with its mission.

Many companies publicly state their values, usually on their websites. However, their employees have no idea how to imbibe these values.

McKinsey is different.

Their values are driven home through powerful stories and deep respect for other members of the firm. This builds rapport and trust between members. It also ensures that everyone has a core understanding of the goals and objectives of the firm.

Such focus on the company’s values has contributed immensely to McKinsey’s continued growth over the years.

The truth is that complacency won’t enter your organization if everyone is in alignment with the values set in the company. And to ensure that happens, you can use stories as a tool to make the values you deem important in your company known to your team.

If there’s alignment in values, it’s easier for a business to kick complacency to the curb.

Way #4 - Firing Non-Performing Staff

McKinsey believes retaining non-performing staff makes them lose credibility with their top performers. That’s why they don't hesitate in firing their staff who don’t meet the standards they’ve set.

And rightly so.

After all, their recruits are given everything they need to learn and be a world-class consultant. So, if they fail to meet expectations, they are asked to pursue a career elsewhere. This policy extends to other members of the community, including those in managerial positions.

However, they do this in a compassionate way.

Retrenched employees are encouraged to use company resources to get new jobs. That’s why ex-employees form an alumnus and still see themselves as members of the McKinsey family.

The reality is that every business is as weak as its weakest member.

If you don’t get rid of non-performing, complacent employees, it’ll affect your business. They’ll either infect others with their complacency or cause them to resign. This will affect your productivity, impact your growth, and prevent you from meeting your targets.

Way #5 - Focusing On Long-Term Success and Longevity

At McKinsey, there’s a central drive to be a lasting and enduring firm. That’s why two of its core values set the tone for building a successful generational business.

To be precise, McKinsey places a strong emphasis on two things:

● Adhering to the highest professional standards

● And creating an unrivaled environment for exceptional people

These values help them achieve long-term success and are responsible for their longevity.

Over the years, McKinsey has employed different business and operational models. They’ve innovated and gone through some significant changes to keep up with the trend. Yet, they remain unwavering in adhering to these values.

And enforcing these values is not the sole responsibility of those in top positions.

Every member of the firm has a shared aspiration to uphold them. The whole community is focused on ensuring the firm’s long-term success and longevity.

If you also focus on long-term success and longevity, complacency won’t find a place in your business. So, adhere strictly to your core values and innovate with the times. This moves your business forward and complacency won’t be able to catch up with you.

Kick Complacency Out of Your Business

McKinsey is a prime example of how to overcome complacency and build a successful business.

They do this by attracting and retaining exceptional individuals, to start with. And one of the ways they do it has to do with their learning culture. They also place a lot of importance on values. And they don’t hesitate to get rid of non-performing complacent employees.

Following their steps will help you create a successful business void of complacency and tardiness.

However, doing this is easier said than done. But the good thing is you don’t have to do it alone. Reach out and see how my speaking services can help you fight complacency.


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