MANAGE KNOWLEDGE AND LEARNING
1.- Summary case
McKinsey was founded in 1926 by James O. McKinsey, who was a professor at the University of Chicago. The company was initially known as James O McKinsey & Company (JOMC). At that time, the company termed itself as 'management engineers,' with the focus on improving the efficiency of the clients' operations.
Thecase describes the knowledge management practices at McKinsey & Company (McKinsey). Managing knowledge effectively is of prime importance especially for consultancies like McKinsey which depended heavily on knowledge for their existence and growth.
McKinsey's expertise gained over the years was put into optimal use through knowledge management. Knowledge was spread in the firm throughtraining sessions, seminars, workshops, sharing of the findings of the projects.
The other knowledge management efforts that McKinsey undertook included development of centers of competence, practice information system, practice development network and knowledge resource directory. The case examines how McKinsey promoted a culture of knowledge sharing within the firm.
Since its inception,McKinsey's management had focused on capturing, managing, and disseminating knowledge across the company. In the year 1920, James published a book Principles of Accounting. In 1922, he published a textbook on budgetary control.
McKinsey's culture helped in creating informal networks that facilitated knowledge sharing within the organization. The company's values also helped in the problem solvingapproach. However, knowledge sharing was limited to the methodology, like solving problems and framing issues.
The company recruited talented individuals capable of receiving and spreading knowledge through person-to-person knowledge sharing mechanisms that were present in the organization. At McKinsey, fresh management graduates joined as associates.
2.- Main Problem
McKinsey'sincompetence to change its internal culture and create an appropriate structure to enable the exchange of information specialists.
3.- Secondary problems
•McKinsey realized the need for a new breed of consultants , the need for "T-Shaped" consultants – those who supplemented a broad generalist perspective with an in-depth industry or functional specialty.
•McKinsey needs tochange its culture and elevate the importance of specialists in its associates’ perspective. Since McKinsey is an outward looking firm that prides itself on helping customers, specialists should also be given some customer facing responsibilities.
4.- SWOT Analysis
* McKinsey has expertise in a variety of strategies and ideas.
* They are more focused on creatingknowledge (within its company and in its employees) and also on the benefits for the company as a whole.
* Also there is a focus on the client’s problem. Each of these problems is treated as unique and focused n building a client relationship. Also they try not to find a solution for the company’s current problem but moreover to find a new approach on the deeper lying problems and strategies ofthe firm.
* McKinsey works with an “engage-explore-apply-share” model. This is focused on the building of individual and team capability as opposed to a focus on the development of knowledge.
* McKinsey also expanded into nearly 20 additional countries, opening offices in Taiwan, Korea, India, Indonesia, and Russia, among others. It also began to serve clients in Turkey, South Africa,and Southeast Asia and added new locations in Europe and in North and South America.
* Customer expectations are becoming higher.
* The difficulty of distributing information to customers can be an obstacle to change.
* Some experts inside McKinsey seem to be uncertain about their future at the company. They are very uncertain about their promotion prospects....