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Building Capabilities to Transform Your Business

Corporate transformations begin ambitiously: leaders set aggressive goals and predict impressive improvements. Too often, however, results fall short of expectations. Evidence shows that only one third of transformations achieve their full impact, while a mere 10 percent of companies sustain cost improvements after four years.

Capability building is a key factor in the success of any business transformation: top-quartile capability builders perform 1.5 to 2.2 times better than the bottom quartile in terms of key business metrics.

If done right, building capabilities at the organizational and individual level pays off through superior financial performance.

Superior Financial Performance

Business leaders understand this—so it’s no surprise that capability building has become a priority:

  • 50 percent of CXOs say capability building is one of their organization’s top three priorities.
  • 56 percent emphasize learning goals in evaluating their people, with leadership (35 percent) and functional (31 percent) skills considered the most important to develop.
Capability building has become a priority

Yet, though the rewards are high, capability building is difficult to get right.

Only 25 percent of CXOs believe they are “very effective” in preparing employees to drive business performance, while just 10 percent believe their institutional capability building is “very well linked” to performance goals.

Capability building is difficult to get right

What do top capability builders do differently? 

They learn differently to achieve real impact.... 

The McKinsey perspective on what constitutes next-generation capability building for performance is based on two years of extensive research across 4,000 executives, 2,400 capability engagements, and 300 interviews with clients and experts. 

Hands-on learning is the best way to develop new skills and set new aspirations to execute a successful transformation—not just lectures, not just experiential, but the best of both systems. Our Field and Forum Programs combine training days with real projects.

Learn differently to achieve real impact

A new learning environment for some of the world’s biggest businesses

McKinsey Capability Centers provide a learning environment where some of the world’s biggest businesses feel comfortable building new skills. These have been designed with adult learning principles in mind to create an ideal environment for stretching participants’ thinking and developing lasting capabilities:

Experiential learning—hands-on exercises, role-plays, and simulations emphasize learning by doing, accelerating learning and retention.

Risk-free environment—Experiment without concern for affecting ongoing operations, but immediately see the impact of your decisions.

Real work environments—All sessions are conducted in realistic environments, with the help of reality-enhancing tools and workflow management systems.

Expert faculty—local and global experts, facilitators, and coaches are on-hand to lead and guide the interactive training sessions.

Global network

A global network of 18 McKinsey Capability Centers offers clients the opportunity to embark on an immersive learning journey, covering offerings, across four clusters:

  • Operations 
  • Marketing and sales
  • Cross-cutting themes
  • Digital

Learn more…

The McKinsey Capability Center worldwide