Knowledge Mgmt at Mckinsey

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The case study recounts McKinsey’s journey from 1926 to 1996, viewed through the lens of McKinsey’s growing understanding of the value of investing in the knowledge of the firm. McKinsey is famous for its emphasis on internal training and knowledge sharing. In fact, Rajat Gupta (the managing director of the firm at the time the case study was written) has been quoted as saying that “knowledge is the lifeblood of McKinsey.” This case study gives us a glimpse of how much consistent effort has been required on the part of members of the firm at all levels to create and sustain this reputation for knowledge investment and excellence. The case study portrays a firm that seems to be seeking constantly to improve the ways in which it helps its people grow professionally. It’s also clearly committed to maintaining its position as a thought leader. In reading the study, I was struck by several things:
When McKinsey created the position of full-time director of training, the person appointed to the position was one of the firm’s most senior and productive partners. This sent a clear signal that the role was strategically important for the firm.
Fred Gluck (another former managing director of the firm) strove to create a more stimulating intellectual environment within the firm. Accordingly, he “set out to convert his partners to his strongly held beliefs—that knowledge development had to be a core, not a peripheral firm activity; that it needed to be ongoing and institutionalized, not temporary and project based; and that it had to be the responsibility of everyone, not just a few.”
Professional development and knowledge management activities were natural outgrowths of each other: “As the firm’s new emphasis on individual consultant training took hold and the Clientele Sectors and Centers of Competence began to generate new insights, many began to feel the need to…...

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