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Richard Steele

Partner, Nova York
Designs and delivers purpose-driven transformation programs and is an expert in culture change, organizational agility, and using design-thinking to remake the employee experience and drive improved performance and organizational health

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Richard is passionate about working with leaders and their teams to design and mobilize organizations in which humans can perform at their best, build new skills, and work in new ways.

He focuses on using data and design-thinking to redesign the way large organizations function beyond today's increasingly outmoded matrix structure.

Richard’s work spans digital, agile, and cultural transformations across industries, including consumer and consumer packaged goods, healthcare, banking, technology, education, philanthropy, and the social sector.

Examples of his recent client work include the following:

  • delivering a CEO-led change program to engage and reskill the top 100 executives of a company with 110,000 employees
  • leading the agile transformation of the marketing function of a global company
  • redesigning the marketing organization of a major financial-services company to enable acceleration and agility
  • creating the change story and providing communications coaching for senior executives leading complex change programs
  • designing and reskilling the communications functions of two Dow 30 companies
  • advising on the focus and structure of diversity and inclusion programs for several professional-services firms

Richard is a faculty member for the Organizational Agility Forum and is a frequent writer and speaker on a diverse range of organizational and leadership topics. He has been published in Harvard Business Review, Sloan Management Review, HBR’s “10 Must Reads on Strategy,” and has been a contributor to a Forbes blog, “On Human Business.”

Richard has served on several not-for-profit boards and advisory councils in the United Kingdom and the United States—including the Atlantic Council, a foreign-policy think tank—and has taught a popular leadership program as an adjunct associate professor at Columbia University’s School of International and Public Affairs.

Published work 

Shattering the status quo: A conversation with Haier’s Zhang Ruimin,” McKinsey Quarterly, July 2021

Three mindset shifts to become a data-rich platform for growth,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2021

Out of the shadows: Sustainably improving workplace mental health in Australia,” McKinsey & Company, April 2021

A new value agenda is taking shape—are you ready?,” blog entry, McKinsey & Company, April 2021

The nine traits of future-ready companies,” McKinsey & Company, February 2021

Organizing for the Future: A focus on three outcomes,“ blog entry, McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Organizing for the Future: Why now?,“ blog entry, McKinsey & Company, June 2020

Reimagining the post-pandemic organization,” McKinsey Quarterly, May 2020


University of Durham, University College
BSc, natural sciences