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Summary: Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI by by Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje, and Rodney Zemmel

Rewired (2023) presents a transformative roadmap crafted by the world’s foremost management consultancy. It guides businesses on enhancing customer experiences, streamlining costs, and harnessing the immense potential of digital and AI. Dive in, and position your company for unparalleled long-term success.


McKinsey’s comprehensive and authoritative guide to digital and AI transformation serves as both playbook and reference. Authors Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje and Rodney Zemmel draw from five years of McKinsey consultants’ work around the world, advising a bold, integrated approach that emphasizes the organization’s capabilities and people. Written for executives, its recommendations apply to organizations of all sizes – including large multinationals – and reflect current research and emerging best practices. Any executive preparing to lead transformation will find McKinsey’s blueprint essential.


To remain competitive, businesses will need to undertake constant, never-ending digital and AI transformation.

  • A successful transformation depends on foundational work, including a clear, detailed road map.
  • To support continuous transformation, the organization will need core digital talent in-house.
  • The company’s operating model must enable fast, flexible technology development.
  • The enterprise’s technology environment needs seven capabilities to support digital innovation across the organization.
  • Digital leaders establish a data architecture that facilitates the flow of data from source to use.
  • To ensure the organization benefits from digital and AI transformation, leaders should implement strategies to drive customer or user adoption.

Book Summary: Rewired - The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI

Introduction: Discover how to navigate, lead, and innovate in the digital era.

Have you ever wondered about the intricate dance of strategies, people, and technology that pushes companies to the forefront of the digital realm? Or pondered about how some organizations seem to thrive in this digital era, effortlessly transforming their operations, while others stumble and falter? Every business leader, from startups to multinational giants, grapples with these questions, seeking the secret recipe for digital excellence.

In this summary, you’ll gain a panoramic view of the pillars of digital transformation and the underlying strategies that empower organizations to thrive in the digital age. From sculpting a workforce that drives change, to truly understanding and harnessing the potential of data, you’ll be equipped with insights that not only demystify the digital world but also position you to navigate it more effectively. By the end, you’ll have a deeper appreciation of what it takes to be a digital pioneer, making you better equipped to lead, strategize, and innovate in this ever-evolving landscape.

Charting a purposeful digital transformation journey

In today’s digitally-driven world, it’s essential for leadership teams to craft a bold, achievable vision for their organization’s digital future. To navigate this journey, let’s take a closer look at some fundamental components to ensure success.

First, envisioning the digital future isn’t a solitary endeavor – it’s about your top team creating a shared understanding. Think of this as plotting your organization’s North Star – a guiding light that illuminates where you’re headed. But it can’t be abstract. For instance, take hypothetical company GreenTech. It might have a vague vision like “Becoming a digital leader in sustainable technologies.” But what does that truly mean? It becomes more actionable when articulated as, “Using digital tools to increase sustainable energy output by 30 percent over five years, while reducing operational costs by 15 percent.” Although it’s quite a bit longer, its clarity offers a tangible target, making it easier for the entire organization to rally behind.

But there’s a catch with this big vision. Starting too small can undermine the transformative potential, but biting off more than you can chew risks overwhelming your organization. To strike the right balance, imagine your business as a series of domains or distinct areas of activity. Identify a few that are ripe for transformation. Take the story of EcoBuild, a construction firm that chose to focus its digital efforts initially on optimizing supply chain and site management. Within two years, it reported efficiency gains that exceeded its expectations, all because it chose the right “bite size” to start with.

Now, just having a domain in sight isn’t enough. This is where your leadership team comes into play. They’re the ones who’ll outline what’s truly possible in your vision. Using a systematic approach, leaders can pinpoint specific user needs or pain points, then align these with measurable key performance indicators, or KPIs. Think of BankOnUs, a finance company that leveraged digital tools to reimagine customer onboarding. It tackled specific pain points like long wait times and complex paperwork. By defining clear KPIs around customer satisfaction and process efficiency, it transformed a tedious, hours-long process into a seamless, 15-minute digital experience, boosting client acquisition rates in the process.

