Summary of Leading Organizations

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McKinsey senior partners Scott Keller and Mary Meaney examined 20 years of queries to their firm and went through Harvard Business Review articles since 1976 to identify the most important, most queried about and most written about management topics in that time span. They found “ten timeless truths,” phrased more often as “ten timeless topics,” about leadership and management practices and compiled them in a well-illustrated, well-referenced manual. Their condensation of hundreds of books, articles and queries on business wisdom into about 200 pages and 10 topics will excite any busy leader. While this is a broad overview, not profound, detailed guidance, you will gain a smart introduction to the most important tasks for any leader. Even if the authors only spark your further reading and research, their 10 overviews – including concrete, applicable steps and, in most areas, illustrated case studies – provide a great place to start, especially if you’re new to leadership. 

About the Authors

Scott Keller, in California, and Mary Meaney, in Paris, France, are senior partners at McKinsey & Company and consult with business leaders around the world.



“Ten Timeless Topics”

These findings represent the most frequent queries received by McKinsey since the mid-1990s and the subjects of articles from the Harvard Business Review published between 1976 and 2016. Use these 10 key areas to assess the situation you must manage, then prioritize the action you will take depending on your organization’s most pressing issues: 

1. “Attract and Retain Talent”  

Get the best talent you can – people with the skills you need and the will to use them. High performers will be four to eight times more productive than average workers. The current and deepening shortage of skilled workers means competition for talent will increase.  

Identify the most important 5% of roles in your workforce, and focus attention on getting the best people into those positions. Connect and align your firm’s purpose to your critical talent. Leverage your recruiting and retention technologies, realizing that algorithms outperform humans in choosing potential employees to interview. Track your progress through data and metrics.  

2. “Talent Development...

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    F. O. 2 years ago
    Succinct and impactful! Great reminder on how to get the best out of your people & processes to ensure sustainable organizational growth.
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    M. B. 2 years ago
    Great reminder on how organizations should invest in methods to help transitioning leaders. As a result of this organizational transition the future will be greatly rewarded with powerful skilled leaders