Successful business transformations are rare, and the pandemic has made them more necessary and more difficult.
The difficulty, especially for “traditional” organizations, isn’t surprising.
A substantive and irreversible shift in an organization’s identity, value system, and capabilities requires three difficult acts: Developing a deeper sense of purpose that guides strategic decisions and shapes the workplace culture, repositioning the core business, and creating new sources of growth.
The increases in online commerce and remote work requires upgrades to infrastructure, workflows, tools and the growth and diversification of digital platforms like Amazon, Alibaba, and Stripe raises important strategic questions about where and how to compete. Difficult economic conditions (low consumer demand in particular) challenge the viability of some business models.
A typical transformation is led by a CEO figurehead. It often involves major structural change (acquisitions, disposals, partnerships, and organizational redesign), widespread deployment of new technologies, considerable effort, and cultural change.
The following 4 strategies, based on collective experience in leading transformations over the last 25 years, will help leaders increase their chances of success.