Tim Koller, Dan Lovallo

[A premortem is where] at the start of a project, you imagine that the project went wrong and think about what could have caused that result. You put yourself into the future and, in a non-judgmental way, think of all the things that could derail the project. It creates a safe way for people to discuss their concerns without being perceived as criticizing the project. … [ Read more ]

How Executives Can Help Sustain Value Creation for the Long Term

Companies create more shareholder value when executives and directors concentrate on long-term results. A new report highlights behaviors that allow them to maintain a long-term orientation.

Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller

There are many trade-offs that company managers struggle to make, in which neither a shareholder nor a stakeholder approach offers a clear path forward. This is especially true when it comes to issues affecting people who aren’t immediately involved with the company. These so-called externalities—perhaps most prominently, a company’s carbon emissions affecting parties that otherwise have no direct contact with the company—can be extremely challenging … [ Read more ]

Five Ways That ESG Creates Value

Getting your environmental, social, and governance (ESG) proposition right links to higher value creation. Here’s why.

J. André de Barros Teixeira, Tim Koller, and Dan Lovallo

Multiple studies have indicated the degree to which business leaders are loath to kill projects. One such study developed by IESE Business School Professor Luis Huete found that companies and individuals that have had a track record of success have a harder time killing projects, because they carry with them an ingrained belief that they can turn everything into gold, so long as everyone works … [ Read more ]

Admit It, Your Investments Are Stuck in Neutral

New research shows that companies that know how to shift critical resources where and when they’re needed share common traits. Rigor is the first one.

How To Be Objective About Budgets

Addressing anchoring bias can lead to more accurate budget forecasts, better budget conversations, and more dynamic resource reallocation.

How To Take the ‘Outside View’

It may be easier than you think to debias your decisions and make better forecasts by building the “outside view.”

The Case Against Corporate Short Termism

Despite strong pressures to focus on the short term, it is possible to manage for the long term and reap considerable rewards.

Resisting Managing for the Short Term

Executives don’t have to fall into the trap of short-termism to serve their shareholders, say McKinsey principal Tim Koller and senior expert Marc Goedhart, two of the coauthors of the sixth edition of Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Companies. In this episode of the McKinsey Podcast, Koller and Goedhart talk with McKinsey Publishing editorial director and McKinsey Quarterly editor in chief Allen Webb … [ Read more ]

The Six Types of Successful Acquisitions

Companies advance myriad strategies for creating value with acquisitions—but only a handful are likely to do so.

Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller, David Wessels

Our research shows that even if short-term investors cause day-to-day fluctuations in a company’s share price and dominate quarterly earnings calls, longer-term investors are the ones who align market prices with intrinsic value.

Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller, David Wessels

As an illustration of how executives get caught up in a short-term EPS focus, consider our experience with companies analyzing a prospective acquisition. The most frequent question managers ask is whether the transaction will dilute EPS over the first year or two. Given the popularity of EPS as a yardstick for company decisions, you might think that a predicted improvement in EPS would be an … [ Read more ]

Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller, David Wessels

Creating shareholder value is not the same as maximizing short-term profits—and companies that confuse the two often put both shareholder value and stakeholder interests at risk. Indeed, a system focused on creating shareholder value from business isn’t the problem; short-termism is.

Marc Goedhart, Tim Koller, David Wessels

The guiding principle of business value creation is a refreshingly simple construct: companies that grow and earn a return on capital that exceeds their cost of capital create value.

How to Choose Between Growth and ROIC

Investors reward high-performing companies that shift their strategic focus prudently, even if that means lower returns or slower growth.

The Four Cornerstones of Corporate Finance

The four cornerstones of corporate finance start with the axiom that companies exist to meet customer needs in a way that translates into reliable returns to investors. Together, the cornerstones form a foundation upon which executives can ground decisions about strategy, M&A, budgets, financial policy, technology, and performance measurement—even as markets, economies, and industries change around them.

Building a Better Income Statement

If neither companies nor investors find GAAP reported earnings useful, it’s clearly time for a new approach.

Avoiding the Consensus-Earnings Trap

The promise of meeting or beating consensus estimates and the peril of missing them are profoundly overstated.