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Corporate Transformation

We help businesses succeed in increasingly competitive energy markets by developing their capabilities, transforming their performance, and building a culture of continuous improvement.

In a fast-changing industry, energy companies need to adopt new operating models, enter new markets and businesses, and capture new growth opportunities. We help them to design and implement large-scale change programs that will increase their flexibility, transform their performance, and revitalize their organizations.

We work closely with each client to develop a transformation program that meets their unique needs and leaves them better equipped to tackle future challenges and uncertainties. By engaging people at every level from the C-suite to frontline teams, we help clients to find better ways of working that are rooted in practical experience as well as innovative thinking.

Examples of our work

In the past year, we have undertaken major corporate-transformation projects for more than 30 leading energy-industry clients.

Capturing sustainable improvements through lean

A US utility facing cost, regulatory, and safety pressures sought to reduce its costs by 35 percent, increase unit volumes by 20–40 percent, and save over $1.5 billion. With our help, it achieved its goals within a year by redesigning its organization, improving safety and reliability, and capturing savings from lean processes.

Becoming a leader in renewable energy

A company generating more than half its power from traditional sources decided to make a radical shift in its fuel mix. Within 9 months, it had completed more than 700 initiatives, captured over $250 million in recurring savings, and freed up another $250 million for investment in new renewable sources.

Improving customer experience in energy retailing

After market liberalization, an incumbent power utility struggled to retain share, manage price pressures, and maintain profitability. Through a customer-centered effort, we helped it improve customer acquisition and retention, increase customer satisfaction, take out millions in costs, and return to profitability.

Featured capabilities

To bring energy clients robust and field-tested approaches to corporate transformation, we invest in developing our own tools and metrics such as these:

  • Organizational Health Index. The OHI provides an analytically rigorous means to benchmark an organization’s health against that of peers, yielding insights into team performance and the behavioral changes needed for long-term success.
  • Org Lab. Using a blend of data management, visualization technology, and design expertise, this tool generates an instant view of an organization from multiple angles to help leaders craft a winning structure for their company.
  • Wave. This next-generation program-management platform helps companies track every initiative and key metric in a large-scale transformation program and deliver maximum impact quickly and efficiently.
  • McKinsey Academy. Our capability-building and learning program accelerates transformations by unlocking people’s potential, whether at executive level, in functional specialties, or through custom projects.
  • Energy Insights. Using cutting-edge technology and enormous data sets, our world-class team of data scientists and analysts provides insights to help leaders to make well-informed decisions on strategy, investment, and performance.

Related insights


Leading agile transformation: The new capabilities leaders need to build 21st-century organizations

– To build and lead an agile organization, it’s crucial that senior leaders develop new mind-sets and capabilities to transform... themselves, their teams, and the organization.

A transformative experience for leading a transformation

– Giving senior leaders hands-on, digitally enhanced experience with lean management helps kick-start a transformation.
Article - McKinsey Quarterly

Transformation with a capital T

– Companies must be prepared to tear themselves away from routine thinking and behavior.

Ten tips for leading companies out of crisis

– Even good managers can miss the early signs of distress, says McKinsey’s Doug Yakola, who’s been running recovery... programs for 20 years. The first step is to acknowledge there’s a problem.

How to mess up your agile transformation in seven easy (mis)steps

– The journey to become agile is challenging. But your organization can avoid some common pitfalls that we have seen companies encounter,... including failing to create buy-in around an aspiration and forgetting to put culture first.

Are US gas utilities nearing the end of their golden age?

– State-level decarbonization efforts could threaten the business model.

Digitizing customer journeys—making a radical but valuable move in EPNG

– With start-ups and new entrants enhancing customer satisfaction through digital solutions, we believe it is time for incumbents... to create seamless digital customer journeys.

How utilities can keep the lights on

– The past decade has been difficult for many utilities. Here is how they can prosper in the next.

The digital utility: New opportunities and challenges

– Many utilities see the digital revolution as a threat to their business model, but massive opportunities await those able to transform... themselves ahead of the curve.

Connect with our Electric Power & Natural Gas Practice