Editor's Note: If you are interested in becoming an expert on Business Transformation, take a look at Flevy's Business Transformation Frameworks offering here. This is a curated collection of best practice frameworks based on the thought leadership of leading consulting firms, academics, and recognized subject matter experts. By learning and applying these concepts, you can you stay ahead of the curve. Full details here.
Are You Ready to Launch a Transformation? Take the Readiness Survey
Featured Best Practice on Business Transformation
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Editor’s Note: The author, Dr. Robert H. Miles, is the world’s foremost expert on Corporate Transformation, having led 30+ of the most iconic Transformations, including Apple, General Electric, IBM Global Services, Symantec, National Semiconductor, Office Depot, PricewaterhouseCoopers, PGA Tour, among others. He also has a Flevy Executive Learning (FEL) program on Corporate Transformation (more info here).
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No transformation challenge is greater than the one confronting you as a new CEO when you assume the mantel of executive leadership. Yet most CEOs only get one chance in their long careers to get this right.
From the moment their appointment is announced, new CEOs must quickly and simultaneously develop their plans for “taking charge” and for launching the next major phase in their company. The corporate transformation game plan they need to develop with their colleagues not only requires a re-examination of the company’s business realities, corporate strategies, and guiding purpose; but quite often a re-shaping of its management process and culture, a fundamental re-alignment of the organization, and a re-engagement of its managers and employees.
Gauging Transformation “Readiness”
When rising to such a career-and institution-defining challenge, it is critical for you to be able to accurately gauge your organization’s readiness to move forward boldly and rapidly before developing your transformation game plan.
This starting point begins with recognition of the existence of embedded “Inhibitors” in your organization, which although benign in their effects during steady state conditions, become major impediments to transformative change. Indeed, when it comes time for you to “take charge,” any one of these Inhibitors can derail the whole effort if left unattended.
The 6 Inhibitors of Corporate Transformation
Six embedded Inhibitors will likely be encountered in any CEO-led corporate transformation attempt. Five may be expected to emerge during your planning and launch stages and a sixth will appear at predictable waypoints during you first year of execution.
Each will need to be anticipated, engaged and overcome. This is a major role that you and your supporting cast will need to play very well.
These 6 inhibitors of Corporate Transformation are as follow:
- Cautious Management Culture
- Business-as-Usual Management Process
- Initiative Gridlock
- Recalcitrant Executives
- Disengaged Employees
- Loss of Focus during Execution
These inhibitors are explained and discussed in detail in my previous article, The New CEO’s Challenge. Read it here, if you haven’t already, in order to better understand the Corporate Transformation Readiness Assessment Survey.
The “Readiness” Survey
To enable you to conduct a quick assessment of what you are going to be up against as you take charge as a new CEO to plan and launch your corporate transformation game plan, take a moment to complete the simple diagnostic survey below:
Knowing the magnitude these Inhibitors in your organization is the first step in engaging and overcoming them.
Developing a corporate transformation game plan that takes each of them into account will make all the difference in your success in these fast-paced, disruptive times. This is a perspective and a skill set that all CEOs, general managers and senior human resource leaders must master to be successful in leading rapid corporate transformations.
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"If you don't transform your company, you're stuck." - Ursula Burns, Chairperson and CEO of VEON; former Chairperson and CEO of Xerox
Business Transformation is the process of fundamentally changing the systems, processes, people, and technology across an entire organization, business unit, or corporate function with the intention of achieving significant improvements in Revenue Growth, Cost Reduction, and/or Customer Satisfaction.
Transformation is pervasive across industries, particularly during times of disruption, as we are witnessing now as a result of COVID-19. However, despite how common these large scale efforts are, research shows that about 75% of these initiatives fail.
Leverage our frameworks to increase your chances of a successful Transformation by following best practices and avoiding failure-causing "Transformation Traps."
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About Robert H. MilesRobert H. Miles, Ph.D., President, Corporate Transformation Resources, is a global thought and practice leader in the fields of Corporate Transformation and Executive Leadership. Through his decades of experience and leading 30+ Corporate Transformations, Bob has pioneered the Accelerated Corporate Transformation (ACT) methodology. ACT has been successfully implemented at over 30+ of the most iconic Corporate Transformations, including Apple, General Electric, IBM Global Services, Symantec, National Semiconductor, Office Depot, PGA Tour, Infineon Technologies, Rockwell International, Southern Company, and Black & Veatch, as well as a number of emerging high-tech companies. You can enroll in a 10-week virtual Flevy Executive Learning (FEL) program to learn the ACT methodology and how to implement it in your organization here. Bob is also a distinguished academic--a long-time professor at the business schools of Harvard, Yale, Stanford, and Emory--and author.
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