The lost opportunity of parting well

25 02 2010

McKinsey and Co famously have an “up or out” policy for their consultants. You might think that this would lead to a world populated with disappointed ex-McKinsey-ites who would leap at the chance to get even. In which case, how does McKinsey survive such hostility?

The answer is of course that they don’t have to. Instead they are one of the few big name firms that understands the power of helping their people secure their next great job OUTSIDE the firm. Being a McKinsey Alumnus has some meaning and goodwill attached to it – in both directions.

This is a lost opportunity for most employers. We can blame employment law and the danger of being seen to engage in constructive dismissal – but only so far. A key part of managing the flows of talent in your organisation is being able to see when the next step this person needs is not one we can offer them; so let’s help them find it! The goodwill generated by such atypical behaviour has the power to do both sides good for years to come.

And who knows, one day we may have just the opening to bring them back, augmented by experience gained at someone else’s expense!

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