McKinsey Organizational Change (Transformation)

This article from 1993 is quite timeless as a primer to managing change that is neither top down nor bottom up.

Intergrated is a good word … but likely not intentional :+)


  • Top down can be fine if the objectives are clear and the approaches are varied (i.e. “no one size fits all”).
  • Bottom up is a key consideration when making a non-incremental leap. This is a game of inches to be won.
  • Cross-functional processes are key to making #teamwork codified into a reality — otherwise change is not lasting.
  • Top down, bottom up, and cross-functional processes all need focus, integration to mutually reinforce, balanced axes, #teams.

Focus is essential. The complexity of transformational change can easily overwhelm an organization, dissipating energy before the effort achieves its objectives. Ineffective efforts exhort the organization to “fix everything at once.” Far better to choose just a few objectives at any one time (improve customer response, reduce order lead times) and devote all energy to them until measurable progress is achieved.”

Steve Dichter, Chris Gagnon, Ashok Alexander (1993)

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