Mckinsey & Company

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McKinsey & Company: Managing Knowledge and Forces of Resistance By: Wasim AlSayegh McKinsey & Company, the firm that governments and large companies consult when facing growing pains, is facing difficulties with handling its own rapid growth. The case "McKinsey & Company: Managing Knowledge and Learning" chronicles the evolution of McKinsey's attempts to capture its associates knowledge to effectively apply it to clients' problems. At the core of the case is a simple problem definition: How can McKinsey & Company develop, capture and leverage knowledge in service of its clients worldwide? After all, knowledge is the single most important asset McKinsey & Company has. There are challenge: 1two components to this

Through every iteration or step in its knowledge system's evolution McKinsey & Company faced resistance forces. Rajat Gupta, the managing director of McKinsey & Company, enumerated all the forces resisting McKinsey's latest evolutionary step as: the sheer amount of information, higher client's expectation and McKinsey's distributed global presence. These forces may well be hurdles for change, though I believe that Mr. Rajat Gupta disregards the most important force: McKinsey's inability to change its internal culture, and properly create a compensation structure that rewards specialists and information sharing.

The Specialists: McKinsey's Second Class Citizens
McKinsey's team structure has been evolving ever since its establishment. In 1971 McKinsey's philosophy emphasized the need for "T-Shaped" consultants – those who supplemented a broad generalist perspective with an in-depth industry or functional specialty. This philosophy was later reviewed in 1987 when McKinsey


Establishing a team structure to better leverage the captured knowledge in delivering better service to customers. Capturing consultants’ knowledge in a system that allows them to learn from it.

realized the need for a new breed of consultants – the “Specialist”. Fast...
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