Finally, as we discuss transformations, it’s crucial to remember that this isn’t just a tech project – it’s the ultimate corporate team sport. Every member of the leadership team, from the CEO to business function leaders, must be actively involved. It’s not enough for the CEO to merely endorse the vision – they must be its chief ambassador. And roles like the CTO or CDO? They’re your digital champions, driving change on the ground, ensuring that the organization not only envisions but lives and breathes this digital transformation.

In essence, digital transformation transcends mere technological shifts. It’s about harmoniously intertwining vision with action, ensuring every stride is purposeful and aligned. As organizations embark on this journey, a collective spirit and clear direction can pave the way for meaningful progress.

The human pulse of digital evolution

Transformation, at its core, revolves around the heartbeat of an organization – its people. While the allure of advanced strategies and cutting-edge technology often takes center stage, it’s the talent that brings these elements to life. Let’s take a look at how to sculpt a workforce that not only drives but thrives on digital change.

To get things started, consider the story of Zoe, a promising software developer. She’s deeply passionate about her craft but has no aspirations to climb the managerial ladder. Instead, she dreams of honing her skills and becoming a master coder. Organizations must recognize Zoe and others like her. Rather than forcing them into traditional managerial roles, companies should offer alternative paths, allowing experts like Zoe to flourish in their chosen fields. By doing this, they acknowledge the diverse ambitions of their digital workforce and create an environment where individuals feel seen, valued, and motivated.

But the journey doesn’t end with recognizing talent – it’s about nurturing it. This is where tailored learning paths come into play. Digital talents are hungry for growth. They yearn for upskilling opportunities that align with their aspirations. By offering multi-year learning journeys that cater to specific skills and proficiency levels, organizations can ensure their employees remain at the cutting edge of their fields. Whether it’s partnering with platforms like Coursera for advanced courses or running in-house workshops, it’s this continuous investment in skill development that keeps the digital talent bench strong and competitive.

Yet, in some cases, new skills entirely are needed. This is where reskilling becomes invaluable. For instance, bootcamps are transforming those with potential, say someone from a nontech background with a knack for logical problem-solving, into adept digital professionals. It’s not just about hiring new talents but cultivating existing ones, turning potential into prowess.

As employees embark on their digital journey, guidance is crucial. Enter the digital on-ramp, a concept that serves as more than just a launchpad. It’s an integrated system designed to smoothly transition employees into the digital realm, bridging knowledge gaps and building foundational skills. Through intensive bootcamp-style training, employees across different specialties acquire the tools, knowledge, and mindset essential for digital success. This on-ramp ensures they’re not only aligned with the company’s vision but are also proficient in the methods and technologies that shape the organization’s digital blueprint.

At the end of the day, while technology and strategy are pivotal, it’s the people that truly drive digital transformation. With the right investment in their people, businesses not only ensure they remain at the forefront of the digital curve but also create an ecosystem where passion and potential come together, setting the stage for what lies ahead in the digital journey.

Scaling transformations beyond the tech

In an interconnected, digital landscape, the power of a transformation isn’t solely in the innovations we create but in the capabilities we build to sustain and scale them. While it’s easy to focus solely on the appeal of modern solutions, the real challenge is making sure these tools seamlessly integrate into an organization’s everyday operations, ensuring they’re accessible, usable, and adaptable for everyone. Think of it this way: introducing a high-tech car is only half the battle – ensuring there are roads and systems in place for it to operate efficiently is the other half. With this in mind, let’s explore how to effectively scale business transformations by fortifying organizational foundations.

Global mining giant Freeport-McMoRan’s journey showcases effective scaling in action. Its goal was to integrate AI not just as an added tool but to blend it seamlessly with its existing workforce. This success was born from an eight-month collaboration between tech experts and frontline workers. Their goal? Not just efficiency, but a holistic approach where everyone felt involved and empowered. The outcome was impressive: production surged, recovery rates hit new highs, and operations stabilized swiftly. This wasn’t mere luck – it was a deliberate strategy in change management. The question then arises: How can this be mirrored by others?

