I wrote before that if you have some doubts about some data, you just have to say that it comes from McKinsey. I was of course sarcastic. (Believe me, not that all people understood it like that)
New McKinsey survey is about ‘transformation’ and it success. (‘How to beat the transformation odds’, pdf available if you ask Mr Google nicely) Apparently we are not doing very well in general, and only 26% of executives see that they have been successful in the ‘transformation’. However, if you apply ’24 actions of transformation’ that McKinsey people have figured out are good, then you have a chance to increase success enormously. And, of course they have the data to prove it.
So what are the famous 24 keys to success/actions for transformation? Let me select five:
Senior managers communicate openly
Leaders model behaviour
Best practices are identified
Performance management is done properly and make leader accountable
They have a capability building programme
It breaks my heart. That people can swallow this and make any conclusion about successful transformation is a reflection of our poor state of affairs when it comes to critical thinking.
McKinsey is not describing the secrets of successful organizational transformation. They are describing traits of companies well managed, full stop, which, err, are likely to have a better transformation prospect. And perhaps better market success, and better ‘other things’. And, if you twist the title to ‘employee engagement’, and perhaps ‘retention’ or ‘attracting talent’, the same applies: they’ll be likely to be better than the badly managed.
Here is my version of McKinsey’s explanation of transformation success.
How do I make sure that my children have a good education? I wake them up in the morning, I give them a good portion of cereals, make sure they have shiny shoes, take them to the bus and arrive on time to that school that has good teachers, good sports fields and a track record. Ah, also, food is good. Would I have answered the question of the good education for my children? What if I show a correlation between the size of the bowl of cereals and exams results? Would I improve my explanation on the education of my children? If I ask 200 parents in 10 schools and pool the data, will I call this ‘How to beat the education odds?’ What if I show that the Headteacher communicates well and role-models?
We must try harder.