Maximizing human capital

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in Best-Practices Leadership,Leaders & Managers

It is widely known that McKinsey, the worldwide consulting firm, hires only the brightest graduates from business schools nationwide. Less well-known are the firm’s tactics for getting the most from those rising stars after they come on board.

McKinsey immediately provides exciting new assignments that offer opportunities to add new skills. The firm also treats all hires with great respect and compensates them generously. But at the same time, McKinsey maintains stringent criteria for making partner. Few McKinsey hires make the grade.

One theory behind this “high bar” obstacle is that McKinsey encourages its best and brightest to leave and take jobs with a wide range of outside businesses. Once those McKinsey alumni are well-placed elsewhere, they become McKinsey clients and help grow the business.

—Adapted from Results-Based Leadership, Dave Ulrich, Jack Zenter and Norm Smallwood, Harvard Business School Press.

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