First, successful user adoption means ensuring everyone effectively uses and benefits from new tools or systems. Take an airline’s cargo business introducing a new revenue system. The digital side of it can be sound, but if the ground staff, the aircrew, and the management aren’t on the same page, it’s bound to face turbulence. Engaging leaders, crafting relatable narratives, and tailoring role-based training are the essence of ensuring a smooth flight in the digital transformation journey.

Next, you face the need to adapt your entire way of doing business. Think of it like giving your home a makeover: putting in a new TV isn’t the same as adding an entire room. Similarly, when introducing new digital tools, it’s often not just about small tweaks but changing the core way you operate. Take an insurance company that gets a new data analysis tool. It might realize it needs to change how it sets its prices or how it offers its services. It’s more than just adding a tool; it’s about reshaping the whole approach.

Lastly, dedicated teams come into play. Picture a maestro in an orchestra, guiding every instrument, every note to create a harmonious symphony. Similarly, the scaling process demands its own maestros – an agile team made up of change managers, communicators, and more. This team is the backbone, pointing out kinks, designing strategies, and ensuring that the transformation isn’t just effective but efficient.

To put it succinctly, scaling transformations in this digital age requires a symbiosis of tech prowess with a deep understanding of human behavior. Whether you’re a global conglomerate or a burgeoning startup, remember: in the realm of digital transformations, it’s not about racing to the finish line but ensuring every participant is well-equipped and ready for the marathon ahead.

The power of data

In a world where digital prowess often spells the difference between industry leaders and the rest, the ability to harness data stands as a hallmark of innovation. Let’s take a moment to explore the immense power of establishing robust data capabilities.

Imagine for a moment an insurance company. While many insurers might rely on a standard set of data points, this company dives deeper. It recognized that not all data is created equal and, with a laser-focused value driver analysis, zeroed in on catastrophe, safety, and asset market data. By doing so, it created tailored property protection advice that set it leagues apart from its competitors. Such meticulous determination and prioritization of data make it an irreplaceable ally, transforming mere numbers into actionable insights.

But identifying key data is just the beginning. Once this goldmine has been discovered, how can you ensure it’s accessible and valuable to different departments? Think of data as a product. In fact, consider it as essential as water in a household, where every room has specific needs. The kitchen, bathroom, and garden all require water, but for different purposes. Similarly, different parts of a business might need a comprehensive view of their customers. By curating and packaging data elements into data products, companies can make this information easily accessible, akin to turning on a tap in any room.

But just like any complex plumbing system, the architecture that supports this flow is crucial. We’re talking about a dynamic data architecture, the unseen force ensuring that data travels seamlessly from its source to the very places it’s needed most. This structure should be agile, catering to both real-time business intelligence and future-focused artificial intelligence pursuits. It’s this blend of BI and AI that ensures data not only serves present needs but also anticipates future challenges and opportunities.

But even the most elegant architecture requires governance. In our data-driven realm, this means a structured approach to ensure data quality, security, and compliance. It’s about assembling a dream team: data scientists, engineers, designers, and domain experts, all collaborating in harmony. These multidisciplinary teams work tirelessly behind the scenes, much like a well-rehearsed orchestra, ensuring data integrity and meaningful utilization.

Take a cue from DBS’s transformative journey. This multinational bank morphed into a data-driven titan by investing in not just data platforms and governance but by fostering a seismic shift in culture. It built an army of over 1,000 data experts, ensuring that data wasn’t just a side project but the very core of its operations. This commitment made DBS an example for all to emulate, showing organizations worldwide that with the right data capabilities, business use cases can be accelerated, operations streamlined, and customer experiences elevated.

As we wrap up our exploration, remember that in the digital age, it’s not just about having data. It’s about nurturing it, understanding its potential, and creating systems to harness its immense power. Because when done right, data doesn’t just inform decisions – it propels organizations to unparalleled heights.


To remain competitive, businesses will need to undertake constant, never-ending digital and AI transformation.

New technologies are constantly emerging and increasingly permeating every aspect of life. Some, such as cloud and AI, have wide-ranging effects; others bring about new architectures or transform software development. Still others – such as generative AI and edge computing – will exert unforeseeable effects. Businesses will have to evolve along with these technologies. Most leaders understand this: 89% have undertaken some form of digital transformation at their organizations.

