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A McKinsey Company
A McKinsey Company
A McKinsey Company
Arne Gast Chair and Co-founder of Aberkyn / Senior Partner McKinsey & Company

The core of my work is creating organizations for the future and making change personal and systemic in high-stake transitions.

My source of inspiration is the work on Presencing and Theory U of Scharmer, Jaworkski and Senge – as co-initiated in the dialog project with McKinsey’s organization and leadership practice. I apply this in leadership team acceleration, leadership programs or to shape organization-wide transformations – enriched with the insights of Bob Kegan on adult learning, positive psychology of Tal Ben Shahar and Seligman, and our transformation approaches as captured in Beyond Performance.

I am grateful to be one of the co-founders of Aberkyn. Over the years, I have witnessed the growth of our community through our deep work with amazing clients and following their energy to build new hubs across the globe. I have served on the elected executive team of Aberkyn in all years of our journey and have now shifted into the role of Chair of our Enabling Board.

Within our broader McKinsey context, I am the global lead of our “Powering Performance Transformations” offering. We help to create positive change – through shifts in culture, stronger leadership, new capabilities or liberating structures – in every transformation the Firm supports. Our team of more than 1,000 change experts include our Aberkyn facilitators, communication mavericks, implementation experts, learning architects and organization specialists – trying to combine the best ideas and evidence- based methods for the leaders we serve.

My Aberkyn and McKinsey paths combine Europe and Asia.  In Europe, my home base is Amsterdam – where we started Aberkyn, and I started in McKinsey. In Asia, my home for the last 7 years has been Kuala Lumpur, from where I co-lead McKinsey’s practice for people and organizational performance across Asia-Pacific. Over the years I have worked across Europe, Middle East and the full breadth of Asian countries.

I work as co-architect of many transformations, and work with leaderships for alignment and renewal, and often coach CEOs and CXOs when transitioning into their new roles. I am one of the lead facilitators of our Asian CXO Transition Forum and our global Change Leader Forums, our tailored cross-client program to shape change and culture.  Over the years I have written multiple McKinsey Quarterly articles, most recently on the social side of strategy and purpose – and have spoken on conferences like the Global Peter Drucker Forum. Currently, I am working on a book called “Schokland” – exploring the role of leadership teams in this decisive decade till 2030. Previously, I was part of the teams writing the books Leadership at Scale, Beyond Performance, Reorg and (as a student at INSEAD) Blue Ocean Strategy.

My social impact passion is education. We co-founded Leerkracht Foundation with a committed team, and over the years helped >1000 Dutch schools with an inspiring cultural change approach to improve outcomes. Moreover, I worked with the Dutch-Moroccan Leadership Institute, Young Leaders Malaysia, schools for highly gifted children, and multiple universities including the founding of ISB in Hyderabad, India. My own educational background includes an MBA from INSEAD Fontainebleau, and a MSc Organization Economics from Erasmus University in Rotterdam –preceded by a year of Liberal Arts at Ole Miss, the University of Mississippi.

In the Netherlands, I live together with my wife, 4 children, dogs and cats in a small village in the middle of the Netherlands – bordering a national park.  When in Malaysia, we live in a home surrounded by greenery and monkeys.  In my free time I love playing or coaching field hockey,  gardening and growing apples, dabbling with black-white Leica photography, and visiting small book stores and reading many, many books.