Beyond Speed – why agility is important for sustainable success in SMEs

How can an SME be agile enough to navigate through the unknown waters of the future? In an increasingly complex world the next big disruption could appear from the most unlikely of places and organizations need to be both agile in response to these threats and able to take a long term view. Strong winds can make a ship go fast – but also crash against the next iceberg. So speed is good – but for sustainable competitive advantage and long term success, other factors like stability (e.g., control of the ship) are equally important. For the last 10 years McKinsey and Company has been looking at the impact of ‘Organizational Health’ – how an organization aligns, executes with excellence and renews itself – on the long term performance of organizations. The initial work was documented in the 2011 book ‘Beyond Performance’ and is core to the way that the firm thinks about culture. Based on data gathered from over 3 million individuals and 2000 studies, McKinsey was able to demonstrate that health has a strong link to performance: healthy companies achieve 3 times greater total return to shareholders (TRS). Recently the team has taken this further to understand how the concept of ‘agility’, currently in vogue, links to this result and how organizations can best set themselves up to be ‘agile’. The discussion will touch on the components that make up organizational health, how these are translated into reality, and Jannis and Tom will present real world examples of the impact of focusing on health. They will then go a step further – exploring the concept of agility and how it can be mapped to the existing research on organizational health, combining the two to create powerful insight for SMEs and addressing the apparent conflict between the need for speed and stability.

Data: February, 22, 2016 | From 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. - CET

Relator: Dr. Jannis Vitzthum and Mr. Tom Welchman

Client Services Lead, EMEA McKinsey & Company, Inc. Germany and Organisation Specialist, McKinsey & Company, Inc. United Kingdom

Jannis Vitzthum is based in Munich and works with various clients in EMEA on improving organizational performance, with a distinct focus on analytics, organizational design and organizational health. Prior to working with McKinsey he has been a Senior Manager with Siemens, serving their businesses in +100 countries with in house advisory in the organizational and HR domain. Before this role he had worked with global consulting firm Deloitte, where he led numerous projects in various sectors and countries, e.g. aerospace and defense as well as health care and life sciences. He started his career at the army where he held several roles in the medical corps and defense research.

Tom Welchman is based in London and is part of the McKinsey OrgSolutions EMEA leadership team - a group that uses data and analytics to support Organizational Design, Transformation Change and Human Capital issues. Tom spends most of his time running transformation programmes for clients across a variety of industries and sectors including automotive, pharmaceuticals, NGOs, advanced industries and financial services. Before joining McKinsey, Tom worked as an Engagement Manager at the strategy consultancy Monitor Group and subsequently Monitor Deloitte where his focus was on corporate strategy, leadership and big data in healthcare and life sciences. Tom has also worked in the UK Government as an Assistant Economist, at Deloitte as a Strategy Analyst and holds an MA and MPhil in Economics from Cambridge University. He holds an MD from Ulm university, a doctoral degree based on a thesis in clinical psychology and an MBA from Augsburg/Pittsburgh.