“Business leaders will be digitally transforming their companies for the rest of their careers.”

But easier said than done. McKinsey’s 2022 global survey on digital transformation shows companies are reaping only a fraction of the benefits they seek – less than one-third of anticipated revenue lift and only one-quarter of expected cost savings. To gain the potential benefits of digital transformation, leaders must extend their initiatives beyond tech to encompass all organizational capabilities. Transformation favors the bold.

A successful transformation depends on foundational work, including a clear, detailed road map.

An implementation road map and associated financial plan set out the business domains leaders have targeted for transformation, the solutions that will create new value, programs for building enterprise capabilities and key performance indicators that will demonstrate value creation. The road map should incorporate a change management plan and a model for governance. The financial plan should define financial measures and timelines for achieving goals.

Transformations frequently stall because leaders have failed in laying the groundwork. These failures – and the corresponding approaches that will deliver meaningful change and measurable results – fall into several categories:

  • Leaders failing to establish a shared conceptual understanding of digital technologies – Leaders need sufficient understanding of digital to know what it can do for the business. Agreement on an ultimate goal serves as the vision for the transformation. To achieve alignment, leaders have to ensure all parties know the role they’ll play and exactly how to deliver on it.
  • Setting too broad a scope for the transformation – An overly broad scope makes it impossible to invest adequately in each initiative, causes disruption and poses a daunting level of challenge. A timid scope will deliver too little impact. To right-size the transformation’s scope, leaders should take a domain-based approach. A domain is a portion of the business that comprises related activities; companies typically define domains on the basis of workflows or processes, journeys, or functions. Leaders should prioritize the domains according to the value and feasibility of transforming each, and choose between two and five for initial transformation.
  • Leaders becoming distracted by low-value pet projects – Leaders should identify solutions that will have substantial impact on performance, going beyond marginal improvements to reimagine each domain.

“Small thinking leads to small results, often not worth the effort of the transformation. Our rule of thumb is that a robust digital road map should deliver 20%+ EBITDA improvement.”

  • Neglecting people and capabilities in favor of tech solutions – By building capabilities across the organization, digital leaders leverage digital and AI solutions to provide great customer experience, cost reductions and continuous improvement. The transformation road map will cover no more than two to three years into the future, but in the process of transformation, the company will be creating capabilities that will serve it much longer. Digital leaders focus on long-term capability building.
  • Failure of the CEO to take personal responsibility for the transformation – Every member of the executive team has a role to play in the transformation, as do business line and business function leaders. The chief transformation officer holds responsibility for driving the transformation on a daily basis and serving as its face within the organization, and a transformation office made up of finance, human resources and IT professionals, and subject-matter experts should manage all digital initiatives and the overall digital transformation. However, the CEO has ultimate accountability for the transformation and must remain involved.

To support continuous transformation, the organization will need core digital talent in-house.

Strategic talent planning should receive as much attention as the transformation road map itself. Between 70% and 80% of the organization’s digital talent should reside in-house, including the talent that will provide differentiating digital solutions.

“Digital and AI transformations are, first and foremost, people and talent transformations.”

Rather than attempt to bring an entire HR department up to speed on digital, many organizations have established a specialized team to focus on digital talent, called a Talent Win Room (TWR). The TWR includes an executive sponsor, tech recruiters, HR specialists, and part-time functional specialists such as legal and finance.

Any organization, even a legacy business, can compete for technologists by offering what digital talent demand. The employee value proposition for digital talent should include opportunities to work on a modern technology stack, associate with colleagues who inspire and challenge them, and develop their skills. Digital leaders offer dual career paths that accommodate technologists’ desire to continue developing their expertise, and these organizations align compensation with an employee’s value.

The company’s operating model must enable fast, flexible technology development.

Agility has almost become cliché, but speed and flexibility in tech development remain essential. Digital leaders organize their transformations around agile pods – small cross-disciplinary teams that each own a specific product or service. To support continuous transformation, organizations need to deepen their understanding of agile beyond processes and rituals to ensure agile pods deliver their potential value. Setting objectives and key results keeps pods focused on their impact, and quarterly business reviews give leaders regular opportunities to assess and, if necessary, redirect the pod’s efforts. For each pod, a product owner provides day-to-day guidance and brings solid understanding of the business, the customer and the technology.

