Who will run the “leadership factory”?
“Campaigning has begun in one of the world’s most secretive elections,” says Rupert Neate in The Guardian. “Candidates are not allowed to campaign officially, cannot submit a manifesto, and nearly all voters earn more than $1m a year.” Welcome to the race to become boss of the world’s largest management consulting firm, Mckinsey & Co. The “leadership factory”, whose alumni go on to fill top jobs in governments and companies globally, often advises clients that transparency is the “the most important driver” of performance. Yet Mckinsey’s own processes are so “opaque” that the election of the new leader is comparable with “the conclave to elect a new pope”. The process will begin in January when partners each submit the names of seven potential new leaders in their preferred order; the winner will be announced in March. The vote comes as Mckinsey faces its biggest crisis in years: it is being investigated for allegations of corruption in South Africa. But that hasn’t dented the firm’s self-belief: partners reckon they’re “the crème de la crème”. With so many “giant egos” in play, expect the fight for the top job to be “brutal”.