What is the greatest invention of all time? In our view, it isn’t the wheel, it is organization: people working together toward a common goal. Organizations can achieve feats that go far beyond anything that individuals can accomplish alone. As each successive generation finds better and better ways of working together, it performs at levels that could barely have been imagined a few decades earlier. And when there are improvements in the effectiveness of our organizations—whether they be private enterprises, governments, public agencies, charities, community groups, political parties, or religious bodies—these gains translate into benefits for society as a whole. Innovations such as mass production, public transport, space travel, the internet, and the mapping of the human genome are all products of human organization.
Fittingly, the book you’re now holding is itself the product of a collective feat of organization: many colleagues and friends have worked with us to advance the state of the art in management thinking. For Colin, this book marks the intellectual culmination of his leadership of McKinsey’s global Organization Practice. For Scott, it represents a manifesto for an approach to management that he has long advocated and practiced, and at times staked his career on.
But Beyond Performance wasn’t written for us; it was written for you. If you are a leader who wants to change things for the better, this book is for you. If you want to leave ...