“How companies navigate the digital world to achieve sustainable competitive advantage is the defining business challenge of our time.”

Leaders face the task of standing up hundreds or even thousands of agile pods. Here the operating model becomes crucial. Three operating model designs have become dominant; the one that will serve a company best will depend primarily on the role of technology as a competitive differentiator:

  • Digital factory – Leaders create a self-contained digital unit comprising 10 to 50 agile pods and typically occupying its own physical facility.
  • Product and platform (P&P) – The P&P model deploys the digital factory concept at scale. Leaders modernize the technology stack and realign at least 20% of the organization to exploit that technology.
  • Enterprise-wide agile – Leaders extend the agile concept to at least 80% of the organization and embed agile in its culture.

The digital transformation must include the buildup of user experience design capabilities, to ensure the solutions the company delivers meet customers’ needs and wants. Research shows a focus on design contributes to growth in revenues and total returns to shareholders. Agile pods should include design experts, and leaders should understand how customer experience links to value.

The enterprise’s technology environment needs seven capabilities to support digital innovation across the organization.

To function in a digital world, every leader will need to know at least the basics of technology. The enterprise’s technology environment exists to enable pods to create and deliver innovations. That capacity will depend on seven technical capabilities:

  1. Decoupled architecture – A distributed, decoupled architecture enables agility and scaling, as it enables pods to work with modular, reusable components. The architecture will make use of application programming interfaces (APIs) for application integration. To reduce costs, the organization should automate infrastructure provisioning and software delivery.
  2. Cloud – A decoupled architecture requires a cloud approach to the technology stack and a cloud-based data platform. But leaders should always approach cloud integrations by determining the value to be gained. That value typically stems from boosts to agility, innovation and resilience and not merely from reduced hosting costs.
  3. Engineering practices – For all organizations, software development has become a core capability, and agility and quality require the adoption of engineering practices such as automation of the software development lifecycle (SDLC); DevOps, which applies lean principles to software delivery; coding standards to ensure qualities such as maintainability, reliability and portability; and continuous integration/continuous deployment, facilitating code changes and production.
  4. Developer tools – To accommodate scaled development pods, organizations will need to provide sandbox environments that offer a full slate of tools and access to data. Internal development platforms simplify the user experience and allow developers to configure their own environments.
  5. A reliable production environment – The environments to which developers deploy their applications must be secure, scalable to demand and always available. Automation can support these capabilities.
  6. Automated security – Moving to the cloud necessitates new approaches to security. The software industry has begun to embed security throughout the SDLC – by placing security experts on DevOps teams and applying automation.
  7. Machine learning operations (MLOps) automation – To exploit AI’s potential requires scaling and embedding it in processes, workflows and customer journeys. MLOps enables this by applying machine learning to meet the needs of AI systems, such as the provision of data and the monitoring of live operations.

Digital leaders establish a data architecture that facilitates the flow of data from source to use.

As organizations increase the number of data use cases from a handful to hundreds or thousands, the data operating model – the overall approach to managing data – becomes pivotal. The data operating model’s components include the organization of data; key roles for talent; DataOps, meaning the application of technology and agile principles to the development of data assets; and approach to data governance and risk.

Data architecture refers to the environment that delivers data from storage to use, including the transformation and analysis of data. The choice of data architecture archetype will depend on the organization’s ability to leverage cloud capabilities and the requirements of its digital road map. Architectures include capabilities such as event streaming, data warehousing, data APIs and analytics.

“Data products are the secret sauce for scaling.”

Data products are cohesive sets of data – for example, complete information about product lines – vetted for quality and presented in a ready-for-use format. Use of data products enables standardization, scaling and speed, and can significantly reduce total cost of ownership as well as the burdens of data governance and risk. Dedicated cross-functional data product pods create, improve and develop use cases for data products.

A data strategy sets out the organization’s data requirements and plans for cleaning and delivering its data. Typically, organizations possess more data than they need, but the data has poor quality. Leaders will need to select data domains to prioritize by referring to the transformation road map. AI tools can assist with data quality assessment and cleanup.

