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How ‘mega’ leaders keep profits high

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A recent McKinsey study of the world’s most profitable megacorporations finds that their achievements are made possible by some shared leadership outlooks and practices.

In some measure, they all:
  • Explore new ways to build on their people’s talents and skills. Example: GE Capital grew because of the financial insights of executives in GE’s appliance-making divisions.

  • Shed activities that pull them away from core competencies. Example: CitiGroup sold its insurance activities to MetLife.

  • Monitor some extremely simple metrics. Example: profit per employee, which can serve as a barometer for overall corporate health.
—Adapted from “Strategy in an Era of Global Giants: The world’s biggest companies are learning to manage complexity,” Lowell L. Bryan and Michele Zanini, McKinsey Quarterly.

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