"Kevin Coyne is the best person with a blank sheet of paper I have ever met."
--senior client executive
Kevin Coyne was always one of that handful of Senior Partners at McKinsey and Company who were always receiving calls from partners and teams around the world who needed help thinking through their toughest conceptual problems. Whether it be how to structure the problem-solving approach, or what to make of a complex set of analytical findings, or how to synthesize the many individual insights into a compelling conclusion, if the subject was strategy or just difficult problem solving, it was Kevin the teams called most often.
His status as the “go to” guy actually began in his first year at McKinsey, when other members of his first team began to look to him for guidance. It broadened that same year during a casual conversation with the manager of a project Kevin was not assigned to. The manager described his client’s difficult industry, and Kevin recognized that the manager’s own client was the one causing the price war in the industry. Soon, other teams in the office sought his advice when they were stuck. That was followed over time by calls from other offices, then across the country, then across the globe. Eventually, he traveled to every continent and over 30 offices to help McKinsey teams and clients.
This unique problem structuring and insight capability has been the centerpiece of Kevin’s career. While at the U.S. Treasury Department, he identified that the department’s approach to combating the future of counterfeiting was fundamentally flawed, resulting in major changes to that approach. At McKinsey, he was asked to lead the Strategy Theory Initiative to revamp McKinsey’s intellectual approach to its most important line of business, and then to co-lead the worldwide Strategy Practice itself. After McKinsey, he has co-written a book on how to achieve breakthrough ideas, and developed the only comprehensive approach to understanding Sustainable Competitive Advantage. For clients, he has identified strategy and operational problems they did not know they have, created innovative solutions they did not think of, and identified market opportunities they had not recognized.