To ensure the organization benefits from digital and AI transformation, leaders should implement strategies to drive customer or user adoption.

Investments in digital won’t generate returns unless leaders also invest in initiatives to drive adoption by customers or in-house users. Leaders must take responsibility for the implementation of solutions beyond development and commit to seeing them through adoption. Adoption depends on two factors: first, people seeing that the solution meets a need and improves their experience – a user experience challenge; second, people also actually choosing to use the solution – a change management challenge.

The following strategies can influence adoption:

  • Adapt the business model – Any solution will have implications upstream and downstream. A CEO or division head must take on the task of ensuring alignment across the business.
  • Design in replication – Scaling implies implementing a solution in many facilities, organizational groups, markets or customer segments. Leaders should plan a replication approach, including a sequence for deployment and a scaling archetype, rolling it out in linear waves, in exponentially increasing waves, or as a “big bang” – all at once. Assetization – presenting a solution as a package of modules or assets – can facilitate adaptation of the solution to various unit conditions.

“The core challenge in driving both adoption and scaling is addressing at a sufficiently granular level the technical, process and human issues that keep a great solution from delivering its full value.”

  • Track progress – Leaders should measure KPIs that reflect value creation, pod health, capability building and organizational mobilization. McKinsey recommends tracking each solution through a stage-gate process consisting of five stages: ideation of the solution; validation; planning; development; and adoption and scaling.
  • Establish digital trust – Building solid digital trust – consumers’ or users’ confidence in the organization’s security, ethics and transparency – can reduce the enterprise’s data and AI risks and contribute to higher performance. Leaders should assess risks, review the organization’s digital trust policies and ensure the existence of operational capabilities supporting digital trust.
  • Create a digital culture – Implementing a digital transformation will in itself contribute to a digital culture, but leaders also must display attributes that support a digital culture, such as customer-centricity, collaboration and a sense of urgency. Leaders should invest in their own skill development, create scalable learning programs to upskill employees, and establish reskilling programs for critical roles.


For organizations to thrive in the digital era, a comprehensive strategy is vital. Beginning with a clear, actionable vision, leadership teams need to unite behind tangible goals and carefully choose domains to initiate transformation. Business leaders should identify specific challenges and align them with measurable KPIs, ensuring every team member actively engages in the digital journey.

Talent is the heart of transformation. Recognizing individual aspirations, providing continuous learning, and guiding newcomers ensures a workforce that’s robust and adaptive. But merely having digital tools isn’t enough. True scaling demands harmonizing technology with human behavior, emphasizing user adoption and business model realignment.

Finally, in our data-centric world, discerning valuable data, making it accessible across departments, and ensuring its integrity is key. Organizations that embrace these tenets can navigate the complexities of the digital age, positioning themselves for unparalleled success.

About the Authors

Eric Lamarre is a senior partner at McKinsey & Company and the North American leader of its Digital & Analytics practice. Kate Smaje and Rodney Zemmel lead McKinsey Digital.


Technology and the Future, Management, Leadership, Corporate Culture


Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI is a comprehensive and insightful book that provides a detailed roadmap for organizations seeking to navigate the challenges and seize the opportunities presented by the digital and AI revolution. Authored by Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje, and Rodney Zemmel, three experienced McKinsey consultants, this book offers a wealth of knowledge and practical advice to help businesses thrive in the rapidly evolving digital landscape.

The authors begin by laying the necessary foundation, explaining the fundamental concepts of digital transformation and the key technologies driving it, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and data analytics. They present a clear and concise overview of these topics, ensuring that readers with varying levels of familiarity can grasp the core concepts.

