Management consulting powerhouse McKinsey & Company recently unveiled an in-house AI tool named Lilli that leverages natural language processing to boost staff efficiency. Lilli acts as a virtual research assistant for McKinsey’s 30,000 consultants across domains like operations, sector expertise, technology, and more.
The platform combines McKinsey’s proprietary data and models with generative AI to quickly synthesize relevant insights from the firm’s vast knowledge stores. This allows consultants to spend more time strategizing with clients versus performing manual searches or asking colleagues to identify precedents.
McKinsey states Lilli can scan thousands of case studies, whitepapers, interview transcripts, and other documents to uncover connections. It returns the most salient five to seven sources on a topic within seconds, summarizing key findings and links. Lilli also suggests expert contacts to consult for deeper perspectives.
Early user feedback indicates the solution saves up to 20% of prep time ahead of client meetings by anticipating questions and identifying gaps or counterarguments. The tool additionally inspires creative problem solving by surfacing unexpected analogues that prompt fresh thinking.
For example, consultant Josh Sternberg tapped Lilli when a pharmaceutical client asked for manufacturing precedents to learn from. The platform returned an insightful parallel with a paint thickness measurement device that perfectly encapsulated the precision needed.
Behind the scenes, Lilli leverages McKinsey’s QuantumBlack AI product suite and taps an ecosystem of tech partners like Microsoft Azure. It was piloted with consultants over nine months before rolling out to thousands more this year. Ongoing plans include enhancing prompt engineering for relevancy and training users on content validation.
The tool pays homage to Lillian Dombrowski, McKinsey’s first female consultant in the 1940s who pioneered practice areas and knowledge management foundations that persist today. Lilli’s versatility reflects her trailblazing flexibility and rigor in positioning the firm for excellence.
With trusted AI assistance, McKinsey eyes substantial productivity gains allowing client-facing teams more bandwidth to activate recommendations tailored to strategic priorities. The initiative underscores consulting innovation in augmenting world-class human expertise with leading technology.