Open for applications

McKinsey Academy - Executive Leadership Program Scholarships - 2020

McKinsey & Company and the Australian Scholarships Foundation are offering emerging leaders from the not-for-profit sector the opportunity to apply for a scholarship to attend McKinsey Academy's Executive Leadership Program, beginning in June 2020.



Program Overview: Executive Leadership Program

Build the critical capabilities required to lead and thrive in a world of increasing uncertainty and volatility

Our leaders are under enormous pressure to balance instinct with insight, fortitude with flexibility, and performance with recovery. The Executive Leadership Program (ELP) is a ‘hands on’ leadership development program that develops self-aware leaders who have the capability and conviction to lead in the age of complexity and disruption. Leadership cannot be taught like a language. It requires nurturing through inspiration, intervention, opportunity, and practice. This program accelerates the development of senior talent by increasing self-awareness, exploring topics with a diverse faculty of leaders and coaches, and personalising insights within groups of external peers.

During the program, executives build their knowledge of technologies and trends and how to leverage them in their organisations, sharpen and expand their leadership skills and cultivate an exclusive global network of peers.


Course Structure:

The Executive Leadership Program is designed around three core pillars that are proven to drive sustained personal and organisational performance:

Leadership: Build the ability in yourself and your team to persevere and thrive when faced with complex challenges. Understand how to foster a climate that encourages breakthrough innovation and creativity.

Strategy: Immerse in the top technologies impacting your industry and organisation. Expand your understanding of how data analytics can be leveraged for business impact.

Execution: Explore how agile approaches and design thinking can make your team more innovative and more customer focused. Leverage the creativity of all your team members through optimised approaches to collaboration.


Course Details / Delivery:

This program is delivered as a 6-month blended learning journey. Participants will:

  • Complete a baseline diagnostic assessment prior to commencing ELP as part of the prework. Participants have the option of debriefing this report with their leadership coach to explore insights on their results.
  • Attend two in-person events where deep insights arising from exploring content and interacting with peer executives facing similar challenges.
  • Complete remote learning and coaching sessions that are anchored in business context, reflecting each aspiring leader’s specific personal and business situation.

 Successful applicants should allow approx. 1-2 hours per week to complete the required work.


Course Dates*

April - May: Complete the leadership assessments prior to ELP to support your reflection on development priorities.

Monday 15 June: Attend an informal not-for-profit networking lunch to meet other NFP participants before joining the wider cross-industry cohort.

Monday 15 - Friday 19 June: Attend the in-person kick-off event in Sanctuary Cove, QLD. Participants will need to be available for this entire period and allow for the possibility of evening activities. More details will be provided to scholarship recipients.

Monday 6 July - Friday 21 August: Online ‘Strategic Thinking’ course consisting of 6-8 hours of learning (scheduled so that it can be completed with a 1-2 hour per week commitment).

6 - 10 July + 24 - 28 August + 5 - 9 October: Three peer 'mini board' sessions lasting approximately 90 minutes each via VC or phone, and scheduled within these recommended timeframes.

Monday 14 - Friday 18 September: Attend the in-person capstone event in Sanctuary Cove, QLD. Participants will need to be available for this entire period and allow for the possibility of evening activities. More details will be provided to scholarship recipients.


*Course dates either side of the in-person forums may be subject to change. Final dates will be advised as soon they are available.


Who Should Apply

The Executive Leadership Program is designed to benefit high potential seasoned executives who are seeking personal and professional growth. A typical participant leads, or is on track to lead an organisation, significant business unit or function. They may be a CEO, or in a role where they report to a top team member. Each year, the class comprises 150 seasoned executives from 50+ organisations drawn from private, public, NFP and social sectors.


Scholarship Inclusions

There are multiple scholarships available to staff of charitable not-for-profit organisations Australia-wide thanks to McKinsey Academy's generous contribution and commitment to not-for-profit development. Each scholarship is valued at $20,000 and will grant recipients full access to the Executive Leadership Program.

Employer Contribution

This scholarship requires an Employer Contribution from each recipient's supporting not-for-profit organisation according to their annual revenue, as follows:

  • Less than $250,000 p.a. = no contribution required
  • $250,001 - $500,000 p.a. = $2,000 contribution
  • $500,001 - $1m p.a. = $3,000 contribution
  • More than $1m p.a. = $4,000 contribution
This amount is payable to ASF by 24 April 2020 (following written acceptance from the scholarship recipient and upon receipt of an invoice).

What is the Employer Contribution? The Employer Contribution is paid directly to ASF and allows us to expand the number of high-quality programs we can provide, assists with service delivery costs and enables us to invest in research and development that strengthens the NFP sector. The Employer Contribution is a way for not-for-profits to facilitate learning and development for their organisation via a small contribution to any scholarships ASF awards to their employees. McKinsey Academy does not receive any portion of this contribution. 

Click here to find out more about the Employer Contribution.

Travel / Accommodation

Travel and/or accommodation (if necessary) are to be covered by the successful candidates or their supporting NFP organisation to attend the 2x five-day forums in Sanctuary Cove. We estimate this cost at $0-$2,000 for each forum depending on your location and travel needs.


Key Scholarship Dates

Applications open Tuesday 17 December 2019
Applications close Wednesday 12 February 2020
Scholarship awarded by Monday 16 March 2020
Written acceptance from scholarship recipients by Friday 20 March 2020
Employer Contribution due by Friday 24 April 2020
In-person kick-off event in Sanctuary Cove

Monday 15 - Friday 19 June 2020

In-person capstone event in Sanctuary Cove* Monday 14 - Friday 18 September 2020

*Students are required to attend both in-person forums in June and September.

Please reserve these important dates in your calendar. For more program dates, see the "Course Dates" section above.


Eligibility Criteria

Applicants must:

  • currently work for an Australian charitable not-for-profit organisation or *social enterprise
  • be an Australian citizen or Australian permanent resident
  • hold a leadership role within their organisation
  • fulfil ASF's general eligibility requirements available on our FAQs page

*Check our FAQs page for guidance on eligible social enterprises.

**Please note, this is a general guide and does not exclude those with a little more or less experience.


Scholar Surveys & Feedback

All applicants (regardless of the outcome of their application) will be asked to complete a series of surveys about their expected and realised learnings (once before and on a few occasions after the course). Your survey responses will help us to quantify the impact of our scholarships and will help attract funding for education and training for the NFP sector in the future. Your feedback is extremely valuable to the work we do and by completing these surveys you'll be making an important contribution to the future of ASF and the NFP sector overall.


How to Apply

To apply, simply click 'APPLY NOW' and follow the prompts to create (or log into) your profile page, upload an endorsement letter and complete an online scholarship application.

For tips on what to include in your endorsement letter and who should write it, please see #12 of our FAQs.

Need help completing your online application? Download instructions for Creating a Profile Page and Making an Application.


More Information

For more information about the program, please click here or download the program brochure here

Have questions? Check our FAQs page for answers to the most common questions. If you need assistance with the scholarship application process, please contact ASF via


Applications for the 2020 McKinsey Academy Executive Leadership Program scholarships close Wednesday 12 February 2020 at 5pm AEDT.



About McKinsey Academy 

The mission of McKinsey Academy is to accelerate transformations of individuals, companies and countries by unlocking the potential of people. They work closely with human resource and business leaders to reimagine their approach to developing leaders and building capabilities across an organisation. Their combination of business and learning expertise uniquely positions them to support both private and public-sector clients.

Closing Date : 12/02/2020
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