The book begins by arguing that the digital age is fundamentally different from previous eras, and that traditional business models and strategies are no longer sufficient to compete. The authors then introduce a six-step framework for digital transformation:

  1. Create a transformation roadmap: This step involves defining the organization’s goals for digital transformation and developing a plan to achieve them.
  2. Build a talent bench: This step involves identifying the skills and capabilities that the organization needs to succeed in the digital age, and then developing a plan to acquire those skills and capabilities.
  3. Adopt a new operating model: This step involves changing the way the organization operates to be more agile and responsive to change.
  4. Produce a distributed technology environment: This step involves creating a technology infrastructure that allows teams to innovate and experiment quickly.
  5. Embed data and analytics: This step involves using data and analytics to make better decisions and improve performance.
  6. Create a culture of continuous learning: This step involves creating an environment where employees are encouraged to learn and grow, and to share their knowledge with others.

What sets “Rewired” apart from other books on the subject is its emphasis on practical implementation. The authors provide a step-by-step guide, outlining a structured approach that organizations can follow to successfully transform their operations and stay ahead of the competition. They delve into various aspects of digital transformation, including strategy development, organizational design, talent management, and customer engagement.

The book is divided into three main parts:

Part 1: The Age of Digital and AI

In this part, the authors provide an overview of the technological advancements that are driving the digital and AI revolution. They discuss the impact of these technologies on various industries and highlight the opportunities and challenges they present.

Part 2: The Rewiring Imperative

In this part, the authors outline the steps that businesses must take to “rewire” themselves to remain competitive. They provide practical advice on how to embed digital and AI technologies into the core of the business, how to redesign processes and business models, and how to build new skills and capabilities.

Part 3: The Future of Work

In this final part, the authors explore the implications of the digital and AI revolution on the future of work. They discuss the potential impact on jobs, the need for new forms of leadership, and the importance of developing a culture of lifelong learning.

One of the book’s strengths is its focus on real-world case studies and examples. The authors draw upon their extensive experience working with a diverse range of industries and companies, showcasing both success stories and cautionary tales. By examining these case studies, readers gain a deeper understanding of the challenges and potential pitfalls associated with digital transformation, as well as the strategies that lead to positive outcomes.

Throughout the book, the authors stress the importance of leadership and cultural change. They highlight the need for strong executive sponsorship and a shared vision that permeates the entire organization. The book provides valuable insights into how leaders can drive change, foster a culture of innovation, and create an environment that embraces digital disruption.

Additionally, “Rewired” addresses the impact of digital and AI on the workforce. The authors discuss the changing nature of jobs and the skills required in the digital age. They offer guidance on talent acquisition, development, and retention, as well as the integration of humans and machines in the workplace. This holistic approach ensures that organizations are not only equipped with the right technologies but also possess the necessary human capabilities to leverage them effectively.

The writing style of the book is accessible and engaging, making complex concepts understandable without oversimplification. The authors strike a balance between theoretical frameworks and practical insights, providing a comprehensive guide that is relevant to both business leaders and practitioners.

If there is one criticism of “Rewired,” it is the sheer breadth of topics covered. While the authors do an admirable job of condensing a vast amount of information into a single volume, some readers may find the depth of coverage lacking in certain areas. However, this is a minor drawback considering the book’s intention to provide a comprehensive overview rather than exhaustive details on every aspect of digital transformation.


  • Business leaders, managers, and employees who want to understand the implications of the digital and AI revolution on their organizations.
  • Those who want to learn practical strategies for adapting to the new landscape and “rewiring” their businesses.
  • Anyone interested in staying ahead of the curve and shaping the future of work.

In conclusion, “Rewired: The McKinsey Guide to Outcompeting in the Age of Digital and AI” is a highly recommended resource for organizations seeking to navigate the complexities of the digital landscape. Eric Lamarre, Kate Smaje, and Rodney Zemmel have crafted a practical and insightful guide that combines theoretical frameworks with real-world examples. By following the principles and strategies outlined in this book, businesses can position themselves for success in the age of digital disruption.

Alex Lim is a certified book reviewer and editor with over 10 years of experience in the publishing industry. He has reviewed hundreds of books for reputable magazines and websites, such as The New York Times, The Guardian, and Goodreads. Alex has a master’s degree in comparative literature from Harvard University and a PhD in literary criticism from Oxford University. He is also the author of several acclaimed books on literary theory and analysis, such as The Art of Reading and How to Write a Book Review. Alex lives in London, England with his wife and two children. You can contact him at [email protected] or follow him on Website | Twitter | Facebook

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